Enjoy our article written for Kids on the Coast which was endorsed by Speech Pathology Australia – 🙂
If I loved the Club Yicketty Yak Program, can my child do the program again for another term?
Yes. This will depend on the child’s skills and whether the program is useful now for their capabilities.
At the end of the program, your child will be assessed and a report generated which will indicate whether they will benefit from further attendance at the same level of the group they have attended or a group that offers extension skills at a higher level.
Some children may benefit from another term to enable deepening of their learning and achieving confidence in the skills they are obtaining. As we have a close watch on our participants goals, the Speech Pathologists adjust their tasks in the session to reach their optimal level of learning based on their needs. We may adjust a question to different participants from basic to complex during the same task to account for individual variations. So repeating the group does not mean repeating the material or level of learning that your child previously attended.
- My child attends kindergarten the same day of the group and this is locked in and I still have to pay for the kindergarten attendance.
Unfortunately, we can only cater for the days set down for the program, however based on our schedule, staffing and bookings, we may have other days in the week that you can attend. Check out the Club Yicketty Yak program dates for details.
However, may I suggest that you speak with the team leader and the Director and provide them with the information about the Speech Therapy program as they may support your attendance being aware of your child’s communication and learning challenges. They may assist you by offering you a change in your attendance schedule for this term if you give them adequate notice so that this does not impact their business operations and bookings. They may offer a make up day in some instances, but it is best to advise them of all the dates for attendance in the 10 week Program. We work collaboratively with your kindergarten and school as joint stakeholders in your child’s education and communication success.
Be mindful that for some children your kindergarten may have supported your child’s integration into their Kindergarten program with allocation of additional support staff through disability funding. This may have involved coordination and booking a staff member and accounting for their wages on these days. It is important to provide early notice to enable any changes to be given.
It is amazing to understand how we speak and understand other people’s speech. Our minds are elaborately organised and engineered for language processing and to be able to function for this skill of communication we need to have somewhere to store our words in our mind.
We store these words in a place we call the semantic centre which works like a well organised shopping centre full of words stacked in aisles to the roof. We could also say that this semantic centre was like a giant WORD SPIDER WEB of vocabulary and concepts that are all linked in relation to the words meaning, the words definitions and then how they are related to each other in the semantic system. The words are also stored based on the sound string (phonological) information of the word (eg. Flower-florist-floppy-fly). This becomes clear when working as a Speech Pathologist who have language and word retrieval problems after a stroke and a brain injury. It is quite intere3sting to hear the word errors that these individuals say that are either semantic errors (mixed for close meaning eg. Table-chair) or phonemic errors (mixed for their sounds-eg. I drive a carrot).
A fun game for you to play with the entire family is the HOT ROCK GAME! This is a great game for developing:
- Lexical retrieval skills-word finding skills
- Semantic categorisation-grouping words in to their categories ( Cow-Farm animals, angry-emotion)
- Understanding words meanings and relationships to each other such as Antonyms (opposite words-eg. Fast-slow), Synonyms (Similar meanings Large-huge), Part-whole relationships (eg. Face-clock), Shades of grey meaning (eg. Angry-cross-mad-livid), Multiple meaning (eg. Belt-belt)
- Auditory memory-in remembering the words that have been said.
Watch the training video where Katrine Elliott (Speech Pathologist) gives you instructions about how to play the game with your family or at school in a group of friends. She will also give you some information about language and how the semantic system operates within our entire communication system. Watch out for the “How to fix…speech-listening-language-reading-spelling and writing” series to learn more about great information to help your child with their speech therapy program to develop their speech, language and literacy skills.
Semantic Absurdities : What’s Wrong with Mr. Bing Ding Dong?
Mr. Bing Ding Dong is our Chinese Chef who is from Hong Kong. When he cooks his Chinese meal for his guests, he runs out and hits his gong and says “NG! Dinners Ready!” He likes to cook and sing and wear Bling-Bling whilst flipping chicken wing. One thing about Mr. Bing Ding Dong is that he hits his head and gets a little C-R-A-Z-Y and makes mistakes as the evening gets later. He mixes everything up. Make sure you don’t eat there after 8 o’clock as he is known to mix up his prawn with worm in his dim sims…YUCK! (Listen for his soundtrack on CD2-Carnivale of sound on itunes) In the folders you will find What’s wrong with Mr. Bing Ding Dong? Worksheets. Here are some of the confusions he has been facing. Help him to work them out with your child.
