Monday, September 30, 2013

A Guest Post on themed therapy sessions (our favorite) from Jenn at Crazy Speech World!

Hello and welcome to our first blog anniversary celebration!  

We are kicking off a super fun week of giveaways and guest posts today with a guest post from Jenn at Crazy Speech World.  We have asked her and the other guest posters coming later in the week to stay close to the topic of applying themes in therapy.   Providing an educational and interesting theme each week at our clinic has become The Twin Sisters Speech and Language Therapy "thing". :)  This is because we have found that themes make each week educational, different and fun. Most importantly, we have found that the students learn and apply what they have learned into conversations that they offer in later sessions, and in life (we hear feedback from the parents). We think that the carryover comes from the fact that we are exposing the students to all of the angles of learning.  For example, the students often get the chance to touch, taste, read, write, move, and talk about the theme of the week.  This all encompassing way of approaching therapy really seems to make learning more real for our students.  Most importantly, they seem to love the themes and want to come back every week to experience the next one! We love themes so much and that is why we have made several themed documents and have put them up for sale in our TpT and TN stores and have given many of the units away free to others to spread the love!

Speaking of giving things away...

We are giving away an app and a ton of free themed documents by a great number of talented speech therapists to help celebrate our one year blogging birthday.  We hope that you remember to enter the giveaways that are all located below Jenn's wonderful post.  Good luck and remember to come back every day this week to read fun guest posts about themed speech therapy sessions and to re-enter the giveaways to improve your chances of winning!  You can enter every day until Friday, October 4th! 

Lets get on with the first awesome guest post!

We are honored that Jenn from Crazy Speech World has decided to join us for our big blog anniversary party by putting together this fantastic post on what she does for her themed speech therapy sessions. Enjoy the post everyone and don't forget to visit Jenn at her wonderful blog called Crazy Speech World, or to check out her fantastic products on TpT under SLP Gone Wild! She is an amazingly talented creator of clip art, as well as, EXCELLENT Speech-Language Pathologist who develops valuable therapy documents!
Best wishes,
Manda & Shanda, SLP's
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy

I'm so happy to be a part of Twin Sisters Speech and Language Therapy blogiversary celebration!  I am going to show you exactly how I plan for themes in my room, step by step!  Ready?  Go!

My very first stop?  Pinterest.  Not kidding.  Pinterest is my go-to resource for finding new ideas, resources, and materials.  I know as a blogger, I pin everything I do, so I know that I am gonna find all the other blogger's posts out well as everything else!  I type my theme in the search box and check out what's happening!  Sure, I get things that aren't relevant, but that's ok!  I find what I like, re-pin, and take a closer look after I'm done browsing.  I have my own Pinterest boards organized by season, so I pin to the appropriate board to keep track.  It helps keep me organized!
Then I check out my book collection...I have an excel spreadsheet of all my books, so I look though what I have and what goes with my theme.  I always have a book each week!  Even if it only remotely ties in, that can always use that as a discussion, how does this go with our theme this week?
I use the theme page in my SLP planner each week to organize all of my finds...I have a spot to write down books, crafts, materials, and other tidbits I might use.  This helps me have a picture in my head of what I am going to be doing.

That's about it!  It is really easy to get going, and actually a lot of fun...and once you start to build a collection, each year after gets a little easier!  

How do you plan your themes?  Have any other great ideas to share?

Jenn is a school SLP in Florida, working with children PK to 8th grade, and the author of the blog Crazy Speech World.  You can also follow her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and TPT.

Now its time to enter our AWESOME GIVEAWAYS!!! The winners will be chosen this coming Friday! Best of luck,
Manda & Shanda, SLP's
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

50% OFF FIRST DAY- A Spooktacular Pre-K Speech & Language Unit + black and white worksheets!

This is a Pre-k level speech and language Halloween themed unit. It is 100 pages of all that you would ever need for teaching your preschooler in therapy and in the classroom this coming Halloween. Your sessions will be super spooktacular! 

What's included in this colorful comprehensive unit?

