Monday, June 25, 2012

Social Thinking® Providers' Conference- Day 3

Wow, what a great conference! My head is honestly still spinning from the geographic and temporal confusion of being back in Boston, but also from all the new ideas I haven't quite "learned" yet. I have to say also how proud I am of my state, not only to "represent" personally by presenting at this conference, but also to be in the amazing company of fellow Massachusetts educators Jessica Minahan (can you believe we have taught in the same district for many years, but never met?) co-author of The Behavior Code, the incredible Sarah Ward, executive function guru, and Katy Shamitz, who did a wonderful presentation on student mentors and whom I never knew lived right over a small bridge from me.

With pals Sarah Ward and Jessica Minahan
Yesterday I mentioned that one of the takeaways of the conference was the importance of context, of teaching about the contingencies of life that require our social "scripts" to adapt and change.  Additionally, a related idea running through many of the presentations was the role of sentence complexity. If students can't do "because/so/when/if/then" in their sentences (and narrative language), they are unlikely to be able to grapple with the complexities of the social world, including executive functioning.  So, this is yet another underscoring of the role of the SLP in treating the population of students with social learning deficits. There are not an abundance of tools available to us to treat sentence complexity, but I wanted to again recommend Conversations with Conjunctions, by Catherine Harkins May.  Her approach to teaching use of complex conjunctions through ASL signs is multisensory, strategic, and fun.

I'm still processing, of course, and have another post on this conference, but for now, please check out the tweets from Sunday  (you do not need to be on twitter to see them).  Thanks again to @speechykeenslp for doing the bulk of the tweeting, especially since I left at about 10:45 to catch my plane!

With #slpeeps @hts_slp and @speechykeenslp

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