Being_FrankNow that I’ve gotten your attention, since you might be looking for great reinforcement ideas for speech therapy, I am actually going to tell you about how I feel rewarded doing what I do! This has been a week of little blessings–hearing from parents and kids who have encouraged ME.

I had been using the Conversation Builder app with a child on the autism spectrum and shared several of his completed conversations with his mom. He was becoming more proficient at selecting the most appropriate choice to continue the conversation. When I arrived at my session last week she said, “It worked!” My little friend had been waiting for his older brother to finish his basketball practice when some older kids sat down behind him. My little client engaged in a very appropriate conversation and after about 3 exchanges, introduced himself, “Hi I’m James,” just like Conversation Builder teaches. It’s fun to see parents recognize the value of what you are doing with their child.

Next, on Tuesday I was working on curriculum vocabulary words with a first grader with word-finding difficulties. I pre-teach and use vocabulary with him so he can more easily retrieve the words in class. We were discussing the meaning of “rely” and generating sentences. I went first saying, “You rely on your mom to make breakfast.” Then it was his turn and I started him out, “You rely on me for..” and he said, “I need you to help me with my brain.” How sweet is that?

And then I just get excited when kids I’m working with make connections between books and from books to life. I had been working with a child on the autism spectrum and his typical peer. Often we read books and then play a game. We had played “Squiggle on the Go” where you complete a doodle and then we guess what you made. We were reading a new book, “Being Frank” by Donna W. Earnhardt (more on that in another blog–such a fun book) and his friend looked at an illustration of a line drawing of glasses and said, “That looks like a squiggle!” We always do a high-five and say, “Book to life!”

I’m thankful to be doing something I still love.