Receptive & Expressive Language:
A Halloween language game with 20 "WH" cards that encourage the use of adjectives, the answering of questions, and vocabulary development.

Fun stuff:
Door signs, Halloween reinforcer pages, games, mazes, Halloween themed coloring and lacing pages

Therapy cards for demonstrating and practicing feelings. 

A variety of concept worksheets targeting sizes.

Early literacy:
Choose the correct first and last letter, letter identification dot page and a letter match activity.

Counting pages, number identification match and dot page

Letter and word trace to copy pages.


Preposition cards and worksheets.  A large variety of pronoun worksheets. 

Therapy cards for SK (like in skeleton), TR (like in trick/treat), and V (like in vampire). Also, initial, medial and final K//C (like in cat, pumpkin and black), play dough articulation mats.

Verbal Expression:
Word, phrase and sentence repetition cards and activities.

Bonus for those who want quick sheets that save on printer ink:
17 black and white worksheets targeting a variety of concepts, colors, grammar and literacy areas!!

No bones about it, this unit has it all!! It is only full of treats.  No tricks!  :)

Please download the preview for the complete contents and directions and to see several example pages. 

Happy Halloween Everyone and thank you for stopping by our store today. We hope that you can enjoy using this wonderful Halloween themed unit in your classroom or therapy room soon!

Manda & Shanda, SLP's

Trick or Treaters seen by my house: Mike & The Black Ninja. :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Trivia Night Winners and Answers!

Thanks to all who participated in trivia over at our facebook page last night! It was so awesome to see so many people playing along with us. Here are the winners and the answers to the questions:

Round 1. Celia P Darden and Krista Keleher
Round 2. Denise C and Tracy Morlan
Round 3. Crinstine Beach and Jordan Bubis

Here are the answers to the questions: Round 1:   
1. What does SLP stand for? Speech-Language Pathologist.    
2.  Receptive Language is the ability to understand what others are saying        
3. 1 in 6 or 42 million Americans have a speech, language, or hearing disorder.        
4. SLP’s assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent disorders related 
    A.      Speech   
    B.      Language     
    C.      Cognitive-Communication.      
    D.      Voice   
    E.      Swallowing    
    F.       Fluency 
    G.      All of the above      
 5.       Yes or No. Does a SLP typically need at least a master’s degree and must be licensed in most states to practice?

Round 2:  

1.  Can you follow Twin Sisters Speech and Language Therapy on Instagram and Bloglovin? yes, both- see side column for links to follow us on them please.         
2.  Name two word retrieval strategies.  see this link         
3.  Where do we like to obtain our clip art?  Name two talented clip art artists that help us to make our therapy documents look so colorful and cute.Graphics Factory, Scrappin Doodles, Clips by Jenn Digital Clip Art, Mel From the Pond, My Cute Graphics, Cara Clips and many others        
4.   Name two benefits of a themed speech therapy session.see this link       
5.   Name three apps that we have reviewed for Smarty Ears (our favorite app company).see this link

Round 3:   

1.  What is our top selling document over at Teachers pay Teachers?  Frontal Lisping Program- A Way to Correct That Tricky "S" Sound! Why do you think it is so popular?     2.   Name two of our therapy document bundles.see this link       
3.  What is our post recently posted document that has been posted over at our Teachers pay Teachers site? VC, CV, CVCV and CVC Celebration      
4.  What is a title of one of our articulation themed packets?  see this link  Also, name one of your most frequently worked on sounds during your articulation therapy sessions in the past year.      
5. If you win trivia tonight, which document would you like for FREE? our TpT store

      Thanks to Kristin over at Simply Speech for setting up the weekly SLP trivia nights! A different SLP blog hosts every Tuesday night on their Facebook pages.  Thanks also to Carrie over at Carries Speech Corner for the super cute owl graphic that we use to promote it!  

Thanks everyone! 

Have a terrific day! 

