These are almost accurate titles. But what are they missing?
This small word makes a HUGE difference.
Many people know the "speech" part of the profession, but not the language aspect.
And language is much more than just speech!
It's nonverbal communication.
Most of us can use a variety of these language tools and modalities daily, but some people only have access to one.
And we must validate the importance and vitality of all of the modalities of language.
I was recently in Thailand. As I don't speak Thai, I had to rely on all of the other modalities of language. And let me tell you, it was hard. But it was successful (most of the time ;) ).
We stayed in some remote parts of the country, and so we weren't able to always fall back on English as the "universal" language. For example, when we walked into a restaurant the first day, we weren't sure if they were open or not. We saw a sign, but it was in Thai so we couldn't read it. We used gestures to indicate we wanted to eat. They gestured back for us to follow them to a table. We looked at pictures on the menu and pointed to them. We smiled when the food came. We bowed when we left. We didn't use much or any speech, but we were able to use a lot of language to get our needs met.
So for those in your life who don't have access to speech, or don't have access to the speech that you can understand, don't forget about the power of LANGUAGE.
Be creative and make up your own language with your loved one that doesn't require speech.
Be receptive to the modality that your loved one needs right now.
Be patient with the process, as it can change daily.
There is no perfect. All language is individual and valid. And the more you can learn to speak your loved one's language, perhaps you will find that some things are better left unsaid.
Speech-Language skills can be developed anywhere- even while traveling! Here are some ideas about what games/activities to try, along with the corresponding speech-language skill that can be targeted.
Describing is hard. For all of us.
When was the last time that you couldn't name what emotion you were feeling?
When was the last time you gave up telling a story because the other person was lost?
When was the last time you simply didn't even begin the story because there was too much to explain?
For those of us with speech-language deficits, describing is even harder.
Until you play the "picture game".
It goes like this:
1. Close your eyes
2. Make a picture in your head of your story
3. Tell 3 sentences about your story
For extra support, have the 1st sentence begin with "First", the 2nd with "Next", and the 3rd with "Last"
1. First, we went to the store.
2. Next, we walked down the aisle.
3. Last, we found the milk and paid for it.
When we are telling a story, we are re-living that story while we tell it, even if we are unaware of it. That's calling visualizing. That's why we are able to tell it effectively. If we stop visualizing, our story may lose its focus or get confusing.
Help yourself--and those in your life with speech-language needs-- get back on track by remembering to "make a picture in your head".
I don't do busy.
I don't do crazy.
I don't do overwhelmed or overworked.
I do calm.
For myself, and for my clients.
Because growth doesn't happen when we are stressed.
Growth happens when we let go of worry.
Change happens when we give up on anxiety.
Goals are not met when we do too much, but when we do just enough. And sometimes that means doing less than you think.
Doing "less" means a lot of things:
Because often I find that in doing "less", so much more is gained.
Word-retrieval games may be my favorite activity as an SLP. And as a human.
These are games I used to (and still do) play for fun routinely. You can buy the actual game, you can make it up in your head, or you can make your own materials for a game.
Even if my client is not diagnosed with a word-retrieval deficit, I have found these games helpful for many other deficits, including:
Social-Pragmatic Language Disorder
Think about it. If you have a hard time categorizing words in your brain, you will find it difficult to retrieve them when you need them. This poses challenges which may manifest in the following ways:
Help your clients, kids, or loved ones who have deficits like these by playing word retrieval games!
If you are interested in purchasing one of these games, I've included Amazon links. If you use the link, I will receive affiliate compensation. Thank you!
Time: 5-30 minutes/game
I also like to play a category game that I simply call, "The Word Game". I think of a category, write #1-10 on a whiteboard, and see how fast the other person can name 10 things. We play together if they need help. This game is great for playing anywhere, even in the car. If you don't have a whiteboard, then it's a great way to work on working memory for the other person to have to remember the 10 things as well. Here are a few suggestions for some starter categories:
It is helpful to tell your client or loved one to "close your eyes and make a picture" in order to strengthen visualization skills as well as semantic-mapping/word-retrieval skills.
I hope this is helpful to you as a practitioner, parent, or partner of someone in need of communication support!
My name is Amy Lauer