Monday, April 29, 2013

Cinco De Mayo at Speech This Week!



Some of our speech and language students started at our main speech room door. They helped to move the cactus around using different prepositions, attempted saying and repeating Spanish phrases, and answered "yes" and "no" and "WH" questions about the Cinco De Mayo Theme.

Next they moved out into the hallway. They named colors and attempted to say the Spanish color names after hearing us produce them slowly too! Then, they picked out a Mexican Cowboy hat for the scavenger hunt which came next!

On the scavenger hunt they found different colored beads and maracas as they filled their Mexican Cowboy or Cowgirl hat! Different goals for each student were addressed i.e., this boy was working on his /s/ sound, another was attempting to name the colors, and yet another repeated full sentences, "I found a red beaded necklace."
Guess what they found at the end of the scavenger hunt? A TACO BAR! Each student was able to choose what kind of taco they would like to make (hard shell, soft shell, or a walking taco). They needed to follow the directions to make them as seen on the picture direction sheet. Spanish naming and articulation goals were addressed for each individual student, as well, as sequencing, memory of tasks, and open ended "wh" questions. For example, "What step did we do first, second...?" or "What is your favorite ingredient in a taco?" 

This student chose to make a taco bowl! A yummy treat for him to take home or to munch on while we practice a receptive or writing activity next.

Back to the main speech room! It is here where we used our maracas to sound out each of our multi-syllable words, to shake the number of syllables in words, and for saying each word slowly and carefully in a 4 or 6 word sentence.  
Depending on the goal, we fed the sombrero our cards! Many ages of kids enjoy doing this-ha!  Some of the cards/goals that were used were: Listening for details, Naming/RepeatingSpanish family members/Spanish body parts/Spanish numbers/Spanish letters and Spanish Phrases, Name the synonym, Name the Antonym, Formulate a Question From Two Words and Naming Items in a Category.  We also used our Spanish articulation cards.  All of these targets are from our Cinco De Mayo and Spanish Articulation Packets!
This student loves game boards and he always asks me if we can play a "chase" game-ha! We had a great time playing our Cinco De Mayo themed game this week as we targeted his goal of naming items in a category.
Here is a speech student practicing his /f/ sound followed by a vowel using paint dotters!
Crafts are always fun too! This student made this fiesta themed frame from Oriental Trading Company as we practiced his articulation goal of the initial "s" in phrases!

We liked to finish with talking about what we learned today. We discussed: sombreros, Mexico, maracas, music, Spanish words, tacos and Cinco De Mayo while we painted or colored a picture!

Speech and Language therapy is fun, fun, fun!!!
Here are links to our Cinco De Mayo Packets that are filled with a large variety of speech, language and literacy therapy cards and worksheets.  Free pages are included at the previews.  Go on over to our stores to pick one up today so that you can have a muy bien fiesta in your room this week too!:)

Buenos días!

Manda and Shanda, SLP's
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy

Thursday, April 25, 2013


expressive-icon-smallExpressive is an AAC app from Smarty Ears.  It has recently been advanced to the version of 3.1.1. Expressive would be appropriate to use with children and adults who do not have the ability to communicate verbally, but who need and want to express their daily wants and needs to others.  The individuals could be having difficulty communicating due to autism, apraxia, stroke or any other communication disorder.  An AAC (Alternative Augmentative Communication) application such as Expressive will give the user the ability to communicate by pressing pictures and having the audio relay the words that they want to communicate.  In the updated version, many new important features are present.  It now has over 10,000 built-in images, it allows for customization from a selection of images with audio, and it also has the ability to make your own audio recordings.  It is compatible with the  iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad. It also has built in text to speech with four different voices (two female and two male).  It has the ability to change background colors for better visibility of desired folders.  In addition, the app has the features of a lock feature, a search button to find images, the ability to use in landscape and portrait modes and the ability to change the font style.

Expressive helps to increase the ability to model communication. It is a device which can help a facilitator use it as an Aided Language Input (ALI) application.  The teacher gives valuable lessons by modeling how to use the pictures to achieve verbal output which then increases the chances the learner can achieve expression.  It allows for frequent active participation. The learner initiates communication over and over by needing to maneuver through the application features for their intended outcome. This makes the application enticing and motivating to use. Meaningful feedback is achieved by the learner being able to choose desirable pictures for their wanted objects. An example of this would be pressing 'I want" then pressing "apple". The immediate feedback of getting an apple from this communication exchange helps it to become very meaningful.   Expressive not only helps a person express themselves, but also provides a tool to help them increase their receptive language as well. Overall, the application improves communication skills!