Sincerely, Shanda and Manda

Monday, September 23, 2013

VC, CV, CVCV, & CVC CELEBRATION- Fun and Interactive Activities for Verbal Apraxia of Speech


Apraxia is a neurological speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. Characteristics of verbal apraxia include:
•Speech disintegrates at the consonant vowel on up to the multi-syllable word level.
•Single words can have sounds that are deleted are distorted.
•Single words can be deleted, reversed, or repeated.
•Motor speech patterns can be difficult to repeat.
•Student may exhibit groping during verbal attempts.
•Student may replace a “favored sound” for words in place of other sounds and words.

We have chosen to first introduce the shorter (easier) vc & cv words to say and then progress to the longer (harder) words to say in the cvc and cvcv forms in this packet. This progression will give the apraxic child who is exhibiting characteristics similar to the ones listed above initial success and a strong therapy program thereafter to aid in their progression as they improve in their verbal skills.

Your purchase will not be blind, as we have included the content pages, directions, and several example pages in the preview at our TpT and TN stores. We welcome your download of the preview before making your purchase.

We hope you thoroughly enjoy this comprehensive treatment packet for treating verbal apraxia. It is truly a celebration of the CV, VC, CVC, & CVCV words!

Shanda and Manda

Trivia Night on Tuesday September 24th at the TSSALT Facebook Page!

Hello! Tomorrow night Tuesday September 24th, Twin Sisters Speech and Language Therapy will be hosting trivia night. It will be a lot of fun so we hope you can stop by to participate.

The event will take place on our Twin Sisters Speech and Language Therapy Facebook Page at 9:00 p.m. central standard time.  We will be providing three rounds. The first one will start at 9:00 p.m. The second one will start at 9:15 p.m. The third one at 9:30 p.m.  All three rounds will feature questions related to:

1) Speech and Language Therapy.
2) Helpful information for therapists and parents that can be found at our blog.
3) Information about the type of therapy documents that we use at our outpatient clinic and provide for sale for others in our Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher Notebook stores.

There will be five questions in each round.  We will have you email us the answers to all five questions at  After 15 minutes, we will choose two random winners from the pool of people who got all the questions correct.  That is a total of six winners! That gives you great odds:) Hope you come over and have some trivia fun with us!

Winners will receive a choice of a non-bundled product from our TpT or TN stores! 

Thanks to Kristin over at Simply Speech for setting up the weekly SLP trivia nights!  Thanks also to Carrie over at Carries Speech Corner for the super cute graphic at the top of this page!

See you tomorrow night!

Manda and Shanda

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Favorite Therapy Item Thursdays- A Guest Post about Cariboo!

Hello and welcome to our second Favorite Therapy Item Thursday!!  Speech-Language Pathologists are sharing their favorite therapy items during this featured Thursday post.  Enjoy reading about the therapy items that are helping to make speech therapy treatment rooms more fun and productive all across the world! 

**Would you (or at least your idea) like to be featured in a future Favorite Therapy Item Thursday post? Please email us at: and tell us your favorite therapy item.  Or, please leave a comment or use the contact box on the right column to tell us. 

This weeks Favorite Therapy Item Thursday post comes from Debra Blatt, who told us that she is a SLP who works in a preschool setting.  She also said, "I love what I do. My interests are Autism, augmentative communication, fluency, and apraxia. I am also a mom of 2 sons who graciously let me take their old toys to work !! I live in New York and like to garden and hike on the weekends".  

We are so happy to have her guest post today about her favorite therapy item, Cariboo.

When I first read the topic of my favorite therapy item , it didn't take me long to think of Cariboo. Cariboo by Cranium, was originally designed to help children learn the ABC's, numbers, shapes and colors. Each turn gives kids a chance to match fun drawings, unlock secret doors and discover hidden treasure. Designed especially for young children, 2 to 4 players, and ages 3 to 6 yrs. I quickly replaced the cards on the original game with pictures by themes  such as Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. I have access to Boardmaker so it didn't take too long to generate different pictures that are 2 inches by 2 inches. I then cut the pictures out and laminated them.  I usually need to attach a little tape to secure the picture . If you don't have Boardmaker , finding pictures on line should work as long as they can be sized and look simple. The diversity of Cariboo is why I use it often. My students often choose it because its highly motivating activity and fun.  It can be helpful with those students with limited attention because its a fast game.  I like that I can use it to target vocabulary but also directions, articulation, phonology, and wh type questions .  I'm sure there are other type goals to target using it as well that I haven't thought of yet.  The only down side to Cariboo is the new version,  available  at Walmart is smaller (less cards). If you are fortunate enough to find the original Cariboo at a garage sale, you may buy it for very little money.

