What to do on the first day of therapy?

Are you starting out in your school career, or just want to try something different during the first week of speech-language therapy?  Here's what my first week of therapy in the elementary school looks like.


My personal goals are pretty simple for the first week.  My primary purpose is to get to know my students and help them to be comfortable around me, since I will be asking them to try difficult things during the year.  I also think it is important for my students to know why they come to speech-language therapy.  Finally, I like to get some sort of baseline data to see how each student is doing with each of their IEP goals.



First, I welcome the students to my room, and introduce myself.  I show each one around the room, pointing out their reward chart, the treasure box, etc.  I try to make a point of explaining my bulletin board with "I can" statements, and show each student several that relate to their goals in therapy.


Next, we fill out these pages from my Free Student Goal Display.  While they are coloring a picture of themselves, I spend a little time getting to know the students, or if they are continuing students, what they have been up to since I saw them last May.  We also talk about what each student's individual goals are, and why they are important.  (It's so interesting to see why students think they come to therapy!)  I will take these and mount them on colored card stock to make a display for one of the walls in my therapy room.


Then, I will start quickly assessing my students' skill levels with each of their IEP goals.  My favorite way to do this is to use my progress monitoring tools for articulation, phonology, language, and grammar.  If I have a group of students, I will let the others draw me a picture, play with play-doh, or work on a quiet educational app on one of my iPads while I progress monitor with each student.  (This may take a full session or two, depending upon how many goals each student has.)


For my articulation, phonology, and fluency students, I also have them fill out my student self-rating scales.  I just created these last year, and I have found them to be very revealing to see how each student views his or her disorder.  These are also something I like to do again at the end of the year to see how much their perception has changed.


For my older students, we also spend a few minutes discussing how they will come to speech-language therapy.  Some prefer to come on their own, while others prefer me to come get them.  I think it is important to respect each student's wishes, and do what I can to work with each one.

What do you do in your first week of therapy?



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