a) What we like about this application is that it uses a functional language approach.
b) It has large library of pictures.
c) It has a good capacity for pre-stored and generative requests of objects or actions.
d) It has a good capacity for core word messages such as; pronouns, helping verbs, descriptors and conjunctions.
e) It has some capacity for telling new stories and narratives. 
f) It can be used with early sentence users (2-5 words using multiple cells) and it can also increase to complex sentences. 
g) It allows for communication exchanges such as social situations, requesting and sharing of information.
h) It has good support provided from Smarty Ears (see link below).
i) It has many pre-programmed folders/words to use and the new upgrade gives you the ability to create your own folders as well. We especially think that the ability to color code each folder is a nice feature.
i) Lastly, the new lock feature helps when not wanting folders to be deleted accidentally.

One slight disappointment about this app is that although the app has four voices that can be used, the voices are synthesized (computer generated), and are not as pleasing to the ear as a digitized (recorded) voice would be.

Overall, we would highly recommend this app for it's use as an AAC device. The recent upgrades made to the application have made it more user friendly and a highly desirable choice in the AAC app pool.
If your are a visual learner, you can watch this video created by Smarty Ears which goes through the updated features of the application:


Expressive has a dedicated website with more information. Please visit Click on image bellow to be redirected:

Expressive can be found at Itunes for the price of $25.99.

Give it a try!
Shanda and Manda, SLP's

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mother's Day Speech, Language, and Articulation Therapy Packet

Please download the preview document at our TPT and TN stores to find your FREE pages of some of what you will find in this lovely Mother's Day packet and to read the content specifics!
We are continuing our trend of offering comprehensive treatment packets for holiday's with this great Mother's Day packet! We have included a large variety of speech, language, and articulation cards and worksheets for your Mother's Day themed speech and language therapy session.

Manda & Shanda, SLP's

Friday, April 19, 2013


Today we are reviewing the new 3.2 version of the Articulate It! app by Smarty Ears. It is currently available in the iTunes store for the price of $38.99 which is comparable in price to other articulation apps like ArtikPix by Expressive Solutions LLC for $29.99 or Articulation Pro by Little Bee Speech for $49.99.

Articulate It! was recently revised and it has improved from its older version by adding some cool new features like; varying degrees of complexity and number of syllables, the ability to import students from the awesome Smarty Ears Therapy Report Center, and one of our favorite features: the ability to record productions, store, and send the recordings via email! We already have parents thanking us for those cool email attachments!

You should know that Articulate It! was designed and developed by a Speech-Language Pathologist.  That is apparent when you start using it and find out that it includes all of the phonemes and words a SLP would like to have when addressing articulation and phonological goals with their students.  The app provides phonemes at the word, phrase and sentences levels, digraphs, and consonant clusters.  The app can also target individual phonemes, a certain phonological process, and even manners of articulation for one or 6 players at a time (great for group therapy situations).

Choice screen: Choose your therapy focus here: phonemes, phonological processes,
manner of articulation or number of syllables.
Phonological processes choice screen: Choose from fronting, stopping, deafrication, initial consonant deletion,
 backing, gliding, final consonant deletion, and consonant cluster reduction
Select the phoneme choice screen: Choose one or more than one phoneme.
 Choose from p, m, h, w, n, b, d, j, y, t, k, g, ng, f, ch, r, l, v, th, s, z, sh, r/l/s clusters.
The ability to choose, "Quick Play" exists on the first page. This option is nice if you want to play without having to have to select a player. I chose this method with a client when I realized that I only had five minutes left of our session.  Thus, we had just enough time to do a quick play!
One would be encouraged to, "Select a Player" if they wanted to track therapy progress for a student. After selecting your player or players, then choose the therapy focus: phonemes, phonological processes, manner of articulation, or number of syllables.  The options are illustrated in the screen shots above. The amount of choices are amazing! There are 26 phoneme options, 8 options for phonological processes, 7 options for manner of articulation, and 4 options for number of syllables.  

When the session begins, you will find a wide variety of words to choose from. A list to check and un-check words to be presented is given. Then, one will notice that the therapy pictures will immediately follow and the student will be presented with colorful pictures that clearly illustrate the targeted word. A clear audible production of the word can also be heard by pressing on the picture. This picture was taken from the "TH" phoneme initial position at the word level shown above.

While using the app, you will have therapy data tracked for the selected students by clicking on the correct (a check mark) or incorrect button (X)  provided at the bottom of each screen.  The ability to record the student is also available by pressing the "Record" button.  The recordings can be stored into sound files that can be later found at the report cards or heard back immediately for feedback during your therapy session by pressing, "Play."

