Monday, April 14, 2014



Hello! Do you want the opportunity to save on a ton of printer ink while being prepared for the all of your spring themed articulation therapy sessions? How about having numerous useful and fun worksheets that target different articulation goals and levels and that are easy to access and then distribute to one student or to a group of students all at the same time?

If these opportunities sound helpful to you, than we think you may want to consider purchasing this new Spring Themed Articulation document! The worksheets are fantastic because they can be used for therapy sessions or for take home practice! And the packet targets some of the most common sounds that we are working on lately with our students: The L, R, S, V and TH. How about you? Do you also have students who need to work on these commonly misarticulated sounds?

We hope that we have you covered! Please see the detailed previews at our TN and TpT stores  to review the contents and several actual worksheets that you will find in this large articulation unit.

Have a happy and healthy Spring season!

Manda Riebel, M.A. CCC-SLP &
Shanda Gaunt, M.S. CCC-SLP

Freebie! Wagon Wheel Words For Advancing Literacy, Problem Solving & Articulation Skills

Howdy Partners! Have you been trying to advance articulation and also problem solving and literacy skills with your students? If so, maybe you would like to gallop on over to our TpT store to download our freebie called Wagon Wheel Words then?

Click Here to Download Wagon Wheel Words

In these worksheets we have included four different difficulty levels so that you can target the articulation of the sounds and also work on advancing spelling, writing, reading, naming, and problem solving with a large variety of students, all at the same time!

Students love these wagon word wheels! They are given the opportunity to try to figure out what word is written in a the wagon wheel by either going clockwise (on the first three levels) or going either clockwise or counter clockwise (on the fourth level). After they figure out the word, they are asked to write the word on the line and they always seem super proud of themselves when they figure them out! Each wagon is a little problem to solve and the little Cowboys from the ages of Pre-k to 8th grade that we trialed them with at our speech clinic enjoyed solving them all!

What's better than having a child advance in their language and literacy skills, as well as, in their articulation skills in one session?!

Note: If you love this freebie, you can obtain the complete packet targeting the sounds of: g, c/k, f, l, s, r, t, voiceless th, and sh by clicking on this link: Wagon Wheel Words: Spelling, Reading, Artic. & Problem Solving Skills

Best wishes!
Manda Riebel, M.A. CCC-SLP &
Shanda Gaunt, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologists
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

What To Include In A Chemo & Radiation Therapy Cancer Care Package

Hello blog readers.  Recently, I did some research to find out what a person would need while they are undergoing cancer treatments.  I wanted to do my best job to include items that would help to comfort my mother-in-law during the treatments that were starting soon for her. I also wanted to put together a care package basket for her to let her know that we were thinking of her and wanting to help her out as much as we could. As I write this post, she is currently in her third week of radiation and chemotherapy to help battle her lung cancer.  She may even need more chemo and radiation after these first six weeks. grrr :(  The scans that she will have in about a month will help to decide that fate. No matter what, it will be a long and uncomfortable road head for sure! I feel so bad for her and I want to help her out as much as I can.  God knows that she is a wonderful person, mother-in-law and grandmother to my two boys.  I just need her to be here for us for many more years to come!

After doing some research, I realized that the information on what to include in a cancer treatment care package was not super easy to come by, so with this newly acquired knowledge of mine, I have decided to make this post.  I hope that it may help out someone else out there who would like to also put together a cancer care package for someone that they know and love too.  I know this is totally off the subject of speech therapy, but shucks, this blog is about trying to help other's and if this post can help out someone in any way, then that knowledge will make my day!

As I write this I would like to kindly ask that everyone out there send comforting thoughts and prayers to all of the people in this world that are battling cancer.  It is a difficult diagnosis that requires some very trying therapies to try to beat it.  So many of the treatments available today do end up helping out tremendously though and that is the encouraging part of this whole story.  The treatments are hard to endure, however, and as our loved ones go through chemo and radiations treatments, I hope that we can help comfort and support them as much as we can.