Here is a picture of Debra's summer version 
of the game Cariboo! 

And here is an autumn version of Debra's Cariboo 
game that she uses in speech therapy!

Thank you so much for guest posting today Debra.  Your tips on how to use Cariboo in speech therapy are terrific! So many kiddos love that game.  It's so fun to find the balls and then to open up the treasure chest.  The scavenger hunt never gets boring!  It is such a huge motivator for students and we have found that we too can often elicit a great deal of verbal responses targeting vocabulary, concepts, and articulation while using it with the speech therapy students that we have. We think that featuring Cariboo today was a perfect idea! Thank you again for helping us to feature it on a Favorite Therapy Item Thursday post! 
Best wishes,
Manda & Shanda, SLP's
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Walk Through Our Gruffalo Themed Week

Welcome to this weeks theme- The Gruffalo!

We started out by introducing the characters and vocabulary for the story. Outside our room we played tic-tac-toe to find the mouse, the owl and the Gruffalo. We also worked on prepositions by asking the students to move the mouse around a Gruffalo themed page, and we stacked blocks while repeating the letters of the alphabet. 

As we walked into the speech therapy room we completed patterns, named or repeated shapes, colors, seasons and months of the year. We also worked on the concepts of same and different.

Inside the speech room we completed rhyme card matching and had coloring sheets available to discuss the features of The Gruffalo and the characters in the story. 

Time to read the story!

The speech student was able to reenact the story as it was read to them using the story retell pictures. Articulation targets (i.e. for /s/ students they repeated words such as mouse, snake), literacy targets (i.e. what letter does Gruffalo end with?, which word rhymed in that passage?) and language targets (i.e. answering wh questions, repeating phrases, naming forest animals) were asked of the student as the story was read to them. The older students were asked to read specific passages themselves aloud  in the book while their speech and language goals were targeted as well.

The students always seem to enjoy the find - and - seek pictures while completing their articulation targets. Numerous other  worksheets were utilized for each individual student i.e. literacy, speech and/or language targets- all which are found in our Gruffalo packet. Several activities were laminated and cut and several others were put into sheet protectors and dry erase markers were used.

The Gruffalo is always hungry. He ate a lot of cards this week which targeted comprehension questions, /wh/ questions, articulation targets, concept naming such as numbers/letters/shapes/prepositions and more!

Speech and language goals continued to be addressed with the student as they completed interactive activities such as puzzles, lacing, paint dauber pages and coloring.

It's always fun to complete a craft. We worked on fine motor skills too as we cut out the Gruffalo mask, its eyes and then added a craft stick to become a Gruffalo! We repeated sentences such as "My favorite food! You'll taste good on a slice of bread".:) For another student who was working on final /k/ "My mask!".
At the last few minutes of the session we watched a scene from 
The Gruffalo The Movie!

This week was so much fun. It's such a delight to watch children enjoy a book and the Gruffalo was new to many of them. I think we may have some new Gruffalo book likers now! We hope you enjoyed the walk through of our Gruffalo themed sessions from this week. Most of the activities in this post came from our Gruffalo packet. As we worked through the week we did see a few updates that were needed in the packet. So, if you have already purchased The Gruffalo packet at our TpT and/or TN stores please redownload the newest version which has been uploaded as of 9/15/2013. 

Thank you for stopping by! Have a terrific day everyone!

Shanda and Manda 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Comment to win a Free Birthday Themed Speech, Language & Literacy Unit!


