Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Another example of pairing picture books and apps in teletherapy

I have previously mentioned I am a big fan of the Scaredy Squirrel (Melanie Watt) series that is helpfully available on EPIC! Books. Over a number of weeks I had my students in one group come to a decision on the order of reviewing and discussing the books in the series, which was good practice in expressing opinions and compromise. They find the books hilarious, so they are motivating (see the above link for some social cognitive analysis as well). I wanted to share a post-activity we conducted with the original book. Hoggan and Strong describe how narrative teaching activities can include "art" activities, which was what this was in essence. 

In the book, Squirrel is described as having constructed an emergency kit for all the unlikely things he is afraid of. So, as a group we created and shared emergency kits.

Here are the steps I followed:
1. Create a Google Slides presentation (and blank slide)

2. Use Insert>Image>Search the web to locate a "bag" for the kit, position and enlarge on slide.

3. Duplicate that slide for all in group (secondary click/right click on slide and select Duplicate). I put a text initial on each slide for each group member. Also click Share and make the presentation editable for anyone with the link.

4. Create a model (always), with same steps but using PNG in the search term which gives you transparent images (will look like they are over the bag, but this step is not necessary).

5. Present the activity and model and strong causals: I need iced coffee in the kit because I get Blue Zone in the afternoon. Also model how to insert an image or PNG (This provides good opportunity for following directions)

6. Copy the link and provide to group members in chat for the session (Zoom or Meet). Again, following directions. 

Here was one of the students' productions:

7. Have all work independently while chatting and then share. This is a good opportunity to use a clock, Sarah Ward/Kristen Jacobsen style, for time management.

Overall the activity provides great self-description opportunities, building of "people files" (Social Thinking®) and conversation.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Adapting Social Thinking®'s Levels of Independence for Teletherapy

I have previously discussed here how visual supports and displaying visual materials provide an important layer and level within the Continuum of Technology Integration (developed with Nathan Curtis of Waldo Country General) in both in-person and teletherapy sessions.

This Displaying/Discussing Visual Materials can support and scaffold: conversations, strategies, action plans related to communication.

One great visual and paradigm we have been using in teen groups is Social Thinking®'s 10 Levels to Living Independently, which with the right group just makes sense. Trust me, my message is not "YOU NEED TO DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO IMPROVE YOURSELF DURING THIS RIDICULOUS TIME." But, fact is these kids are spending more time alone, bored, and developing independence in managing themselves would sure be great for them and their parents.

So we have been using this model in a sequential manner along with other resources and discussion webs. Here's an example to check out, easily co-created during a conversation with Google Slides screen-shared. This model allows a lot of opportunities for parent communication and use of videos and other resources.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dispatches from BU's graduate clinic: creative ideas from graduate students who can help YOU.

In my last post I described the ongoing/current problem about obtaining clinical placements for graduate students and highlighted reasons we should be prioritizing supporting graduate programs and taking supervision opportunities at this time. Comments on the post via Facebook and Twitter confirmed from other clinical coordinators at universities that this is indeed a problem.

In this post through a collaboration with Boston University (my alma mater) we are offering some great examples of activities graduate students created recently...help them and they will help you! Thanks again to Meghan Graham at BU for providing this material.

Book reading along with visual supports in Google Slides to discuss/contrast character thoughts and perspectives (icons from Story Grammar Marker®)

A description of using GIFs (my post on how here) in creative ways for linguistic targets.

Sorry if you don't like snakes! Kids do...

Here is an example of using Google Slides as a visual support for a camping theme- visuals that put students in the scene for discussion, narrative and procedural language, and another on using a picture book and categorical/descriptive targets (credit graduate student Francynne Pompedora)

Finally, simple images and sketching over them were used to scaffold post-book dramatic play and language within it: Little Critter: Me and My Grandma and riding on a train theme.

Again, please consider if you have the opportunity or can seek out the opportunity to support a graduate student placement this coming fall. Despite the uncertainty we all face, we can do this better together. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Support the Future of the Professions- Supervise a Graduate Student this Fall

I am hearing from some of my colleagues and friends at the graduate school level that they are finding it hard to secure placements for graduate students needing clinical practicum experiences this summer and fall. For many of us, what fall will look like is uncertain, everyone understands that. But I'd like to advance an idea: whatever it will look like, a graduate student will HELP YOU.

-graduate students can help shoulder your clinical work (ASHA is recommending 25% supervision)
-freeing you for other aspects of your workload
-and likely bringing a comfort and creativity with technology you may not have, for whatever degree of teletherapy you may be doing
-while being willing to physically distance within or outside of your physical space
-and providing you with a collaborative relationship where this may not be as "happening" given whatever your work situation is
-last and, and giving you a sense that you are helping in a situation that needs an unprecedented amount of helping.

Think you'll either be at home OR at school and only one of those situations involves teletherapy? Take a look at this article (Boisvert & Hall, 2019) while it is free on ASHAWire and think more about workload management...and how a graduate student intern might fit into that.

I had a graduate student finishing up her Winter semester when COVID-19 hit Massachusetts. Continuing to have her "on" was immensely valuable for all of the above reasons. Summer semester rolled around and I took on another, and ditto.

Over the next several posts I'd like to share some examples of work graduate students have done during this crisis, with the goal of convincing you:
-to please reconsider if you said "no" to a graduate student for the upcoming semester
-to reach out to your local college and grad programs to see if you can be of help in providing clinical experiences
Otherwise all this stalls. And with efforts to increase diversity within our field ongoing, we all need to be part of that solution, too.

Kevin Buonanni, in his last semester at Emerson College in Boston, has done an excellent job co-running my social cognition groups (on Zoom) with me from May-June. Kevin brought a gaming expertise that I don't have, and has suggested many resources and approaches. I have a group that has had an Indiana Jones/archaeology/digging/earth/mindfulness theme and have long wanted to modify some Role-Playing Game (RPG) type activities with them but didn't know quite how. I recalled having some Indy RPG materials as a kid myself, though, and found this resource of out-of-print games on The Trove. As Kevin was progressing in his placement from duplicating activities he had seen me do to more independent planning, I asked him if he could take a look at those materials and plan an activity. I am SO glad I was not my usual control freak self and didn't say "Do ___." because what he came up with was so much better than what I envisioned. 

Kevin used Jamboard to make sketches that amounted to a storyboard of one of the scenes from the RPG, he then verbally communicated some narrative to the group members, offered choices for the way the story could go, and provided opportunities for them to contribute dialogue (conversation building) and sketches (collaborative play), for a great series of activities that will continue when the group reconvenes next week. 

In the second case, placing a maze on the Jam slide and asking the boys to each "imagine" what would be at the center of the maze.

Please check out this flyer--and share-- on what a graduate student can do for you this Fall (created by Meghan Graham, Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University).