This tasks develops skills for: Verbal expression-vocabulary-semantic relationships
Task- Explaining what is wrong in the picture
Ask your child to look at the picture and to tell you what they see are wrong in the picture (semantic absurdities). Support them to express their answer using the correct words and well structured sentences. Help them to develop a mature sentence by including clauses (that add to the sentence- eg. Who is wearing a striped jumper) and joining words (ie. And/ or/ but/ and then/ however/so/even though).
Practice these sentences a few times to assist them to learn how to arrange the words in a sentence (syntactic structure). Ask questions that explore the picture further and to consider events that may not be in the here and now using their prediction, imagination and inferential abilities.
If they get stuck, break your questions down to simple “WH” questions…
- What is this?
- Who is this?
- What is happening in the picture?
- Where is the boy walking?
- What do you think he will do next?
- Why do you think he is…?
- How do you know it is a …?
Example of an effective language interactions:
Parent:“What is the crazy thing that is happening in the picture?”
Child: “The boy is carrying an umbrella but there is money raining from the clouds. Money doesn’t rain from the clouds.”
Parent:“What would you expect would fall from the clouds?”
Child:“Rain usually falls from the clouds.”
Parent: “If this picture was true, what do you think the boy might do next?”
Child:“He could pick up the money and go shopping for a new scooter.”
Following Spoken Instructions and Directions
Use the What’s wrong with Mr. Bing Ding Dong worksheet for your next task.
In this task we will be training the children to develop their effective listening skill and sharpening their talents for classroom listening for effective learning. They will:
- learn to attend for longer periods of time and reduce their impulsivity to chat, look around the room, drift off or think of something else whilst they should be learning
- learn new concepts and vocabulary that include: colour, shape, size, direction, prepositions (space words)
- learn syntactic markers that change the meaning in a sentence such as: if, then, don’t, before-after
- learn to listen to specific details in the sentence for accuracy in their answers
- learn to be able to be able to hold 2+ stages of spoken information in their auditory memory
Example: Week 1: Following verbal instructions- Here I have provided an example of some instructions you can give them. Now try and make up your own for the tasks in the following weeks.
You will need:
- Coloured textas
- Your genie gems
To indicate that they have finished the tasks at each step, you can instruct your child to place their hands on their head or you can create a pretend buzzer using an upside-down cup that they press. I love the empty stapler being the buzzer as well as a novel idea!
- Choosing a red texta, draw a straight line underneath the front wheel.
- Choosing a texta that is NOT blue, colour in the runners shirt and one of his shoes.
- Place a genie gem to the left of the picture and draw a circle around the rabbit’s ears.
- If there is a policeman on the train, draw a dotted line under the train track.
- If there is a cook on the train, draw two circles on the plane tail.
- If your name begins with A-B-C or D, colour in two back wheels in yellow or green.
- Don’t colour in the cook’s hat unless the smoke is blowing in the direction behind the train.
- Using a texta that is not orange or brown, draw a curved arc over the runner.
- Give me a texta that we have not chosen yet before you draw a green cross on the trains door.
- Draw a smiley face on the wing of the plane after you draw a tree in front of the runner.
We will be completing some of these tasks during our CLUB YAK sessions and you can complete the other tasks for home activities each week. Tick off the tasks when completed from the form in your program folders.
Find It! Game
Our group members will be playing the Find It! Tubes which are a great game for developing their vocabulary skills. The students search for the small objects among a scattering of coloured bits and pieces and then match these found objects with their Bingo and/or reading cards. The kids call out the objects they find (naming words) and then generate a complete and accurate sentence using these words (sentence formulation with syntactic and grammatical skills). This task assists them to practice their articulation, knowledge of words and to construct sentences whilst attending to the other players calling out the words and also holding these words in their auditory memory whilst they search for more words. Level 1 students mark their target words see on their bingo cards whilst level 2 students find the word of their object written in a list.
The find it! Game also assists the children to develop their visual processing skills in that they have to look carefully to see what the tiny objects are against the coloured beads (figure-ground visual perception) in the cylinder and they also need to work out what the objects are when the shape is partially hidden (visual-image closure skills).
Children learn to hear and process the difference between the speech sounds so they can tune their auditory discrimination skills.
It is difficult to determine a child’s level of hearing neurological maturity as the auditory brain is not expected to reach adult maturity until approximately the grade 4 level of schooling. Children can be assessed y an audiologist using a specialised hearing assessment called a central auditory processing assessment, however children tend not to be eligible for this assessment until they reach 6-7 years of age as they need to be capable of sitting the detailed test and have developed some literacy skills.