Here's the list of items included in my mother-in-laws care package and why I included them.  Thanks for stopping by Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy today.
Best wishes,

 Bath gels, bath bubbles and lotion. Here is a picture of some bubble bath, lotion and bath gel for those times when she needs to just relax alone with a warm bubble bath. I did read that lotions and bubbles without fragrance are often the preferred choice for patients.

 Light Reading Magazines:   These are so she can have fun flipping through the pages of a magazine, but not have to worry about remembering all of the details that would be included in a long book.  Sometimes a person's memory can be effected for the short term during chemo therapy treatments.  The drugs given can make patients more forgetful.  These mags are light reading and are meant to add some fun to her day.

Puzzles & Playing Cards: These are to help pass the time!  She loves to play cards with her girlfriends, and she is very good at crossword puzzles.  She can do very difficult puzzles.  These are medium level puzzles as I want her to have fun and fill in the answers and not get frustrated and stuck on too many.

These are Queasy Pops and they are something to have to help to ease an upset stomach.  She can slowly suck on each one and that will give her something to keep herself a bit busy while she waits for her chemo treatment to end.  I like that they come in a variety of flavors and they are made from natural ingredients. Unfortunately, chemo therapy does result in upset stomachs and nausea sometimes.

The hard candies are to help offset the dry mouth and yucky taste in the mouth that happens because of the chemo.  The black licorice is a treat for her.  That is her favorite kind of candy!  The chocolate is stronger kind of chocolate.  This is also a treat and I read that taste buds start to lighten up during the treatments and that stronger tasting foods are better and help to offset the blandness of foods.  So, dark chocolates, mints and strong tasting black licorice may still taste good to her. 

This is a picture of Biotene and a sore mouth rinse by Colgate.  The dry mouth symptom is a commonly reported one for patients undergoing cancer treatments.  I hope that the Biotene helps her out!  The Colgate rinse should help to clean and soothe her mouth if she starts to get sores.  

Not pictured: WATER!  I gave her several bottles of water and I plan to buy her a new cool water bottle.  This is to encourage her to sip water all day to help offset the dehydration that will be happening from the drugs. 

Salty snacks: She loves nuts and these have extra sea salt on them!  I heard that the steroids that are given during the treatments really make you crave salty foods.  Thus, the salty crackers and salty nuts shown! I also gave her some potato chips that I know she likes.  She deserves these salty treats!

Here are soft silky socks and a new pair of slippers.  These are to keep her feet warm and cozy and most of all, comfortable during her chemo treatments.  I hope she feels like she can take off her uncomfortable shoes and slip these puppies on.  If she doesn't want to wear the slippers, she could just also walk around in the socks because they have grippers on the bottom. 

Here is a picture of Eucerin.  This is a nice thing to apply to her radiation area that will become red and sore and I hope it helps to heal the area and to soothe the pain there.  Also, I included some all natural healing salve called Green Goo, and several Chapsticks to help soothe her dry lips. 

Here is a picture of some of the food that I gave to her.  I also plan to make some homemade chicken noodle and beef noodle soups this week, as I know she likes those kinds very much and she loves the homemade variety much more.  Also, we are starting to put together small meals for her that can be put in a container and frozen.  That way, she can just take out a container and un-thaw it easily in the microwave when she feels like eating.  I'm including a lot of healthy vegetables for the vitamins, a little extra salt and seasonings to help spice up the blandness that she may be tasting with all her foods due to her dulled taste buds, and meat to give her body some much needed protein to help build up her muscle strength. 

Items not pictures, but that would also be great to include:

A soft blanket for the person to use as they sit in a cold treatment room during their long IV runs of the chemo therapy and to also have for comfort at home when they feel chilly.  Make sure it is soft and warm and not rough at all.  A handmade blanket would be a very nice gift for your loved one. 

