Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Including "is" + "location" in Speech

I recently did an evaluation on a student who is working on an objective in speech to work on using the word "is" + a location.  For example, "The pig IS IN the mud."

Problem/Sensory issues

The problem here is that our student (let's call him Frank), leaves out the "is" and sometimes other parts of the sentence.  He does get both of the subjects which is helpful to those of us participating in conversations with him.

Anyhow, the idea to use music to help was to slow the speech down to help with his auditory tracking and processing and place emphasis on the "is" and the location.  Successful auditory tracking requires our brain to track or "catch" the sequence of sounds heard, re-create the sounds (requires short-term memory), organize and determine relationships between each sound (put in order), and then file into memory.  Frank is only processing parts of the sentence and it happens to be the important words like the two subjects and the verb (The boy going store).

Successful music

I found that putting the selected sentence to the tune of Sally is Wearing a Red Dress worked very well. It's an old Wee Sing song.  You can hear me singing it with my kids (not clients) in the video above.

This piece:

  1. Is in 6/8 time which creates the "swaying" feeling, heavily emphasizing each beat.
  2. Is slow enough to give Frank more processing time on each syllable.  
  3. Has 4 phrases which gives the opportunity to repeat the sentence 4 times and help with filing the sounds into memory.
Steps for the Intervention

  1. Present a visual (I used speech cards from Artic. You can also use something like a box and an animal or manipulative)
  2. Sing the entire song (a capella).
  3. Take turns singing each line (you go first).
  4. Repeat as necessary.
  5. When they master the objective or several sentences add some accompaniment to make it more fun.
Example Sentence

The barn. 
The barn.
The the barn.
The pig is in the barn.