There is no doubt that a number of children who present with communication impairments have co-existing auditory challenges or auditory processing immaturity or disorder that is the actual cause of the speech condition forming. This is why it is so important to provide therapy for these skills as well to ensure that the auditory brain is learning the skills to process spoken information so that great speech and language can develop.
There are many skills that occur in the mind and integrate to process speech and language skills, however it is probably best to start at the most obvious skill next to auditory attention (the ability to focus and attend to speech) and auditory perception (how our auditory skills are perceiving this auditory information). This skill is auditory discrimination of speech sounds.
Once your child has learned who the phonic all stars are, what is their favourite speech sound and what is their hand signal, they are ready to learn to discriminate the sounds apart from each other. Some sounds are only different by a distinctive features such as the voice vibrating or not vibrating or the using the front or the back of the tongue and this can make it difficult for kids to hear the sounds apart. Especially look out for these sounds getting mixed up..
- contrasted by voice: p/b, t/d, k-c/g, s/z, f/v
- contrasted by front & back tongue: n/ng, t/k, d/g,
- contrasted by tongue-teeth placement: th/f, th/v
- contrasted by flow of air/stop of air: p/f, b/v, t/s, d/z
So how do we do the task…
Ask your child to …
Remember to keep your voice like a whisper sound.
Use the hand signal if they struggle to work out what the speech sound is. Then call out the name of the character… or give a hint …
“She is like a candle and doesn’t like to be blown out.”
If they continue to struggle, I point to 3-4 pictures and ask,
“which one is “puh”.
Once your child knows all the consonants then move on to the vowel sound card.
Once they know all the 46 sounds then move onto 2-3-4 sounds in a sequence. For instance
“Now find…puh (P) …duh (D). “
They must do it in the sequence you say and from left to right just like a word is formed. This is important to strengthen the children’s auditory memory and auditory sequencing skills.
The kids practice their skills at remembering the speech sounds and articulating them accurately by jumping on the Phonic All Star floor frieze. This is the same task that you can do when flipping your level 1 flashcards to practice all the 24 consonants and all the 22 vowel sounds.
We support the children to form the sounds correctly using the right placement of their lips, tongue, teeth and whether to turn their voice on or off. We also cue the sound using the Phonic All Star hand signal. Children practice all sounds until they are fast and automatic. The speed of this accuracy is one of our “winged keel” features as this enables the children to have this self knowledge about their phonological systems and how to make their own corrections in their speech.
The hand signal really helps children to retrieve the speech sound from their memory because they tend to lay in to their mind visual memories of the hand signal that are stronger than “auditory (heard) memories”. They also tend to learn memories in the movements in their body (kinaesthetic memories) that help them to program the auditory-phonological memories for the speech sound. They can also benefit from these hand signals being presented as a sequence to show them how a word needs to be said correctly.
We have to remember that some children with speech impairment have a listening impairment as being central to their challenges so they may not hear and/or process speech clearly as we do.
This is one of the “winged keel” features that support the children to learn and hold information that was very difficult to learn
Find It! is a game whereby small objects are inside a cylinder whereby the children have to turn the tube around to uncover the objects that are among lots of tiny distracting and colourful pebbles. These pebbles make them have to work hard with their visual processing skills to detect the objects but also to sometimes visually cloze the image when they only see a portion of the object. This means to see the other parts in their minds eye to then put the whole image together to recognise what it is. Once they find an object, they are expected to name the object, which involves the skills for word finding. Some objects are new words for the children and some may require correction for how they say the word using their sounds enabling them to re-format the sound sequence and store it correctly. The find it! tubes are in topics such as Beach-Farm Yard-Jungle-Glamor which enables explorations of lots of words deep inside a category whereby the task is therapy for the semantic web (see parent training).
The children need to find the correct sounds in the word to articulate this correctly and then they try and find the same object on their tablemats provided for them.
- Level 1 students are given pictures with words on their table mats whereby only some of the words are included making it a search to see the ones they need.
- Level 2 students, who have some reading capability, are given a list of the written words on a page and have to tick the words off when they find them.
The children work in teams of two whereby one child searches for the word and says the name of the word while the other then looks at the words on the poster. They swap after 2 minutes. The team with the most words found at the end of a few rounds is the winning team in the Club House Game!