Gift cards for restaurants, iTunes, Amazon, Target, Walgreen etc..  Cooking could turn into a tiring endeavor and the smells that come from it may be nauseating.  Buying a restaurant gift card would be nice to help bring food to the household but in a easy and quick way.  The iTunes gift card can help to bring some new songs, apps or movies for watching and listening to on a person's iPad or iPhone. The Amazon gift card is perfect for buying some new books or games to a Kindle or for even for buying something that you need from Amazon on-line.  Ordering on- line is a nice alternative to having to have to go shopping at a busy and big mall or store. The Target or Walgreens gift cards are ideas to help offset the cost of the medications that will be needed.  Maybe find out where the person picks up there medications and buy a gift card for that store or pharmacy? 

Non-prescription medications. Here is a list of some of non-prescription pharmacy items that someone going through treatments may need too: Tylenol, Motrin, Claritin, Colase and Senakot- I'm sure the list is much longer, but it is start if you want to buy some to add to your care package. 

A gift of a housekeeping service to help clean.  It is best to keep things clean during the treatments and your loved one may not have the energy to clean their house. Radiation and chemotherapy treatments can bring a lot of fatigue to the patient. 

Water bottle and cups with straws.  I read that it is just easier to have straws in cups for drinking when you are in bed and that it is nice to always have water, ginger ale, and juice around to drink.  Chemo therapy makes people VERY thirsty. 

Soft hats and nice scarves.  The softness is essential when the person's hair starts to fall out and they serve as a stylish cover-up. 

Kleenex and hand sanitizer.  The sanitizer is nice to have to help to keep the germs away.  A persons immune system is going to go down during treatments.  Please do not go around a person in treatments you are sick!  The hand sanitizer is to help to protect the patient from outside germs.  The Kleenex will be beneficial for the runny nose that also does occur often during treatments. Here's something to know: low immunity is due to low blood cell counts.and low blood cell counts occur because of the chemotherapy's effect on blood cells made in the bone marrow.  Blood cell counts often reach their lowest level around 7 to 14 days after the start of chemotherapy. Bone marrow suppression is the most common and most serious side effect of chemotherapy.  When it happens, the dose of chemotherapy is adjusted right away!  

Here's a link to read more information about the side effect of chemotherapy: 
Read more:

Cards and hand written notes of encouragement.  Don't forget to add your encouraging words and caring thoughts to your care package.  A hand written message means a lot to people, especially in this electronic age of emails. 

Heating pad, rice bags and ice packs.  These can help to comfort sore muscles and can be very nice to help to relieve mild muscle pain. 

Thank you for reading!  I hope you found the post helpful and God Bless! Manda 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway, "First Words A Focus on Final Consonants".

My students whom are working on final consonant deletions and I had the pleasure of reading a delightful new book in therapy this week.  The book is entitled: Easy-To-Say First Words-A Focus on Final Consonants. It was developed by a skilled Speech-Language Pathologist named, Cara Tambellini Danielson. The book is illustrated by her talented mother, Mary Tambellini. This book is recommended for speech-language pathologist and parents of children developing their first words.  It can be found at Amazon and is currently on sale for $10.39. 
Currently, I am treating three younger students (3 years and younger) whom all have goals to help reduce their final consonant deletions that occur during their speech.  This book was a perfect addition to their therapy sessions. The book targets easy-to-say one-syllable words that contain early developing consonants, most specifically, the sounds of /p/, /t/ and /k/.  Two of my students are able to produce the /p/ and /t/ but the third is not quite ready for the /k/ sound but we enjoyed looking at the wonderfully illustrated pictures in this section together as I modeled the sound for her.
In the beginning of the book there is a very useful parent guide which discusses how parents can help their child with his/her speech and language skills. These tips include helpful suggestions such as; ensuring that their child is looking at them, utilizing pausing before the last word is spoken on each page, using gestures, encouraging play with the word targets, responding with enthusiasm with speech attempts and the suggestion to make book reading fun and engaging.
The book then begins with the words targeting the final /p/ sound. The words in this section include: up, mop,  hop, beep, and cup. An example page from this section is shown here. 


The illustrations in the entire book are very adorable. It was super cute to see how the faces of my little students just lit up by seeing them on each page.  I also saw how they anticipated seeing the next page and hoped for a page turn.  The illustrations shown are engaging!  

