I like using a mix of technology and toys/play with my minimally verbal students. I find that many of my students are motivated by technology and enjoy watching you tube clips. However, most of the clips move at too fast of a pace for my students or do not directly teach the skill I am addressing with my students. My solution? Make your own videos! That way, you can tailor them to meet the needs of the student(s)! Since children love their SLP’s, they will love watching it!
Here’s an example:
I have a child with an IEP goal to learn to sign or say “eat” and “all done.” I made a video of myself singing the following words:
“I am eating, I am eating. (gesturing bringing a spoon to my mouth) Eat, eat, eat. Eat, eat, eat.” (signing “eat.”).
“Now I’m all done eating (signing all done), now I’m all done eating. All done. All done.”
I also included some other actions in the video (besides eat):
“I am sleeping, I am sleeping, (pretending to sleep with a blanket). Sleep, sleep, sleep. Sleep, sleep, sleep. (signing sleep).
“Now I’m all done sleeping. (Making a wide awake face). Now I’m all done sleeping. All done. All done.” (signing all done).
The student and I watch it together and sign along with the video. She loves watching it and I can also have her sign “more” or use assistive technology (pictures, switch, I pad app etc) to request to view it again. If you are comfortable, you can also send the video to her parents to use at home.
Here’s how to do it!
a. Pick a tune to a favorite children’s song or make up your own tune.
b. Decide what core vocabulary words or skills that you want to teach.
c. Gather some props! Are you teaching “eat?” Then, gather a plate and spoon. The props are important to help your student associate the items with the vocabulary. Do you want to include images of the core vocabulary? Have those ready too.
d. Ready, set, action! Record your video using your laptop, I pad or phone! I usually start the video by explaining what skill I will be showing. If it will be used with only one child, I use their name. For example, “Hello Emily, let’s sing the all done song!”
e. Make the video less than 3 minutes! Why? To accommodate short attention spans. Also, you will want your students to use sign, words, pictures or assistive technology to request to play it again!
f. I do not edit my videos but I often watch the first clip and then record it again with some adjustments. Don’t stress over it. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
g. Watch the video with your student. Have the same props out and try to have them motor through the movements along with the video!
They will want to watch it repeatedly so you can also work on the functions of requesting. I often use the free app, Go Talk Now lite https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gotalk-now-lite/id953164338?mt=8 from the attainment company. You can program some basic boards for your early communicators such as “more/all done.”
I have made a short video to give you an idea of how your video might look. all-done-video
Ready? It’s time for you to make your debut! Good luck and have fun with it!