Today’s topic is all about speech sound therapy!
I’m going to share how I structure my therapy, stay organized, and think about service delivery for students who are working on targeted speech sounds or phonological processes.
Below are my top 5 tips:
- Drill, drill, drill. I often ask myself, “What activity would make drill fun for this student/group?”. Number of correct productions is always my number 1 goal.
- Keep it functional. Target the most relevant, functional words that you can. Then, slowly mix in some more random ones!
- Target fewer words at a time. Most sessions, until my students are working on carryover, I might only target 3-5 different words per session. This increases student success so we can get tons of reps in on those correct productions!
- Do shorter sessions, more often. I’ll be honest, I really avoid putting my artic students in mixed groups unless they were truly working on carryover only. Otherwise, I like seeing my students 1:1 or in small groups for short, 5-10 minute sessions, 3-5x a week.
- Make systems. If you couldn’t tell from the resources I tend to create, I love a good system. When a large percent of my caseload was preschool phonology, I made a toolkit to pull from (my Cycles for Phonology Toolkit) so I could stop recreating the wheel every week. When I saw middle school articulation students, I made my High Frequency Articulation Printables line so that I could easy target functional words in my short, drill-based sessions.
Scheduling Speech Sound Therapy Groups
Generally, I try to schedule my students based on what their session looks like. For example, is it drill-based, play-based, or academic focused?
That means I usually aim to schedule my students working on speech sounds separate from those working on more language-based goals. I only combine them once the artic student’s sessions are focused primarily on generalization.
This way, I keep students who are doing drill-based sessions (typically ~75% of my artic students) separate from those who do more language-based activities (artic students working on carryover + students with language goals).
I’ve found that working on language-based skills in a drill format doesn’t really work – so this is what works best for me!
Minutes for Speech Sound Therapy Groups
During the younger elementary years, I preferred 20 minute sessions, several times per week for my speech sound students.
But, once students got older, I really enjoyed doing 3-10 minute sessions, 4-5 times a week. These sessions are one of the huge perks of being in a school setting! They are SO effective, so quick, and so easy to prep/plan for.
Targets for Speech Sound Therapy
I’m a big fan of high frequency words and using functional targets for each student. Being able to say the /g/ in “Give it to me!” is so much more important than being able to say “goose”.
But mixing up my targets keeps things fresh and interesting, too! It’s a balance.
I am for correct productions, not just productions. But as many correct ones as I can get!
I often start with just 3 targets per session but increase as my student’s accuracy increases to aid in generalization as well.
I keep things really simple materials-wise in my speech sound therapy. Not surprisingly, I use a ton of what I have for sale in my store!
Below are my most used resources:
Speech Sound Cue Cards: My favorite freebie of mine! It’s a must have for any job where you’re working on articulation or phonology!
Cycles for Phonology Toolkit: A must have if you work with younger students!
Articulation Printables using High Frequency Words: A must have if you work with older students!
Articulation Playing Cards: A super fun activity to mix things up for all ages!