Please note: The settings can be changed on this app.  For instance, one can turn off the sounds made by correct and incorrect production tracking, the tally marks can be turned off, the written word can be taken off, and pictures can be moved by swipes instead of by making check or X response.  These options are nice for children who get a bit too concerned with their performance numbers.

When at this screen, you can access scores for each activity and level practiced. If you click "Notes" you can see all of the notes documented during the activity. If you click "Words" you can see a list of the words that were presented during he therapy session. If you click "Recordings" you can hear all of the individual recordings made during the session. Lastly, if you click "Share" you will be given the option to immediately print out results on an air printer, or to have the results emailed to you.

Are you a visual learner?  If so, view the video tutorial provided below. 
. Video Tutorial:

Our overall thoughts:

Overall, we really like this app.  It is comprehensive and easy to navigate through.  We can target every phoneme and phonological process under the sun!  I can’t think of an articulation or phonological process goal that we have for our students that wouldn’t be covered by this app. 

This app is complete in that it provides many sounds, phonological process targets with the additional features of getting to target words at the phrase and sentence level and the choice of choosing one to four syllable words.  We often work on the verbal production of multi-syllable words with our students, so those word lists are quite valuable to us!
We think that this app elicits a lot of verbal productions from each student without a lot of feedback or reward given after their productions. For instance, a reward sticker or game is not provided after working hard on a list, or a button for the SLP to indicate close approximations is not provided.  A verbal affirmation is not even provided like, "That was close" or "Good work." As a result, the students who do not like "drill work" can grow tired of this app after only a couple of word list presentations. A short reward for hard work world be nice for the students.  They all love games and the games or reward pages do not have to be hard or long, just simply something to look forward to after all of their hard work has been completed.

We find the data collecting feature on this app priceless.  The data is collected easily and stored for a later download that could be put in the student’s therapy file or even emailed to a parent who is always happy to see the progress being made by their child.  Of course the data can also be stored on the Smarty Ears Therapy Report Center app location too.  That's where data from this app and all of the other great Smarty Ears apps can be found for the students that you have entered in there.

We don’t often work in groups at our clinic, but we can imagine that the feature of being able to add up to six players and to rotate the screen by a push of the button so that their target is in front of the student while seated at a table would be super cool for school speech therapists who often work in groups! In addition, the option to have student progress saved at the Therapy Report Center must be very nice for SLP's with large caseloads.  All of the students on their caseloads names and therapy session data can be stored there.  That makes for a nice summary and a written report that can be read for report writing later.
We think that the wide variety of pictures provided are colorful, clear, age appropriate and easy to interpret.

We think that therapists should still provide a mirror and the visual production models on how to produce the sounds while using this app. Video visuals of where to put the articulators are not provided on this app. The students are not able to look at themselves produce the sounds either.

We are super excited to have this comprehensive articulation app in our therapy tool box and I just know that we will use it every day!  If you would like to buy one, please head on over to the iTunes store.  We think that you won’t regret the decision!  If you are feeling lucky, why don’t you go ahead and enter our Rafflecopter drawing below.  We’ll cross our fingers for you!!
Best wishes,

Manda & Shanda, SLP’s
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TH & SH Word Bug Smash & S & L Word Bug Hunt Articulation Games + SEEK-N-FINDS!


Bugs, bugs bugs!! 
They aren't always scary.  In fact, some can be amazingly cute! That is why we are featuring them in our therapy room this week!  It is a great springtime theme and the kiddos are loving it! 

- We are going on bug hunts for articulation and reading goal work.
- We are smashing bugs with fly swatters for more reading and articulation work.
- We are talking about concepts by completing cute Melissa & Doug magnet bug puzzles.
- We are examining bugs hid in grass left over from an Easter basket to target adjectives.
- We are fishing for bugs that like to swim in water to practice our grammar production of present tense verbs and the concepts of colors and numbers.
- We are even sticking bugs on paper from cute sticker scenes provided by Oriental Trading Company to practice the verbal expression of multi-syllable words and sentences.  For example, "I put the bee on." And, "grasshopper" and "ladybug." 

All of that and SO MUCH MORE is being done this week during our bug themed speech therapy week at the speech clinic!  We just can't list all of the speech, language and literacy activities being targeted, or we would seriously go BUGGY!  

Here's one of our bug themed documents that you may want for your own fun bug themed therapy sessions.  In addition, if you go to one of our stores you can even receive some free pages on the preview download.  You will find a cute blue bird "to feed" bugs to, a fun seek-n-find sheet and two bug articulation pages for your own bug hunts.  Enjoy those!

