A Voice for Amelie Part 4: Incorporating Speak for Yourself (SfY) into Activities and Routines

This blog is a continuation from Amelie’s previous blog that included parent/ caregiver training. In addition to addressing her parents’ questions and concerns, I thought it was important to include suggestions for activities other than requesting for food or toys. I put together an excel worksheet that included the name of the activity, buttons to be kept open on the home (1st) page of SfY, corresponding buttons to be kept open on the 2nd page, and examples of phrases or sentences that can be modeled. The goal here is to model language using age appropriate activities. We weren’t expecting Amelie to formulate sentences like “put on the eyes” right away when playing with Mr. Potato Head. But, the idea is that if a wide variety of vocabulary and language structures were modeled using SfY, it would stimulate receptive language as well as encourage Amelie to use her “talker” for more than just requesting desired objects. It’s really the same old tried and trusted “Modeling Language for Language Stimulation in Young Children” theory that have been used for generations of early intervention specialists and speech-language pathologists, but with a small twist. In addition to verbal language, we also modeled the language structures using “Speak for Yourself.”

I am attaching the excel sheet that includes the activities and toys. I tried to incorporate materials and toys that are present in most households or clinics, or are fairly inexpensive to purchase if needed.

The categories of activities include: 1) Toys/ games/ art, 2) Cooking, 3) Outside, 4) Books, 5) Songs/music, and 6) Everyday Routines. I wanted to include a wide array of activities to ensure that Amelie was using her talker as much as possible during the day.

Of course, an important point to remember is that this is simply a starting point. You can add, change, delete or modify the language and vocabulary in any of the activities based on your client or child. I simply wanted other families and therapists to look at toys and materials they have at home or in their clinics and realize that there are infinite possibilities for using a child’s AAC system to build language beyond requesting. In addition, I would like to note that even though I’ve used “Speak for Yourself” as the AAC system for Amelie, most, if not all of these activities could be used with any other AAC system such as Proloquo2Go or any Dynavox system.


GAMES/TOYS/ART
MR. POTATO
HEAD
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
putputPut eyes on Mr. Potato Head.
buteyesPut ears on Mr. Potato Head.
ears
nose
mouth
arms
feet
giveMr. Potato Head
CRAYONS
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
II want red crayon. 
wantwantI want green crayon.
colorscrayon
red
blue
yellow
green
purple
orange
pink
BLOCKS
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
giveblockBlock up.
upupBlock down.
downdown
PHOTO ALBUM
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
pleasehiHi grandma.
goodbyeBye Daddy.
familymama
daddy
grandma
grandpa
Maria
PLAY DOUGH
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
likesqueezeSqueeze red play dough.
(You can
change the verb to roll or press)
Squeeze pink play dough.
colorsred
blue
yellow
pink
giveplaydough
FARM TOY
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
ahorsePig jump.
pigHorse jump.
goatSheep walk.
sheep
cow
walkwalk
(or)
jump 
FEED THE BABY
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
makefeedFeed the baby doll.
givebaby doll
COOKING
     
FRUIT SALAD
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
makemixMix strawberry.
eatstrawberryMix banana.
banana
blueberries
OATMEAL
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
makemixMix blueberries.
eatoatmealMix cinnamon.
blueberries
withcinnamon
OUTSIDE
PARK
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
wantwantWant swing.
thenswingWant slide.
slide
PUTTING ON
SUNSCREEN
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
putputPut on arms.
onPut on legs.
butarms
legs
face
BOOKS
BROWN BEAR,
BROWN BEAR
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
II see bear.
lookseeI see bird.
abearI see dog.
bird
frog
cat
fish
sheep
dog
duck
THE VERY
HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
eatateAte apple.
appleAte pear.
pearAte strawberry.
plum
strawberry
orange
POLAR BEAR, POLAR BEAR
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
hearhearI hear lion.
azebraI hear flamingo.
boa constrictor
lion
elephant
flamingo
hippo
walrus
leapord
peacock
READING TIME
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
readreadRead book.
bookRead Bear Snores On.
(book icons)
SONGS
WHEELS ON THE BUS
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
ridewheel(Child chooses the item)
wipers
indoor
window
familymommy
friendbaby
OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
waswas(Child  chooses the item)
acow
horse
pig
sheep
dog
LET’S DANCE
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
walkdanceDance to the music.
hearmusic
ROUTINES
     
NAPTIME & BEDTIME
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
wantwantWant blanket.
sleepblanketWant pacifier.
pacifier
lovie
readread(Child  picks a
book to read)
open all books
PICKING AN OUTFIT
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
wantwantWant dress.
weardressWant socks
socks
shoes
LAUNDRY
1st Page2nd PagePhrases or Sentences
makewashWash pants.
wearT-shirtWash socks.
pantsWash shorts.
dress
socks
shorts
pajamas

*Disclaimer: I want to state that although I can take credit for most of the content on the spreadsheet above, I have to thank Amelie’s mother for making it pretty and fun to read by formatting it and adding the colors.

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