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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: "I see" with DIY binoculars

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"I see" with DIY binoculars

If you have a child in speech, or a speech language pathologist yourself, you are probably familiar with the term "carrier phrase." A carrier phrase refers to the initial component of a sentence that stays constant (usually a subject and verb, allowing for a fill in the blank at the end (the predicate). Common examples include:
"I want ______."
"I have ______."
"I see _______."
"I like________." 

This list is not exhaustive, but does give you an idea. In the educational arena, these are frequently referred to as sentence stems. 

Carrier phrases are used in a variety of therapy strategies for a variety of disorders. The predictability allows the child to practice learned skills beyond the word level, moving into the phrase and sentence level.  It decreases the cognitive load needed to form a sentence AND remember the learned skills, because the sentence stem, or initial phrase remains constant. In this way, the child can practice their skills at a higher level of complexity (phrase or sentence level) but doesn't have the increased demand to also generate a new and novel sentence.

To practice her words in a sentence I have a great idea that comes from my fabulous and creative mentor Deborah Comfort, who is currently the private practitioner seeing my daughter. She had Ashlynn pick out some fabric swatches from a book she had at the end of the session last week.  For the next session, she had hot glued the fabric onto two toilet paper rolls and then hot glued the toilet paper rolls together side by side. She poked some holes in the top and threaded some yarn, and Presto, they gave a set of DIY binoculars. Using the carrier phrase "I see_____" they practiced a variety of words with targeted sounds at the sentence level. 

Ashlynn loved it of course! It's also more fun than sitting at a table practicing flash cards. As you'll frequently read in my posts, I am a big proponent of multi-sensory learning and this fits the bill. Maybe tomorrow we will take it to the zoo! Great carryover practice and lots of fun!

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