In addition to reading the book during the session, I also modeled the sign for each age appropriate word  that was shown, and then utilized a visual phonic for the final consonant for each targeted word.  These three students all attempted either the sign, phonic and/or verbalization for each word.  I also liked how each page encouraged three attempts of the word. This too is similar to how I approach word targets (three repetitions) to help increase consistently and overall production.

The /t/ section included the following words: hat, bat, hot, eat and boat. Here is picture of the hat pages. The owl is beyond cute.


The /k/ section targets the words of: book, kick, cake, bike, and duck.  The sweet and cute illustrations continued to help my students stay engaged.   The book was just the right length for a young child's attention span. Each session with my students was fun and productive.  I wrote each word on a take home practice sheet (from our Easter Eggstravaganza unit) and provided supplemental visual phonic sheets for the /p/, /t/ and /k/ for each family.  A parent for these little ones participated in each session with us so I knew they were more then capable to provide continued home carryover practice with their child.

I highly recommended this book to be part of all pediatric speech-language pathologists therapy materials. It is also perfect for parents of children working on developing their early words as it has a very useful parent guide in the beginning which will assist them in how to best read it to their children.

A copy of this book was provided to me by, Cara Tambellini for the sake of this review. The opinions are my own and result from the direct use of the book in a therapeutic  setting. Cara is generously providing a free copy to one of the readers of this review today.  Thank you Cara! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win a copy of this great book!

Have a wonderful day and good luck!
Shanda Gaunt, SLP

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author bio:- Cara Tambellini Danielson is a California licensed and ASHA Certified Speech- Language Pathologist. She received her M.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University. Cara specializes in pediatric speech and language development.  She currently lives in Santa Monica, California where she works in elementary schools, early intervention, and her part-time private practice.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Did you say GIVEAWAY? Yep, and a review of Smarty Ears iName it App too!

What is something that we can't seem to have enough of at our speech clinic?  Functional apps, that's what! That is why we were excited to find out about Smarty Ears app named, iName it and to complete a review about it for you!  In order to review it properly, we tried this app out with several clients at the speech clinic and we are now back with our results to share with everyone. 

 We hope you enjoy reading about iName it.  When you are done reading the review, please don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end.  The winner of the Rafflecopter giveaway will be granted one free iName it app to use in their own therapy rooms.  Wonderful news, huh?!  Good luck and thanks so much for coming by Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC today to read about the Smarty Ears app named iName it! 

Here we go: 
This is the cover page of the app.  We like it because it is where we can easily access a video tutorial on how to use the app and other support.  In addition, we think it is professional looking and appropriate for the aphasic adults that we tried this app out with. Our first impression of the iName it app was that it would be a very appropriate app to use with our clients whom are experiencing expressive aphasia. Currently we have two clients coming to the clinic who have recently experienced cerebrovascular accidents (CVA's). A CVA/stroke is defined as a lack of oxygen to an area of the brain. Unfortunately, the strokes have affected their ability to express themselves without error and to initiate speech and they have both been diagnosed with expressive aphasia.  

Expressive aphasia defined: 
The loss of the ability to produce language.  It occurs in approximately 12% of new cases of aphasia caused by a stroke and in most cases, it is caused by a stroke in the Broca's are of the brain. 

It's easy to get started with using the iName it app.  Just click on "Start Practice" from the front page and then "New" that is found on the second page shown.  From there, add a name and a client photo from your iPad photo library, and/or Avatar photo that is provided from a choice list. This app was designed for only one user to use at a time.

Next you will see the room choices of a bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom, and garage.  Side note inserted here-  Oh how we want this house! It is just beautiful, new and modern looking.  Can we move in? ha! 

OK, back to the review... :) Click on one of the rooms shown and you will be taken to it.  The room that you have chosen will contain 10 targeted items to name.  This is where the functionality of this app is shown! What could be more functional than working on naming actual items found in a person's living environment?  I'm talking about the items that you see and use every day of your life.  Well, of course, the benefit of learning to name these items would increase caregiver/family communication breakdowns tremendously.  The 50 functional items targeted in this app are all clearly shown, appropriate for speech practice and will increase your client's ability to communicate effectively with loved ones.

