Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sentence Expansion Activities for Students with ASD!

As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.

The next guest post is written by Jen at Speech Universe! Enjoy!

Thank you so much to Kristine for allowing me to guest post today!  I wish her all the best with her new little one!

I'm Jen from Speech Universe.  I work in a school that houses three self-contained Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) rooms.  We have students who are non verbal as well as some verbal students.  I am always looking for ways to increase utterance length in my verbal students.  Today, I am going to share three of my go-to activities.  I use them all of the time.

First, is a very simple activity.  I pull out a piece of paper (I used my new wipe boards for the pictures) and write a sentence starter on it.  Then, I place a picture under the sentence starter.  I love to use the Autism & PDD Photo Cards- Wh Questions by Linguisystems for this task. 

I usually use this for working on verbs, but it works for nouns as well.  The verb cards also target pronoun use.  You could also write, "The boy is ___." or "The girl is ___."





I have the students repeat at first, and then have them start to state the sentence without my verbal cue.  Next, I will erase the sentence and give them a phonemic cue to start the sentence.  This has worked really well with my students.  I usually parlay the success of these cards into using sequence cards to start creating stories.  With the simple three-step cards, the students are usually able to create simple sentences that contain a noun and a verb.

When I am working with students who have goals to increase nouns, I also like to use sentence starters.  I made a big binder of picture cues that I laminated and then put Velcroed.  I organized by page and made data sheets for each page.  I got the pictures from a cd I have called Picture This by Mayer Johnson.

I just write a simple sentence and then replace the noun card for each trial.



The third way that I target expanding utterance length with my students with ASD is to use a fun app called First Phrases by Hamiguchi Apps.  There is a full version of this app available for $15.99 and a $0.99 Lite version.  I have used both versions with my students, but quickly upgraded to the full version because of how much I found I was using it!


This app is great because it is very visual.  Students touch each word to create a phrase that contains a noun and a verb.  There are a variety of characters and verbs within the app. 

The activity starts with a narrator instructing the student to tell the character what to do.  ("Tell the mouse what to do.")  This prompt is faded after several trials.  The student must then touch each part of the phrase, in order.  As each word/part is touched, a pre-recorded voice says the words.

After the student touches all of the parts in the correct order, the character indicates that he/she will perform the action.  ("Ok, I will jump on the bed.")  Then the character performs the action in an annimation video.  The students love this part!

After the video, the student is asked to state the phrase.  The narrator says, "Now you say it."  This prompt is eventually faded back.  There are three shapes on the screen.  The student touches each shape and says the word on the space.  They record the whole phrase.  The student can then listen to the recording and watch the animation again.

Wow!  That was a lot longer than I thought this post was going to be.  Thanks for checking it all out!
You can find me on my blog, Speech Universe, Facebook and also at my TpT store.

Jen