Cynthia Tveit – Silverdale, WA
Two students with articulation disorders were trying to tell me about a way-cool new video game. The two of them kept talking about something coming from a poodle.
“A poodle?” I asked.
“No… a POODLE… fwom space!”
“A poodle from space? A dog poodle? From space?” I repeated.
They looked from one another back to me, frowning.
Clearly, I was not getting it.
They tried again. “A poodle. Like…, it twanspotes you fwom da sky to oaf.”
“Oooohhhhhh!” I said as recognition finally dawned on me. “I get it! A PORTAL! A space portal!”
Yep. I finally got it. Space Poodle! What was I thinking?
Patti Richardson – Verona, WI
I have a 6th grade student with high functioning autism. I recently changed the location of her services from the special education environment to the regular education environment. While I feel confident in that decision, I still have moments when I question whether or not she is getting enough opportunities to practice her social language skills in the regular education classroom environment. So last week, in her Literature class, all of the students were working on individual computers related to a project they were completing. My student desperately wanted not to work on her project, and instead read a book of cartoons she had. After a couple of minutes, I walked over to redirect her to the computer project. As soon as I said her name to get her attention, she looked up and said, “Can I go back to my own thinking, or should I do what everyone else is doing?”. I gave the obvious answer, and as I walked away, I smiled, because I realized that the regular education environment was indeed the perfect place for her to learn more about social language.
Chris Hogue – Newport, OR
While working with one of my sixth graders on his “r-blend” sounds I showed him a picture of a projector and asked him what it was. He said, “Oh, I know what this is! It’s one of those old-fashioned DVRs!”
Mary Rhode-Franklinville, NY
I push-in to a second grade classroom to work with a Writer’s Workshop group on grammar and sequencing of writing pieces. In the group there is a student who is often off-task. He was writing a story about a cow, a pig, and a cat. Suddenly, and without any lead in, he says “When I grow up, I’m gonna be a snake!”. I told him he would have to do a lot of changing to make that happen, and good luck.
Wendy Posson-Portland, OR
I was working with a 4 year old boy the other day in my speech clinic. We were going through some photo articulation cards.
Me: What is this?
Him: A screwdriver.
Me: Tell me something about it.
Him: You screw things up with it.
Robyne Herring-Dudley, NC
At this time in the school year, I frequently ask my pairs of students in therapy to “teach” each other. I present them with various stimuli based on their IEP goals and they have to correct each others speech and/or language errors. During a session recently with a couple of first graders, a boy was having difficulty with “r.” His partner/teacher did an EXCELLENT job drawing pictures of the oral cavity on a dry-erase board and giving him every cue she could remember to help him. When it was his turn to “teach” her, I had to remind him that the he should provide a good, clear model of the target sound. When he started to roll his eyes the other student responded with: “OHHHHHH NOOOO! If you whine, Mr. Teacher, the principal will FIRE you and then you can’t help me!”
It was a fabulous moment!
Barbara Buchanan-Santa Cruz, CA
I was working with a 7 year old girl on articulation. We were playing a game that required her to say a target phrase after she rolled the dice. She was getting frustrated because she wasn’t getting the desired number on the dice. When she finally got the roll she wanted, she forgot to say the target phrase. So I said, “What do you say after the roll?” and she said, “Thank you, Jesus!”
Kathy Swiney – Houston, Texas
I was working with a precocious first grader last night. I said, “Gosh, that was great.” The child looked at me and said with all of the patience and dignity of a saint, “Miss, Kathy. That (gosh) is a bad word. You are taking the Lord’s name in pain.”
Brenda Lovelace – Adrian, Missouri
I was working with a kindergarten student with a severe language delay. Although his vocabulary skills were weak, he did use the phrase “Oh my God” quite often. One day, I explained to him that every time he said God’s name, God would look down and say “What do you want?” so he should really say God’s name only when he had something to tell Him. Later in the session, we went on a tour of the school naming the various rooms and things we saw along the way. He ran ahead of me into the athlete’s weight room and was apparently amazed since I heard as I rounded the corner “Oh my God!” quickly followed by “I love you!”
Shelley Voakes – Roseville, Michigan
One of my preschool students, who knew I was pregnant, asked me if I was having a boy baby or a girl baby. I told him that the doctor said I was having a boy baby. When he asked how does the doctor know, I said “the doctor put a camera on my belly and the camera took pictures and put them onto a computer and the computer told us we were having a boy…(not the best explanation ever, but I figured his mother could explain it to him later with appropriate detail). He looked shocked and said “Oh so the puter said “You’re having a boy” (in a monotone/robotic voice). Kids take things so literally!