After choosing the bedroom you will find that a beautiful colored version of the bedroom will be shown. It is from here that you should tap on one of the ten items that are shown.  The item that gets selected remains in color while the rest of the bedroom becomes less obvious because it gets grayed out. This is a nice feature, as it makes the background items less obvious and distracting while the client works on naming the targeted item shown up in front of the screen. 

If the client can name the item without clues, than great!  Just click on the green check button that is shown at the upper right hand corner of the page and go on to the next item.  If the client has trouble naming it, than click on this a blue button and prompts will be displayed at the bottom of the screen that are common "clues" that some people need in order to produce the word verbally.  

Here is a picture of the prompts that our clients needed the most in order to successfully name the objects shown: phonemic (first part of the word shown), semantic (a definition was given), phrase completion ( put the clothes in the___), and whole word (the word was shown: dresser). Using the clues options are a great way to elicit success with naming tasks.  Some clients only need one little clue in order to successfully get the word out and this kind of advice is good to share with their family members and caregivers.  For instance, we may tell the caregiver to be careful to not just name the item for their loved one, but to just give them the initial sound of the object in order for the loved one to name it themselves. We believe that is much nicer for the client to name the item given a small clue than it is for the caregiver to just provide the answer, as this does not give the client any chance to work on "exercising" their naming skills.  Giving the "answers" per say, will only reduce the opportunity to stimulate the brain area that needs to be exercised in order to make new neural pathways and to overall increase verbal naming skills.  In our opinions, the client who has the opportunity to work hard and to do more of the naming task on their own will recover more quickly. 

Here is a picture of the data that has been collected while using the app. We have clicked on "Data report" and the date that we have used the app, the overall accuracy of naming with or without cues, and the type of cues used were displayed.  The collected data is terrific to have for charting progress and for reporting status results to the client and for inputting in their daily and monthly progress notes.  The reports can be printed out, emailed and exported to other places like a drop box.  

In summary:
We loved using this app with our clients who are struggling to name objects as a result of the strokes that they had unfortunately experienced.  We were able to witness a lot of naming success that was quick and independent and/or done with the provided cueing techniques that were offered in the app on each page.  We do believe that this also would be a perfect and wonderful addition to any therapy room that needs to help advance the verbal expression skills of their aphasic clients.  

With that said, we also wanted to make sure that we mentioned how we both also work with children of all ages and we did use this app with some of them lately too!   We were able to work on increasing their vocabulary skills and their naming skills of functional objects that are found in their environments.  We were also able to easily go beyond the therapy task of naming to other language based therapy tasks too.  For instance, we worked on category item naming with one student.  We asked, "Can you think of three more items that you see in a bedroom that you don't see in this picture".  We worked on overall verbal expression with another student by asking that student to develop their own sentence using the picture named.  The student responded, "The boy plays chess with his Dad".  Finally, we also worked on advancing language skills by asking another student to describe the object and to provide the use for the object shown.  This helped to increase his use of adjectives and object functions. 

This professionally made app is a wonderful tool for advancing the verbal expression skills of a large variety of clients.  We would highly recommend that you purchase it yourself and give it a try.  We both believe that the pictures and clues shown will improve your clients ability to name useful and functional objects that are typically found in their home environments. 

The iName It app currently sells for $14.99. You can download a copy of this app in the iTunes store here.

Please don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway in order to try to win your own FREE copy!  

Best wishes,
Manda & Shanda, SLPs
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC

Please know: Smarty Ears provided us with a free copy of the app for the above review.  All of the opinions provided on this review are our own and result from the actual use of the app in a therapeutic context. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Favorite Therapy Item Thursday: A guest post from Carissa from Home Sweet Speech Room- Word Flips from Super Duper!

Hello, we are so happy to host the sweet and smart Carissa from Home Sweet Speech Room today.  Have you visited her fun and helpful blog lately?  If not, you really should.  She has a lot of great links to useful and creative therapy materials.  To start, why not check out her FREEBIES? From there head to her Teachers pay Teachers store where she has 67 products for sale! Wow, that's a lot! 

