Supersize Your BIGmack

Communication is a powerful tool. Helping a student access functional communication is extremely rewarding. Assistive technology can help students with disabilities increase independence as well as access their education. For some teachers and SLPs, working with non-verbal students or students with limited verbal abilities can often be challenging and at times, overwhelming.

Selecting the appropriate aided communication system or device is important in promoting daily use and implementation from the user and communication partners involved. There are numerous levels of technology from low to high tech to consider when selecting a mode of communication. One option to consider when introducing functional communication to new learners, is a single message speech generating device such as the BigMack. This will help demonstrate the power of communication to the user.

I know what you're thinking. If I was only able to communicate a single message all day or all week, I might get a little frustrated; however, if you unlock this power for a non-verbal student, the reward is abundant and their world will be changed forever. So, how do you "supersize" or get the most out of your target words/phrases? When selecting a message, there are a few questions that are important to consider. 
After you've consider these three factors, you are ready to select your target words/phrases. Here are my top five words/phrases to target when introducing a single message button. 

1. Greetings/Social Phrases/Farewells (i.e., "Good morning," "Hello," "How are you doing today?")

These words/phrases are verbally reinforced immediately and can be targeted frequently throughout the student's day. Be creative with the locations that you teach and target these words/phrases. Greet the librarian, office staff,  and nurse. Having the student help out at the crosswalk is another great location that will provide multiple opportunities for greetings.


Game Time: 5 Ways to Eliminate Arguments and Regain Valuable Time

"Can I go first?" "Can I be blue?" How many times do you find yourself defusing an argument over who will be the first player in the game or who will be the blue game piece? Value instruction time is often lost when these disputes arise and distract students from the focus of the session. I am excited to share 5 tips to eliminate these arguments and allow you to regain valuable time.

Customize Game Pieces

Each year I create "customized" game pieces by selecting clipart that resembles each student. Allowing your students to participate in the selection process of their game piece will instill ownership and help maximize "buy-in." I print the 4-inch images on card stock and laminate for added durability. These pieces will easily stand with binder clips allowing students to move them around the game board. A variety of games require the use of game pieces including, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly (affiliate links).  


Say It Beautifully with Phonto

How many times are you away from your computer, had a great idea and wish that you access to your favorite fonts on your phone? As a busy wife, mom and educator, I don't always have time to be at my computer to create images and videos for social media. With an app called Phonto, that all changes. I am able to add my fonts that align with my brand to create beautiful images while sitting by the pool or waiting in line at the grocery store. Phonto is quick and very user-friendly, making your creations on-the-go look like computer designed images.  

This first step is to download the Phono app from the App Store. 

Next, you will need to access your fonts. You can do this by emailing then to yourself or saving them to your Google Drive. You can also unzip your fonts directly on your phone using an additional app called iZip (available in the App Store). 

Once you tap on the font file, you will be prompted to "Import with Phonto." 

The app will open and you will be prompted to install the font. 

Once the font is installed, you can import your photo by taping the "camera" icon at the bottom. 

After you have imported your photo and made your desired changes, tap the photo to "Add Text."

From here, you can change the size, font, color, and shape of the text. 

Once you have created your image, you can save it to your phone or uploaded to your social media accounts. 

That's it! Phonto is easy to use and perfect for creating images on-the-go that match your brand. 

When creating and editing videos, use an app called Vont.  

Start creating beautiful images and videos today with Perfect Blend fonts.  


Speech Outside the Box: 5 Ideas for Therapy Outside

Spring is here and I am absolutely loving this weather! What are your favorite springtime activities? I have created a few activities that will help bring your therapy room outside. While these activities are designed for the outdoors, many of them can be completed inside as well. 


For this activities you will need bubbles and the "Make Your Speech POP" recording sheet. (Grab it HERE). To play, blow the bubbles. Then, have students count how many words they can say with their speech sound(s) before all of the bubbles pop. Students can record their totals in the bubbles.