Friday, April 12, 2024

Create songs on a topic

Suno AI is a fun tool which will generate a song for you if you provide a simple prompt, such as a genre and topic. Sign in with your Google account and you can create a number of songs for free, and they are easily sharable by link. 

I first played around with Suno by musicalizing a funny story (at least funny to me and my friends). Last year when having a gathering to watch Eurovision, I had a full fridge of things for the party. My friends discovered that I had put (briefly) a defrosting ham for Mother’s Day the next day in a pan on a shelf below a table in the kitchen. So I’ve been teased since then about “floor ham.” I told Suno to “make a pop song about ham left on the floor.” That was the entire prompt, I didn't need to write any lyrics, but Suno has a custom mode where you can have more control over what ends up in the song.

Suno created this song. Seriously, it's a bop. I do apologize to any vegetarian readers.

Suno also created a fun song about nouns for me which I used with a student. The web or mobile version (just go to the website in your browser) will also display the lyrics to the song. Suno is a fun way to add engagement to any curriculum topic or to play with narrative language. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Tailoring and Modifying ChatGPT Results to Create Quick Content

Last month, ASHA Leader featured a helpful article, Using ChatGPT to Create Treatment Materials (Price, Lubniewski, Du) providing great examples of prompts to ChatGPT for creation of sound-loaded paragraphs. Key to the article is the idea that what is returned will need to be filtered through your clinical expertise to create a usable material.

I have found that this process is still "quick." Recently I have been using a student's interest, in this case, cooking shows, to work through comprehension of paragraphs. We use strategies such as noticing and breaking down elaborated noun and verb phrases and also visualizing, with light application of the Visualizing and Verbalizing methods (structure words and digital squares in place of the "felts"). Though Lindamood-Bell provides quite a bit in terms of content with visual imagery for free, I have wanted to cater the content more to his interests and use subjects like Ina Garten.

Here you can see that the original return contained too much complex vocabulary, so you can use the chat aspect of the tool to continue refining. After simplifying the vocab, I asked it to detail a specific recipe like lemon chicken, then needed to ask it to simplify again, and ultimately did some editing when I pasted it into a Google Slide for a more usable experience.

You can see the full progress of my chat with ChatGPT here.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Goblin Tools

Working with teens and young adults and interested in showing them how to use an AI tool that helps them be more independent? As this free (and committed to remaining free) site proclaims, " is a collection of small, simple, single-task tools, mostly designed to help neurodivergent people with tasks they find overwhelming or difficult." The site is powered by generative AI, specifically OpenAI's large language models, which basically means it can understand and produce prompts written in natural language. It currently features:

Magic To-Do: enter a task and tap the magic wand to have it broken down into smaller, manageable steps, along with the option to estimate time for each step and the task as a whole.

Formalizer: enter casual language to get a suggestion of more formal language (or a wide variety of "tones" in a drop down) e.g. for writing an email.

Judge: receive feedback on the tone of inputted text

Estimator: stand-alone tool providing estimate of time for a task

Compiler: "compile my brain dump into a list of tasks"


Here's an example of a task I put into the Magic To-Do (please don't ask why I have to do this task):

I hope you find this tool useful for your students, clients, maybe associates, partners or spouses, or yourself!

Friday, January 19, 2024

What's the Hoopla?

Within sessions I strive to achieve what we might call media balance, using a variety of materials including hands-on, paper, and digital. If I feel the plan involves too much tech, I try to adjust. This has been a helpful model in supervising graduate students too. At the start of each semester, I encourage each of them to make sure they get a library card and visit the local library to practice identifying actual books they can use in therapy sessions. A library card is also essential for the resource I want to highlight here: hoopla!

hoopla is an extension of public libraries' digital resources (note: I speak as a Boston Public Library patron and this may not be available to all who read this- check with your library or their website!). Of course, Overdrive/Libby are great for digital books that sync to your Kindle app (I use on iPad or Mac), but I rediscovered hoopla entries recently when looking for books on my library's website. hoopla has a wide range of picture books, many on SEL topics from authors such as Julia Cook or Bryan Smith:

I have a learner who really gets into these books, posing great questions. Some SEL books can be a bit black and white, but with our teaching we can infuse nuance and neurodiversity-affirming approaches.

hoopla also has a range of short movies created from picture books, which can be terrific for media balance, engagement, and providing animation which creates narrative and interpretive opportunities.

I hope you find your way to hoopla!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

GratiTools (and say hi if you see me at ASHA2023 in Boston)

During this time of year, we often do the obligatory lessons about gratitude that go well with the thanksgiving holiday. From a language perspective, practicing gratitude involves reflecting, listing and describing life events, so it is a therapeutically relevant context for sure. However, I always emphasize that there is science behind it for self-regulation, and we should try to practice it all year round! Here's a good video to detail those points.

If you have students that need an engaging angle, Mr. Thankful made me (and them) smile. While the gratitude here is over-the-top, it provides a view of what the practice writ large looks like. At the end (2:02) there is a bit of religiosity, so stop it before that to avoid this particularly in public school settings.

As I have been writing about AI tools, thanks to Tony Vincent of Learning in Hand for sharing this simple tool that generates a thank you letter based on a simple list, which would make a great writing activity in the coming week.

Also, I'm at ASHA this week in my hometown- please say hi if you bump into me. I will be presenting in a MasterClass on innovations in telepractice, MC27: Telepractice Innovations: Current, Emerging, and What We Wish For. There is an additional fee to attend, but I will be sharing my slides here following the session. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Have you done the Connections? something my husband or I says to the other at some point every day since the spring. At that time, the New York Times added a daily puzzle that I thought was uniquely designed for SLPs and our love of categories as a foundation of semantics. 