Carissa is guest posting on her favorite therapy item called Word Flips.  We have two copies of this book at our clinic and we love to flip through those functional pictures for our early talkers just like she does!  Without further ado... here's Carissa's wonderful guest post for our monthly Favorite Therapy Item Thursday post!   

Manda & Shanda

First, let me say how excited I am that Manda and Shanda invited me to guest post today!  I love their idea to spotlight SLPs' favorite materials.  I think I will need to start adding to my own collection!!

One of my favorite therapy items is Word Flips from Super Duper!  This product is available as a physical book or as an app.
I started out using this book with one of my young patients with suspected apraxia.   A brief history:  He came to us not saying much at all.  He was barely imitating sounds and syllables.  So we started working on bilabial syllables (just one).  We bumped it up to combining two syllables and eventually three as he was ready.  Eventually, we moved on from bilabials to alveolars and so on.  I'm happy to tell you he is now working on phrases and suprasegmentals more than he is syllables!  However, he still requests to start with this book as a warm-up every single session!

I'm a firm believer in using REAL words, which is why I love this product! These are CV combinations, but they are also real words.  This allows the patient/ student to have correct productions of practical words that will likely be in their young vocabulary.   Another great thing about this product is you can always make sentences out of these words.

One side note--a great thing about the app is that it can take data for you!

This is a great product for our younger friends, and it is one I plan on purchasing for myself! (I had just been using the hospital's copy).

Have you used this product?? 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Product Review: Assessment of Monolingual and Bilingual Children with Down Syndrome Syndrome

I had the extreme pleasure of reviewing a Smart Speech Therapy LLC product titled: Comprehensive Assessment of Monolingual and Bilingual Children with Down Syndrome.  This wonderful presentation was written by the brilliant and resourceful,Tatyana Elleseff MA CCC-SLP.  Tatyana is a bilingual SLP who works with a variety of hospital based and private clients in Central, New Jersey.   She specializes in working with multicultural, internationally and domestically adopted, as well as, at-risk children with complex communication disorders.

The 90 page presentation is comprehensive to say the least!  It is loaded with useful background information on Down Syndrome (DS), assessment details, treatment goal examples, and my favorite: actual examples of write-ups based on real-life clients!  This presentation is just what I needed to expand on my knowledge base of Down Syndrome (DS), on how to assess a monolingual or bilingual child with DS using the correct and most functionally based assessments, and how to correctly set up their treatment plans so that the goals are functional and appropriate for each and every individual child that I see. 

Here are highlights from some of the sections

The introduction: 
Here I read about prevalence rates of DS and the range of severity of development for speech, motor and life skills, cognitive abilities and health problems. 

Feeding and swallowing:
I was interested to learn about how low muscle tone, gastrointestinal issues, stomach and bowel dysmotility, respiratory and cardiac issues can contribute to reduced swallowing and feeding issues in this section of the presentation.

Craniofacial Anatomy & the Effect on Speech:
Anatomical differences such as smaller than normal maxilla can contribute to reduced speech intelligibility.  This section also brings up the increased rate of dysluencies in the DS population.  I found it very interesting to find out that stuttering and/or cluttering can occur in DS at rates of 10 to 45% compared to about 1% in the general population.  Did you know that?  I didn't prior to reviewing this well researched presentation. 

Language Deficits: 
In these sections I was able to read about strengths and weaknesses related to language learning for DS children.  Did you know that generally comprehension is achieved well before word production for this population?  Also, that learning language can be affected by reduced hearing, auditory discrimination, verbal short-term memory and delayed vocabulary and grammar development. 

Strengths and weaknesses in DS:
There's a wide range of strengths for this population (e.g., visual processing).  It was nice to read the list so that I can build my therapy goals of the child's strengths in order to successfully tackle some of the weaker learning areas for the child (e.g., attention span). 

