If you could peer into the day of a pediatric speech-language pathologist, it would be filled with many different activities. Phone calls, report writing, parent counseling, material making, physician consultation…oh, and actually treating children with communication/feeding disorders. I will be the first to admit that I work in the most clinically supportive environments ever. My coworkers are bright, resourceful, and creative people. We have beautiful toys, books, and puzzles – and a budget to add more as we need. Two years ago we added a clinical assistant position to make materials, help us order items (like foods and testing materials), and clean all of the oral motor/feeding equipment used during the day. It is an amazing place to work.
This level of support is provided for a very good reason. It enables me to focus on what a speech pathologist does best: evaluating and treating children with communication/feeding needs. More of my time can be spent planning and implementing therapy, rather than cutting and laminating. During the course of 11+ years of creating therapy plans I’ve found some great websites full of resources. So I’d like to share a few of my favs with you. No one says we have to reinvent the wheel – use what is out there and create what’s not. I hope they are as helpful to you as they’ve been to me!
Speaking of Speech – Also known as “where have you been my entire professional life?” This site has an IEP goal bank AND materials exchange. Can’t think of a pronoun activity? Want a summer vocabulary theme? It’s there. Have fun (but please try to control your laminating)!
Mommy Speech Therapy – She’s a mommy and a speech therapist with an adorable site. Included are *free* printables for speech sounds as well as great tips for teaching. Does your child have trouble with “f”? This site will give you different ideas to try at home.
Therasimplicity – Bad news: this site does cost money. Good news: if you’re an SLP or homeschooling, it’s worth it. Full disclosure: I have free access (Remember? I work in the best place ever!) You can create, customize, and save materials on the site. You can also choose from MANY worksheets and printable games on topics like articulation – fluency – vocabulary – and more!
Enchanted Learning – Many materials are free to download, others cost money. I’ve used only the free ones to supplement my therapy “theme” weeks. Basic, but good in pinch.
Super Duper – “What? Super Duper? I thought they just sold therapy materials?” Well, they also have “Handy Handouts” on topics ranging from autism to transitions. Check them out.
and finally… Pinterest. Yes. Pinterest. As with anything on the internet one needs to use common sense and good judgement before clicking on a pin. That said, I have found great ideas on this virtual pin board. For instance, this spring I did a caterpillar theme using a classic Eric Carle book. Type in “Very Hungry Caterpillar” into Pinterest and see what you get – Beautiful downloads, creative craft ideas, and fun home activities. Now many people have entire boards devoted to therapy ideas, even subcategories (e.g. receptive language, articulation, etc).
If you have a favorite web site that’s made life a little easier, please let me know!