Pics and Sticks

Don’t you love it when your students’ sense of play turns into a great therapy session? It’s even better when the resulting activity is applicable to multiple targets. Readers, I am pleased to introduce Pics and Sticks! Come on in and I’ll show you how it works.

So, I have a student with autism and he was really jittery on his speech day last week. He was up and exploring the room (probably because I had redecorated and things were different for him). He grabbed the Communication Props picture cards from TheraSimplicity which were hanging from the ring on my white board, but lost interest pretty quickly when he realized I wanted him to talk about them. I had created Mia’s speech sticks over the holiday break and I thought maybe he would be intrigued by them. I just grabbed the closest set which happened to include the taco stick.

Taco on slide

When the student saw the sticks, he reached across the table and started pointing to things using the stick! I took this initiation and ran with it! Soon we were saying things like, “Taco on swings” and “Put the taco on the boy.” He found the humor in this activity and worked diligently for the rest of the session.

After he left, I started thinking of how I could use these materials together again. Of course, I thought about articulation in phrases and sentences. Just use the set of sticks for the targeted sound and let the kids have some fun with the pictures.

Preschool students might like practicing locative words and identifying prepositions. This could also easily be turned into a giving/following directions activity.

What else can you think of to target with these things?

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