Our buyers note:
Have a ton of fun this spring and download this new Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy document! Also, please download the preview to see pictures and to read the contents of this fun bug articulation game unit! We have also provided our signature FREE pages for your use and review!

Smash and hunt your way to work on the later speech sounds of TH, SH, S & L in the initial, medial, and final position of words with this fun spring themed bug articulation unit!

Note: All of these colorful spring themed pages also look great if printed out with a black ink only option chosen at your printer option page in order to save on printer ink.

Manda & Shanda

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thoughts & Prayers For Those In Boston

We were both deeply saddened to hear of the
explosions at the Boston Marathon today.
Our thoughts & prayers are with those affected by the tragedy.
Manda & Shanda 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Drawing for our Dolch Words Level 1 & 2 Bug Smash Game + Magnifying Glass Seek-n-Finds

Is it a Speech Language Pathologist's Role to Help With The Advancement of Literacy Skills???
You betcha it is!!
Read the position statement on this fact located at the end of this post for further information.  It is from the American Speech- Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
© Copyright 2001 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. All rights reserved.
That is why you will find rhyming units, word reading, and other literacy advancement documents at our Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy blog site and stores.  We think that the advancement of literacy is a crucial element of what we can do as Speech Language Pathologist's to help children advance in their school success skills. 
Literacy = Language!

Why teach Dolch Sight Words?
Because fluency in reading the Dolch 220 and the 95 nouns is essential to literacy.
Why present the learning in a fun game style?
Because when kids are having fun they don't mind working on reading words, especially the sight words that don't always sound out the way they look.

Contents and Directions of our fun new Dolch Sight Word Reading Packet:
Page 3: Content page.
Pages 4: Bug Smash Game Direction pages.
Page 5: What is a Dolch Sight Word Explanation page.
Pages 6: Level One Dolch Sight Word List. Use this page as a reading screener and for keeping track of the words that the child can and cannot read.
Pages 7 to 15: Level One Dolch Sight Word Flies.
Pages 16: Level Two Dolch Sight Word List.
Pages 17 to 27: Level Two Dolch Sight Word Flies.
Page 28: Labeling cards for the two fly card packs.
Pages 29: Feed the frog reinforcer page. Print, laminate and cut out the card insertion area. Student reads the word and then is asked to “feed” the frogs by putting the word fly into the frogs mouth.
Page 30: Fill the net reinforcer page.
Pages 31-32: Magnifying glass Seek-n-Finds for Level One words.

 Pages 33-34: Magnifying glass Seek-n-Finds for Level Two words.
Pages 35-36 Extra pages: Dolch Sight Word Noun Seek-n-Finds. The student is asked to read the Dolch noun word and then looks for the picture of the noun. The student circles the picture once it has been found.
Page 37-38: Dolch Sight Word Noun Crossword Puzzles.
Page 39: Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy Copyright information page.


Speech Language Pathology & Literacy Position Statement:

It is the position of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play a critical and direct role in the development of literacy for children and adolescents with communication disorders, [1] including those with severe or multiple disabilities. SLPs also make a contribution to the literacy efforts of a school district or community on behalf of other children and adolescents. These roles are implemented in collaboration with others who have expertise in the development of written language and vary with settings and experience of those involved. [2]
The connections between spoken and written language are well established in that (a) spoken language provides the foundation for the development of reading and writing; (b) spoken and written language have a reciprocal relationship, such that each builds on the other to result in general language and literacy competence, starting early and continuing through childhood into adulthood; (c) children with spoken language problems frequently have difficulty learning to read and write, and children with reading and writing problems frequently have difficulty with spoken language [3] ; and (d) instruction in spoken language can result in growth in written language, and instruction in written language can result in growth in spoken language.
As with difficulty in learning to listen and speak, difficulty in learning to read and write can involve any of the components of language—phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language at the sound, syllable, word, sentence, and discourse levels. Individuals with reading and writing problems also may experience difficulties in using language strategically to communicate, think, and learn. These fundamental connections necessitate that intervention for language disorders target written as well as spoken language needs.
SLPs' knowledge of normal and disordered language acquisition, and their clinical experience in developing individualized programs for children and adolescents, prepare them to assume a variety of roles related to the development of reading and writing. Appropriate roles and responsibilities for SLPs include, but are not limited to (a) preventing written language problems by fostering language acquisition and emergent literacy; (b) identifying children at risk for reading and writing problems; (c) assessing reading and writing; (d) providing intervention and documenting outcomes for reading and writing; and (e) assuming other roles, such as providing assistance to general education teachers, parents, and students; advocating for effective literacy practices; and advancing the knowledge base. These roles are dynamic in relation to the evolving knowledge base and have implications for research and professional education.