Connections is free daily via the web on whatever device, and also now is in the NYT Games app (I do subscribe as I have gotten in the habit of doing at least Sunday to Wednesday's Crossword). They explain it best: 

And today's puzzle:

With Connections be careful of what we call in quizzer parlance "Pavlovs"- you are conditioned to jump at them. It can be tricky as one item may seem to go well with one group but actually a different category can be constructed. 

This can be a great activity for older clients or students as you can encourage forethought- eg let's think of at least two sets of 4 items before submitting any. You can also provide a growing schema that builds metalinguistics
-Straightforward semantic category
-Figurative language or idioms
-Words that are part of a phrase e.g another word goes before or after them all
-Group that works best if you say it aloud (hint for above)

It can be a good idea to do it yourself on one device and then show it to the client on another, where it is reset, so you know how to cue. There are a variety of daily posts that provide hints, such as Mashable's.

And most can also make your own! Think of targeting reviewed vocabulary or concepts! Check out this one I made last Friday when a certain album came out, and click Create to make your own.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Using ChatGPT for Lesson Planning Ideas

I have posted here recently on the therapeutic uses of Generative AI for language activities, and have recently been impressed by the results of using it to obtain modifiable content useful in sessions. ChatGPT is great at coming up with elaborated lists. I am working with a student on self-advocacy in the community, an an example prompt to ChatGPT is as follows:

Not necessarily usable as a read-through with a student, but certainly a place to start in thinking about role-playing situations. 

With another student, the need for intervention in social problem solving has been recently highlighted. The student benefits from a hook, and is very into the pop/rap artist Lil Nas X. While the artist's racy content would never be a good context for our work, the student is allowed to listen to some songs at home, and the artist could certainly be useful as a kind of shell of a story.  An activity I am conducting is teaching the basics of problem solving using language structures such as OR, i.e. "we could do this OR this." See the books on problem solving by Shure

Searching on Chat GPT, I originally obtained a list of too-mature problems e.g. Nas is harrassed on social media because of his identity as a queer artist. Modifying the prompt with "kid friendly," I received a delightful set of problem solving scenarios. 

Again, these are usable with some creative modification. The outfits scenario, for example, could be solved with a drawing activity of creating several outfits. My student is not so into drawing, so we are using Pic Collage's new online web editor (pick blank canvas) along with a separate tab search-copy-paste for Google Image PNGs (no background as in the rainbow skirt) and the "remove background" feature. 

We are doing a similar activity for a client I supervise who has a big interest in Sonic the Hedgehog!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Finding Categories Everywhere

This summer I became addicted to the New York Times' new Connections puzzle. I enjoyed each morning tackling this often-tricky categorization activity and comparing results (or sometimes providing or receiving hints) with my husband. I've always thought of categorization as one of the most important skills--it's how we organize information, and much expository text takes on a list structure--and our literature backs this up. Approaches like the EET also use Green-Group to target describing by category, among other attributes. We can be explicit with our students (see Ukrainetz' helpful RISE acronym) and teach that categories are important ways to organize and describe words and information. 

ABCYa provides a wealth of categories through its activities- you just have to look for them. 

Take Dress for the Weather- here you've got an engaging activity which contains both weather conditions and clothing items. Take screenshots of relevant items and paste into Jamboard and you've got a followup sort for repetition of the concept, category and skill. 

You can practice contextualized language intervention by locating a narrative picture book about weather, dogs and weather, or weather and clothing and target another skill within the same topic. 

Here's five more categories you can target with ABCYa:

Bandemonium: musical instruments
Find the technology: electronic devices
Make a House: Parts of a house, building materials
Seasonal Shuffle: seasons, months

I'm sure you can identify many more opportunities from this site.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Music LM

Proceeding from some ideas about the role of music in speech-language therapy (and social coaching), back in the spring I did some activities with MusicLM. This tool is available from Google's AI Test Kitchen, which is free, though you currently have to sign in with a personal Google account and may have to wait a short while to be approved. With Music LM you "Describe a musical idea and hear it come to life." More specifically, type an activity, setting, situation, style, mood, or specific musical instruments, and it will create several examples for you.

The language and/or social interaction can come in through providing schema with the above italicized connections to music, using this as a conversational "add a thought" type activity, and allowing flexibility- as maybe your clients will think of possibilities that fall out of these categories. You can also be more structured and gear a lesson around, say, emotional vocabulary.

Friday, August 4, 2023


The title of this post is both an encouragement and some specific features I wanted to let you know about!

You first of all probably know singing is a hobby for me and a self-regulation strategy. My husband and I have been back on our BS and adding to our playlist monthly.

There are good resources and research for using music in speech and language therapy, and we of course know that for many of our students it is supported by the client values prong of EBP (a natural motivator and therapeutic avenue for those of you working with older clients as well). I've written before about using music for figurative language and narrative

If you are an Apple Music subscriber, they have recently added features they call Sing, including synced displayed lyrics (think literacy as well) and volume control for the vocals within lyrics. Meaning you can have the student(s) sing along with the artist, or be the artist on their own. 

This video shows how:

For the karaoke singers like me or those working in professional voice, did you know it is also pretty easy to change the key of a song? Why would you do this? Let The Honest Voice Co demonstrate:
@thehonestvoiceco Replying to @willow ♬ original sound - The Honest Voice Co.

As to how, however, that's easy. I currently use the app Anytune to do this. If you have the song purchased from iTunes and downloaded to your phone, you can simply import the song to the app and change the pitch or tempo (which may help with processing or speech production):

Below the soundwave on the left are tempo controls and on right is pitch