I think I will blog today about my therapy sessions. I saw kids from 2 1/2 to 13 years old. My takeaway today is how much I love great books and games and how useful they are in my therapy sessions. I do take a lot of time to hunt down appropriate books for each child and the goals we are working on so I want to share them with you.

My first little guy, 2 1/2,  is working on using his language functionally. He tends to name things in single words when in reality he can talk in longer phrases and sentences. We read two of my favorites, “Max Cleans Up” by Rosemary Wells and “Pudgy A Puppy to Love” by Pippa Goodhart.  When we opened “Max Cleans Up,” the inside of the front cover is a picture of many single objects in the book. I was able to model for Mom how to use a carrier phrase while looking at the page such as, “I like the ____” or “I see a ____” as my little friend started to follow my lead and do the same. The book really lends itself to asking wh-questions such as “What is Max going to do?” since he repeatedly puts his garbage in his pocket.

My next little friend is 6 and working on various articulation sounds. We’ve been using a mirror for visual feedback since she tends to protrude her tongue on many sounds and can see the difference. Mom is terrific at reinforcing what we do and found this cool mirror in an ocean themed case at the local toy store. We read “Holly’s Red Boots” by Francesca Chessa which is chocked full of /l/ words since Holly has lost her red boots and has to look for them. Incidentally it would be a good book to work on /r/ too. I usually split my articulation sessions with books, games and projects/drawing. Today the favorite games to reinforce articulation sounds were “Curious George at the Beach” by I Can Do That Games (pretty much every kid likes this game), and “Froggy Boogie” by Blue Orange Games.

My next 6 year-old has word finding problems so I have observed him in class and get regular updates from his teacher as to what vocabulary and concepts they are working on such as “vertical” and “horizontal” in math, or we just finished using Thanksgiving vocabulary lists. We are working on describing, as they are in class, and he loves to use the new book, “Beach Is To Fun” by Pat Brisson, which is a book of analogies with amazing illustrations. He asks for that book so he can describe something in one of the pictures and I have to guess it. When we come upon a word that he can’t recall such as raft, hose, or faucet as we did today, we build a bank of words to associate with it and make up some sentences using the words. Another great book with a silly story and fun illustrations to describe is “Not In This House!” by Kevin Lewis.

I finished up my day with a 13 year-old girl with language learning disabilities. She is doing so well in middle school due to the collaboration among her teachers and special education professionals. I often think it is interesting that I rarely work on Language Arts with her, but it is the language in Science and Math where she needs the help. She is required to keep a Math Journal where she is given a problem to solve and then must articulate what worked and what didn’t and how she got to her answer–quite a language lesson!

I got all of the above books at my local library. Don’t forget that if they don’t have one that you want, you often can request that they purchase it.

Let me know what fun activities or materials are working for you!