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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FREE Easter- Themed /R/ Articulation Activities & Game board!

Hello!  Thank you for stopping by our blog today.  We hope that you are having a nice start to Spring! The warmer weather has us thinking about our next big holiday.  It is a fun one for the kiddos because they can go on Easter egg hunts and have fun with the funny Easter Bunny.  That is why we put this freebie together for you and we hope you like it!
The packet targets the /R/ sound (pre and post vocalic).  We have provided a cute game board, a feed the Easter bunny reinforcer page, a roll and color worksheet, and colored and black and white Easter egg hunt cards.  

This is all provided for you for FREE! Yay!

Please click on this link to grab it over at Teachers pay Teachers today and enjoy!

Note: This document has been revised and improved over the 2013 version.  We hope you can download the new version today! 

Have a fun egg hunt this Spring and a lovely Easter holiday too!

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

50% off for 24 hours! Roll, Dot & Say Quick Print Artic Workbook - /SH/ Sound

What do you get after compiling a large variety of black and white clip art, the knowledge of 15+ years of combined speech therapy practice behind your belt, and the knowledge that you are about to post your 94th therapy document on TpT and TN? This masterpiece, that's what!

We have put together a comprehensive quick print therapy packet that targets the speech sound of /SH/ from head to toe!

Please see the preview located at the links to TN or TpT to read the contents and directions and to see slides featuring many of the black and white worksheets included in this packet.

We hope that you notice that we have tried to think of every detail that the busy speech therapist would like to have taken care of. We have included 3-ring binder covers, student information and goal pages, homework sheets, and caregiver sound reminder cards. We have even added a /SH/ sound cue card and a page on how to elicit the /SH/ sound!

And then the fun really begins... That's because each worksheet has been developed to keep the student busy and entertained while practicing their speech sound. Every sheet is designed for the student to make a dot with a paint dotter/dauber or to mark with a marker. Some worksheets incorporate the use of one die. We know that kids love to roll dice and we know that dice can be found quite cheaply at the local Dollar Store! Each worksheet is engaging and different. The student will have so much fun trying out each page, that they will forget that they are even working on on their speech sound in a repetitive fashion.

We hope that you find this articulation packet to be just what you were wanting and waiting for! Thank you so much for stopping by our store today and best wishes to you and your students as they progress in their articulation therapy goals.

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


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