Last Friday I had the privilege of speaking at my alma mater, Northwestern University to their first year masters degree students in speech pathology. It all started when I received a note from one of their assistant professors telling me how much she liked my blog. A phone conversation ensued where we had such fun talking about our profession and how to excite students about therapy, not just courses and books! So I found myself speaking to about 60 bright students about my journey from the university through public school therapy, founding Play on Words, my private practice and then creating the PAL Award. I shared how to choose a good toy, book or game to make a speech therapy session lively, fun and effective and then took questions. I encouraged them to pick up some games and see what the player is asked to do?
- Ask questions
- Add on to a story
- Describe an object
- Name an associated object
Then I shared some specific games and companies who are intentional about developing products that are fantastically fun but also embedded with potential learning:
Say the Word by Peaceable Kingdom–Cooperative games–social language
What’s In the Cat’s Hat? by WonderForge
Who Am I? by Janod
Rory’s Story Cubes–MAX (also the app is available) by Creativity Hub
Highlights Buzz Blast by MindWard
Roll ‘n Play by Thinkfun
After I ended the roundtable, several students lingered and started to get excited about starting a blog among the graduate speech pathology students. One student volunteered that she had a graphic design background and others had talents to contribute. I’d love to see them get this going. They realized they should be sharing therapy ideas among themselves too! So, “Wild Chats” I hope you get your blog going. I am looking forward to reading it!