Wow!  This is where Tatyana lists and describes components found in actual tests like the Functional Communication Profile (FCP-R) that should be used for the standardized section of a speech and language evaluation.  She emphasizes that functional assessments are key because they don't just reveal deficits but showcase strengths, which can then be utilized effectively in intervention planning and therapy. I don't have some of the tests mentioned in this section, but I do hope to obtain some as they look very useful.
Later in this section of the presentation, Tatyana also lists the components in infant-toddler checklists, and free online assessments tools.  Just great!

Bilingualism and Down Syndrome section:
Tatyana's expertise on how to assess and treat children who speak more than one language at home really shines through in this section.  I learned about the key components needed when completing an assessment with a bilingual child with DS.  She even listed the actual questions that I would need to ask in order to complete a successful parent interview.  The information provided in this section was very useful and I do have a Spanish & English speaking child to assess soon at my outpatient speech therapy clinic and I plan to utilize the information found in this section for completing the assessment correctly!  

What follows next are the sample write ups.  This information is so helpful for me.  I learn and understand by example and so these write ups are priceless.  I got to read about how an actual assessment section would be written up for areas such as:

feeding and swallowing
cup drinking
oral motor mechanism examination
voice and resonance
adaptive behavior and learning style
pragmatic language assessment
receptive language sample
expressive language sample
vocabulary assessment
and more...

And like that wasn't enough?  Tatyana also includes several pages on how to write up appropriate treatment goals for the children that were assessed.  The writing therapy goal section contains information on how to write measurable goals, types of cues and prompts, and then goes on to show actual therapy goals!!!  I couldn't believe it when I saw them.  She listed a large variety of long and short term goals for actual treatment goal areas e.g., articulation, receptive language, play skills, expressive language and pragmatic language. 

This presentation is a valuable resource and I would highly recommend that you purchase it today.  It will help increase your understanding of DS population, improve your ability to assess monolingual and bilingual children with DS, and it will make you look like the best therapy goal writer ever!  

Where can you find this wonderful presentation?  Well, head to Tatyana's online store now to purchase and download today.  You won't regret it! See the information below. 

Thank you so much for reading this product review today.  

Shanda, SLP
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC

You can find this product in The Smart Speech Therapy LLC Online Store on sale for $24.99 HERE.
Other Helpful Resources Produced by Smart Speech Therapy LLC:

·         Social Pragmatic Deficits Checklist for Preschool Children 
·         Behavior Management Strategies for Speech Language Pathologists
·         Executive Function Impairments in At-Risk Pediatric Populations

Tatyana Elleseff MA CCC-SLP is a bilingual SLP with a full time hospital affiliation as well as private practice in Central, NJ. She specializes in working with multicultural, internationally and domestically adopted as well as at-risk children with complex communication disorders. For more information visit her
BLOG, STORE, or follow her Facebook page.
Did you know it is World Down Syndrome Day today (March 21, 2014)? What an important day to honor these wonderful individuals and spread awareness. Thank you for stopping by our blog today to learn about this amazing product by Tatyana Elleseff and for spreading the word on World Down Syndrome Day.


Shanda and Manda


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Speachy Feedback! 2 Winners! March 2014 Linky

Once a month, Allison from Allison's Speech Peeps hosts a wonderful Linky party which recognizes great feedback received at our Speech Teachers pay Teachers stores.  Manda and I love to participate in this since we REALLY appreciate the nice feedback we receive when someone leaves it after downloading one of our products. We read each and every comment. Every comment is terrific to see and all of the feedback helps us to make our packets better. This month we are picking two people. One who left feedback on a paid product AND someone who left feedback on a free product.
After much deliberation (since we had so many great choices) we chose these two!

Usernames Debbie Staloff and Tracy Ann OLeary email us at for a free non- bundled product from our store!  You two are awesome! Thank you so much for leaving such great feedback!!

Thank you so much for purchasing our Roll, Dot and Say /SH/ Packet.

On Sale! Roll, Dot & Say Quick Print & NO PREP Articulatio

Thank you so much for trying out our Patriotic Pronouns and Prepositions Freebie!

FREEBIE: Patriotic Pronouns and Prepositions

Everyone can click on the Linky image above or HERE to to see if you may have won at other Speech Blogs too. 

Thanks for the great feedback everyone!

