I felt like I needed to pick my jaw up off of the floor.
What this child’s family had gone through to bring them to this point. Seizures, surgeries, and now a youngster who was 5 years old. He could walk. He used a iPad to communicate. He verbalized some words. He had half of his brain removed. Let that sink in: half of his brain removed.
I can’t even imagine what this family had to go through to make the decision, but here they were. With a miracle.
Our first year together was concerned with developing rapport and building communication. We worked at trying to develop verbal communication. We got a lot of approximations for words, but nothing would prepare me for this year. The classroom teacher talked about growth over the summer, and we hit the ground running in September.
Word Flips started the ball rolling last year and it helped us get started this year. Consonant-Vowel (CV) targets for sound groups like bilabial, alveolar, and velar are able to be worked on in isolation or groups (ex. Bee-Bee-Bee).
The Kaufman Speech-to-Language protocol has been instrumental in continuing our growth. We are now working in Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) words and even trying some 2 syllable words.
But we are having a tough time eliciting fricatives (/s/ and “sh”). PROMPT cues are not working (yet) and there would be a huge world open to this child if we could start getting those sounds out.
This book has been a lifesaver for me as both a new clinician and as a seasoned one. When I hit a wall in trying to get a child to make a new sound, this book has been critical in helping me.
While many of the sound approximation techniques are essential, I feel as though visual supports are helpful in helping students make the sounds more easily.
After discussing with a colleague, it seemed to make sense to target /s/ and /f/ to try and build a foundation for fricatives. Check out these visuals I created to help you with getting these sounds from your students.