“Look around and use what you have” Dr. Hank Lawson
In a preview for the TV show Royal Pains Dr. Hank Lawson was asked how he knew to use some non-medical object to help a patient and he stated ” I just look around and use what I have.” It is also a philosophy that I tend to use in therapy. I realize this is part of who I am but I believe as an SLP it is part of our job description. Often when working with a child I can see that the great activity I planned is falling flat so I “look around” and adapt. This happened yesterday with a young client I see in private therapy. We have been working on improving her speech intelligibility but when you are only 4 years old drill and practice is not so much fun. So I’ve tried to pump up activities to keep her focused, motivated and improve her sounds. She loves the Crocodile Dentist game but she does not like to push the teeth. She enjoys watching me get “bit” though. We have used the Crocodile Dentist Seasons app* (which I see is no longer listed in the US iTunes store) but it was not as exciting for her. So we continue to use the crocodile toy in our sessions and this is how I used it yesterday.
I took the worksheet with our target sounds and put it in the crocodile’s mouth. As she said each word (for the croc to eat) I pushed a tooth and we continued until he bit! We had done this in the past using articulation cards but using the whole worksheet seemed to make her giggle more today. The bonus of not cutting up the pictures today was that I could send the page home with crocodile bite marks- small indentations but I drew some in so she could show her mom. This also led to making up sentences about what the crocodile liked or didn’t like to eat. It seemed today the crocodile liked boogers as a seasoning. So the croc ate a bug with boogers, a cup with boogers, a hat with boogers… which reminded me of another fun activity from Eric Raj.
If you would like to see some more fun “use what you have” activities be sure to check out Erik Raj’s newest post in his Artic Brain blog. This one is fun and the gross factor will be a hit! Another fun gross game is Totally Gross from University Games which I have used with older kids (recommended age 8+) to work on language and articulation skills.
The point of my blog today is to use what you have and change it up similar to my last post Pump up your frumpies. We often find ourselves with this great activity (in our eyes) that isn’t so great in the child’s eyes. So look around and use what you have or follow the child’s lead and let them create a new activity from what you have. I’m always a fan of incorporating higher level thinking skills within all my sessions. This can be as simple as saying “What do you think?” or “What can I do with this?” For less verbal kids it might just be me holding out an object and shrugging. I just try to use what I have.
Now it’s your turn. Please add your ideas on how you “use what you have” in the comment section. Thanks!!!