Best Wishes and thanks for stopping by everyone!!

Do you want a free Dolch Word Reading Game and Worksheet Document?
Just leave a comment about Speech Therapy and Literacy and I'll do a drawing to give two of them out in a week!

Please let us know your email address if you don't want to leave it on the comment line at:
Manda & Shanda, SLP'S



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Giveaway of our Remediation Of Final Consonant Deletions Comprehensive Packet!

We are super excited to introduce our latest Twin Sisters Speech and Language Therapy document!! Please know that we have worked hard on this one! We strove to make it as comprehensive as we could! That is because the keywords of "final consonant deletions" have been the most searched words at our website and we know that a lot of you are looking for more treatment materials for it.

We hope that you find that this 109 page document (more like a book than a "document") is all that you were hoping for and that it will be your "go to" document for all of your treatment needs when helping children with the phonological process of final consonant deletions from now on! We are targeting a wide variety of final sounds in this packet after the presentation of many minimal pair’s cards. The specific sounds targeted after the minimal pair’s include: b, p, m, n, g, k, t, s and d.
Please use the following links to our TpT and TN stores to buy one for yourself.  We don't think that you will regret the decision!

Final consonant deletion is a type of phonological processing disorder. A phonological processing disorder occurs when a child has difficulty producing an entire class of speech sounds vs. individual sound errors. In the case of final consonant deletion, they are dropping many of their end sounds which make it difficult to be understood.
For this packet we have chosen to use the sound targets of: b, p, m, n, g, k, t, s and d since these sounds are more appropriate articulation targets for the younger communicator. The younger communicator (under the age of 5) is the group that we usually work with on reducing the phonological process of final consonant deletions.


Minimal Pair’s Are A Great First Step:
One way to help a child become aware that they are deleting their end sounds is to use minimal pair’s activities. Minimal pairs are a set of words that differ by a single phoneme. Utilizing minimal pair’s at the start of our therapy regimen has helped the children to develop their listening and discrimination skills. After a child's discrimination skills are increased then we can go on to increase their overall speech productions.

Some ways that we have incorporated minimal pairs
into our therapy:
1) Production practice: Say the words without end sounds and then say the ones with the end sounds being targeted.
2) Memory: Print out the desired amount of minimal pairs and have the student match them. 
3) Listen and point: Hide your mouth, have one pair visible, say one of the words, and have the student point to which word they heard.
4) Bombardment: Read all of the minimal pairs and have then have the student listen to the list with and without the end sounds.
5) Sorting: Use the sorting pages (like what is provided in our packet) and if the student hears the targeted end sound then they can be encouraged to insert the card into the top half of the sorting page, if they don’t hear an end sound then they are encouraged to put the card in the other available insertion point on the page.
6) Listen and repeat: Have student listen and/or repeat the minimal pair sentences (we have a 60 of them in our packet) and have them listen for the word with an end sound and for the word that did not have it.
7) Listen and move:
A) Read a minimal pair card and if the child hears an end sound they are encouraged to run to one side of the room, if they don’t hear an end sound then they are encouraged to run to the other designated side of the room. 
B) Read the minimal pair card and have the child stand up when they hear an end sound, and sit down if they hear a word without an end sound.


Another component that we use to help with the production of end sounds is the use of visual phonics. We use the See-the-Sound system. See-the-Sound Visual Phonics is a system of sound associations which represent each sound in our language with a hand signal and a graphic or written symbol.  We use the visual hand phonic for the end sound that is being targeted. They child learns that there is a need for an additional sound by just a visual cue and this can help tremendously with final sound production and recognition of sound deletion.

Once recognition has occurred and if a child is having a specific difficulty with a particular sound, the rest of the packet can then be utilized. Depending on the articulation and/or specific sound deletion the sounds of b, p, m, n, g, k, t, s, and d can be individually targeted using their respective activities.
We are giving one of these documents away via the lucky hat method at the end of the week!
Please leave a comment or question about working with phonological disorders or just a general comment about something you see in our document in order to enter the contest.
Your email address is required.  If you don't want to leave it on the comment line, then please leave it with Shanda at:  We just want to make sure that we can contact you if you are the lucky winner of this new comprehensive therapy packet targeting the remediation of final consonant deletions.
Shanda and Manda,SLP's


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