How do you make a birthday boy or girl feel special during their birthday week and still get to help them grow in different learning areas? By taking out this comprehensive birthday party themed unit. That's how! It is filled with 112 pages of all types of activities, games, crafts, and worksheets for helping the child advance in their speech, language and literacy skills, while still making them feel like the wonderful birthday boy or girl that they are. 
This is a fun themed unit that could be used all year long too. Most people enjoy a party!  :) 
Please feel free to get a very close look at the contents of this large unit by downloading the preview that is available at TpT or TN! We have provided the contents and direction pages, as well as, pictures of many of the worksheets and activities in the preview. 
Enjoy this super fun unit with your students everyone! Our biggest birthday wish is that you all find this document and all of the ones that we make both fun and productive for use with a wide range of your students. 
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: Leave a comment letting us know about one of your birthdays.  Did you get to go somewhere special, or did one of your birthday parties have a fun theme?  Maybe you could share what birthday you remember the most and why you think it was one of your best or worst birthday's. Or, maybe you could comment on a birthday party that you helped to put together for someone else?  You could let us know what fun activities you had planned or simply what the theme was.  

Shanda and I, got the opportunity to help plan our Grandma's surprise 90th birthday party with our Aunt and cousins.  It had a fun pink flower theme and we got the chance to see a lot of relatives that we don't get to see often. It also gave us the chance to find out more about our Grandma because we interviewed her for a poem that we wrote for her about her life.  That was a fun and meaningful experience that has now proved to be very important to us as she has recently suffered a stroke and her resulting aphasia and apraxia has made it difficult for her to portray herself verbally. 

 If you leave a comment than you are automatically entered to win this pick the names out of a hat style giveaway.  You could be one of two people to win this brand new document that you could use all year long with your birthday boy and girl students! 
Best of luck winning!

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

TOP TEN LIST: Word Retrieval Strategies

Today's post is on word retrieval. Our grandmother recently suffered a stroke. The stroke has unfortunately made it more difficult for her to verbally say the words that she wants to produce because she is experiencing some expressive aphasia in addition to some verbal apraxia. During our recent visit to South Dakota to see her, we provided her with some tips on how to produce words that she could not think of and also those words that are on the "tip of her tongue" and proving to be difficult for her to verbally produce. This top ten list has been typed up with her in mind and all of the other patients that we see who are experiencing word finding errors as a result of a stroke or head injury.

This handout is geared more toward the patient and not the therapist. We therapists know how to elicit a lot of speech during our therapy tasks by providing different cues. For example: We often will provide phonemic cues by giving the initial letter and sound of a word to help the client say the word. We also often provide semantic cues by providing category members, functions, and partial phrases that need a word to end it. These therapy tasks are very useful and elicit a lot of speech productions that ultimately help to make new neuro pathways of understanding and better speech for our clients, but we particularly just wanted to produce a handout for the client to be used for when we are not around. We were thinking of our grandmother who may find herself struggling alone with her newly acquired word retrieval troubles and we hope that the tips that we provide could be ones that she can read and start to try to memorize so that she can use them if she is having a word finding episode.

We are happy to share this new top ten tip sheet with you all. Thank you for stopping by our blog and if you can send a few prayers and well wishes toward South Dakota for our Grandma's recovery, we would appreciate it immensely. Thank you for that!

Please know that the download is available by simply right clicking onto the picture, saving the picture to your computer and then printing it off.
Manda, SLP
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy

Some definitions taken from ASHA - American Speech Language Hearing Association 

APRAXIA: Taken 9/10/13 from:

Apraxia is a general term. It can cause problems in parts of the body, such as arms and legs. Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder. It is caused by damage to the parts of the brain related to speaking. Other terms include apraxia of speech, acquired apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia, and dyspraxia.
People with apraxia of speech have trouble sequencing the sounds in syllables and words. The severity depends on the nature of the brain damage.
Children can have apraxia, referred to as childhood apraxia of speech.

EXPRESSIVE APHASIA: Taken 9/10/13 from:

Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language. Aphasia causes problems with any or all of the following: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Characteristics of Expressive Aphasia include: Speaks only in single words (e.g., names of objects, Speaks in short, fragmented phrases; Omits smaller words like "the," "of," and "and" (so message sounds like a telegram); Puts words in wrong order; Switches sounds and/or words (e.g., bed is called table or dishwasher a "wish dasher"; Makes up words (e.g., jargon, strings together nonsense words and real words fluently but makes no sense).

