Saturday, September 11, 2010

Using Crafts for Speech Therapy Goals

Most children enjoy a good craft project. The first thing you must do is make sure the project is appropriate for the child's developmental level and physical abilities. Often one project can suit many levels of students with minor modifications. For example: When sewing and decorating a paper mitten to go with our book unit The Mitten, younger or developmentally delayed children were given a pre-punched mitten and hand-over-hand assistance with lacing; decorating was also assisted with glue applied for them, limited choices of supplies, etc. Older children can actually trace, cut, and punch their own mitten and can do most of the work themselves, including more elaborate decorating. But it is always important to look at your planned craft through the perspective of each child; "Perspective Taking" activity for the therapist!

General types of goals that can be addressed through a craft activity:

Processing Skills:

1. Have the child follow specific directions by listening to oral instructions. "Place a button in the middle of the mitten."
2. Describe the items the child needs to add to the project: "Find something red with four sides" (red square)

Vocabulary Skills:

Target names of items, variety of verbs or actions words, and synonyms for each to use during the task.

Example: "Sew your mitten together." could be phrased in several ways throughout the activity: "Lace your mitten. / Stitch your mitten together. / Attach your two mitten pieces to each other."

Grammatical skills:

1. Have the child use carrier sentences that target goals. "I want a ______." or "The mitten has a _______."
2. Use of pronoun: "She has a button nose."
3. "is verbing": "I am gluing the button on the snowman."
4. Past tense: "I glued the button on the snowman."

Verbal Expression:

1. Have the child give you descriptions of items.
2. Child gives you instructions for the task.
3. Child explains to someone else how to do the task.
4. Child requests specific items: glue, decorations, assistance. "Sabotage" infers purposely giving the child something that requires your help, for example a tightly capped bottle that they cannot open without asking for assistance.
5. For the non-verbal or minimally verbal child, you must prepare assistive communication ahead of time: picture prompts for PECS or sign language to be prompted or taught in the task.

Articulation Skills:

1. Target specific sounds in materials and processes being used:
/k/ sound Word, level - "cut, color, make, crayon..." Sentence level: "Can I
have a crayon?", " I cut the mitten."...
2. Earn a decoration for each sound production or set of productions.
3. Carryover: Practice target sounds while telling parent how they made the project.
4. Any of the verbal expression activities.

Communicative Intent (for the child with Autism or the minimally verbal child).

1. Child must use pictures (PECS) or sign/gesture to request items.
2. Child must reference communication partner to receive the requested item (eye contact or looking at you).
3. Therapist could communicate with gestures or with eye gaze to indicate instructions to child; this requires the child to reference/watch the therapist.

7-14-11 Found this interesting site on Art Therapy