A sweet, sweet friend surprised me today with a cake made of my favorite combination of ingredients (PB and chocolate) to celebrate wrapping up with my first client. Not only did it give me a chance to actually celebrate being done with my clinical work for the semester, it also reminded me what an accomplishment it was to have managed working with my client for 10 weeks. Thank you!
Today I had my final session with my first client in the graduate student clinic. It was a great and challenging semester that tested my creativity skills in coming up with fun ways of getting my client out of his shell and providing articulation therapy. My experience affirmed that I want to work with kids and pursue this area in speech therapy.
The last session was a success, especially since it was the most that I was able to tease my client and get him to smile and laugh. After debriefing with his mom, she gave me the card pictured above with warm wishes for my studies. Throughout the semester I had been nervous about whether I was making enough progress with my client, so it was nice to receive a token of appreciation for my work with him
I spend my Monday mornings providing intervention for children behind on their pre-literacy skills. There’s nothing like starting the week off playing games with kindergartens to teach them how to blend, segment, and label letter-sound correspondences.
One of our activities today consisted of “getting turkeys ready for Thanksgiving.” For every word we gave the kids, they had to tell us the first sound and the matching letter. Once they found the right letter, they tore off the corresponding feather. All the kids had a blast, especially when all of a turkey’s feathers were “pulled” off and could be passed around so they could pretend to eat the turkey.
The turkey activity was by far my favorite activity that I’ve planned with my partner thus far. Our supervisor even complimented us and said she’d pass on the ideas to other groups. The success of the activity and our supervisor’s approval was great affirmation for our work.
The focus of my Preschool Language course the past couple of lectures has been on identifying children who are at risk for developmental or language delays in the prelinguistic stage, which is the phase before they actually start using language effectively to communicate. Today’s class covered the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (pictured above), which basically assesses the child’s interaction and responsiveness to adults during different contexts of play.
Our professor supplemented the lecture today with sample videos of toddlers for us to practice identifying the communicative and behavior aspects listed on the CSBS. The videos elicited plenty of collective “awws” and laughs from the class as we watched the clinician eliciting specific reactions from the child. This is to be expected, since 98% of the class is female. Some favorites included a little girl in a poofy purple dress watching a wind-up kangaroo scatter across the table, and then imitating it to request for the clinician to start it up again; the same little girl popping bubbles that the clinician blew to her; and another little girl with platinum blonde hair anticipating the clinician to blow up a balloon, and later laughing when the balloon failed to inflate. The best snippet that got the most laughter out of the class was when a male toddler was practicing brushing a doll’s hair, and then when he tried brushing his own hair, the brush stayed in his fluffy afro as he pulled his hand away, and out of surprise he kept tilting his head back to find where the brush had stayed.
Personally I don’t see myself practicing with children as an SLP, but these videos still melt my heart and at least make me consider whether I would really want to miss out on all the unintentional adorableness of children.