Friday, September 6, 2013

September Link Up

Hello and welcome to a link up party!  

All Y'all Need has their September Link-Up posted, and this month they're asking speech-language pathologists to post about what type of student population that they are seeing this fall, what they are excited about, what they are prepping for, and what they are trying to get done.  It's a busy time of the year for sure, so this link up was a good one to get us thinking and organizing more.  Here's ours!   My responses are below - enjoy! 

SCHOOLING: Shanda and I continue to see a wide variety of clients.  She is treating elementary to middle school kiddos during her two telepractice days, and children from the age of 2 to adults to the age of 62 at the outpatient therapy clinic where we both work.  I am treating children and adults at the speech clinic.  I love treating all populations so that is why working at an outpatient clinic is perfect for me!  I treat the age group of 2 years to 102, but I wrote 92 as that was the oldest client that I've had within the last two years.

EXCITED: Well, we don't want to toot our horns too much, but Shanda and I are both receiving contracts to have some of our documents published. We are SUPER EXCITED about this!!  I would like to leave more details, but we better not for now as the documents are in production and we don't want to break any contract rules at the time.  So, stay tuned during this fall to find out more about this cool new adventure in our lives and to find out where our therapy documents will be published.

PREPPING: We are printing, laminating, cutting and organizing for this and last weeks themed unit of "Back To School" and next weeks themed unit featuring the fun book called "The Gruffalo".  We had a lot of materials to prep because we had made our own 100 + page speech, language and literacy documents for these two themed units. We are having fun seeing the student's nice reactions to the tasks and games that we have created, and we are happy to report that we have been getting at a large range of receptive and expressive language goals, articulation, reading & spelling goals during these fun themed sessions too! 

TRYING: Well, it just hit us that our blog anniversary was coming up very soon!  We wrote our first blog post last year on 10/4/12.  We are in the process of gathering volunteers to write guest posts and we are looking for cool things to give away to our awesome blog followers.  Please let us know if you would like to help us out by the way!  We are featuring posts about using themes in therapy during our blog anniversary week in the first week of October 2013. Please email us at: if you are interested in helping us out.  Thanks so much if you do!!

Ok, that's it!  We hope you enjoyed reading our September link up and thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!  When you are done reading this post, please don't forget to follow the rest of the link up party.  All of the links can be found over at All Y'all Need.  It's a lot of fun!!

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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Articulation, Articulation and more Articulation

How about having eight great articulation packets available with just the click of your mouse at anytime? Well, you can have that by purchasing both of our useful articulation bundles that have four treatment packets a piece in them!  All the pages have been compressed into zip files so that they don't take up too much room on your computer, but will be waiting for you if and when you need a variety of fun worksheets, games, flashcards, and activities for speech therapy targeting the articulation of early and/or later developing speech sounds. Purchasing a bundle will save you almost 40% off of individual purchasing prices.  These bundles are a cost effective way to build your articulation treatment drawers!

The Later Developing Sounds Articulation Packet includes:
1) S Blend Articulation (75 pages): SN, SL, SK, SP, ST, SW
2) Bug Smash Articulation ( 48 pages): TH & SH + Bug Hunt Articulation for the L & S sounds.
3) Winter Themed Postvocalic R (48 pages): AR, IR, OR
4) Winter Themed Voiced & Voiceless TH Packet (47 pages)

Now For The Early Developing Sounds:

1) Early Speech Sounds In Isolation (122 pages):
B, D, G, H, K, M, N, P, T & W
2) Super Great G & Crazy Cool C & K Articulation Games & Worksheets (91 pages)
3) Speech Sounds Play Dough Mats (37 pages): B, M, K, & G
4) Spring into the NG Sound (67 pages).

Thank you for visiting our blog today and for reading about our new articulation bundles!
Manda & Shanda, SLP's


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