Have a wonderful day!

Shanda and Manda, SLPs

Product Review: AAC Daily Item Requesting Activity by SpeechPage

Hello and thank you for stopping by Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC today in order to read about a wonderful product from SpeechPage Publishing Company called: AAC Requesting of Daily Items Activity in 4D

When you buy the Intro to AAC Requesting Daily Items Activity 4D, you will you receive 24 daily item pieces and 24 matching AAC symbols that are designed to introduce common vocabulary of functional items such as clothes, snacks and bathroom items. The best thing is that each item arrives at your door laminated!  Oh, how we love ignoring our own laminator by buying pre-laminated items that are already cut out for us!  This is just dreamy! Laminated items are of course the best to have.  The lamination makes the items durable and available for repetitive uses for many years and this makes them the best purchase for your money.  The other wonderful element is that many of the items from SpeechPage come velcroed or Velcro ready for interactive movement during a planned speech therapy session.  This is the style of therapy that Shanda and I both perform with our younger students and that is why we are big fans of SpeechPage products!  
Now to show you how to use this wonderful product!  To start, here are pictures of two of the boards included in the packet. 

The first board shown is the board that provides pictures of snacks and drinks.  The pictures can be matched up together up on the pictured table or taken off one by one upon therapist request.  We asked one of our less verbal students with an Autism diagnosis to pick a picture and to put it on the pictured table to show us an item that they like to have at snack time at their house. This child's receptive language skills are higher than his expressive communication and we have seen him follow 2-step commands without error and so he was able to pick up the picture of the popcorn and the milk that was laid out in from of him. He then put it on the picture of the table.  He did a great job communicating via AAC that he likes popcorn and milk by demonstrating those choice of pictures! 
From there, we gave some simple "yes" and "no" questions about milk and popcorn.  For instance, "Is milk cold?" "Do you like butter on your popcorn?" After that, we even took a side trip to the clinic kitchen to make popcorn! We wanted to show him how the act of choosing a picture of an item wanted can turn into a reasonable request for an actual item.  It was fun to watch the popcorn pop in the microwave and it gave us an awesome opportunity to practice our /P/ sound by saying, "pop". 

The AAC request activity provided us with a great tool to help demonstrate to the child and to the child's mother who was present that communication boards do work well for helping to communicate wants and needs to others.  They also serve as a wonderful catalyst for speech production and encourage the use of verbalization's along with the use of the communication board.  They are very useful for helping to increase communication outside of the speech therapy session and into the students home and school environments.  They really can be the best answer for the non-verbal child and this AAC item is a wonderful way to practice to see if a child is able to use one.

And in this picture we are working with an older more verbal child.  We have asked him to produce a full sentence in order to request the picture to fill up his pictured bathroom sink area.  For example, he was provided with an initial model sentence, but was then asked to produce the full sentences on his own like: "May I have the toothbrush?"  He then placed the toothbrush near the sink on his bathroom item themed AAC mat after his request and after Shanda handed it to him. He and Shanda had a wonderfully interactive speech session!  The child was able to work on receptive language by following directions and also articulation and verbal expression.  It was found out from this sentence level interaction that the child needed to work on a slower rate of speech and over-articulation of some sounds to improve his intelligibility.  They even worked on one specific sound after it was found to be distorted in sentence length speech.  One that was not distorted at the word level. So that was a good catch! 

There are a number of productive uses for these AAC requesting boards.  We have used them for practicing direction following and other receptive language tasks, articulation and verbal expression, and even for helping to build vocabulary.  We love knowing that we have them in our therapy tool box to be used at anytime and we hope that you may consider purchasing them for yourself. You can purchase the wonderfully colorful and durable AAC Daily Items Requesting Activity Packet for $26.94 on line at  The awesome thing is that I just read that they are currently having a sale too!  It looks like you can save an additional 8% off your order by entering the code TAKE8  at checkout!  Isn't that great?!

Have a wonderful day and thank you for reading about this product!

 Manda & Shanda, SLPs
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC

*Speechpage provided a copy of this product for the purposes of this review. The opinions are our own.


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