34 Hilarious Photos Of Kids Losing It Over Nothing
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Winston Churchill
We love kids for so many reasons - one of which is their complete (and neurologically driven) inability to perform higher-level thinking. When paired with a lack of naps or too much sugar, this can make for some seriously funny meltdowns. On this Black Friday, we hope that anyone venturing out into the mobs can find humor in madness (it's either laugh or cry, right?). You are likely to see absurd tantrums thrown by children as well as adults, so please remember this link and enjoy your ability to maintain a reasonable attitude:
34 Hilarious Photos Of Kids Losing It Over Nothing
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Winston Churchill
Kids Crying About Nothing
What Is Speech-Language Pathology Anyway?
What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
Speech-language pathologist, or SLP, is the professional name for speech therapist. SLPs work in hospitals, schools, and private practice to treat people of all ages with a variety of communication needs. As experts on vocal cords and other structures in the throat, SLPs in the medical setting also treat disordered swallowing. SLPs hold either a master’s degree or a doctorate degree from a university that is accredited by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). State licenses are necessary in order to practice. In California, SLP practices are regulated by The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board, and the specifics may vary from those in other states.
What is a speech-language pathology assistant?
A speech-language pathology assistant, or SLPA (referred to as a "slippa"), has a similar job to assistants in allied fields (like occupational therapy assistants, or physical therapy assistants). SLPAs are highly trained in providing direct speech-language serves. In other words, they are licensed to run speech therapy sessions and activities in order to help people meet their communication goals. Each SLPA has a designated supervising SLP, who will administer assessments, make diagnoses, council families, and support the SLPA. Together, SLPs and SLPAs collaborate to provide high quality services.
What exactly is communication?
Communication is the exchange of ideas between beings (in our case, human). We typically think about it as being verbal (meaning word-based, such as talking and writing), however it is actually a much broader system. If you imagine yourself in an emergency situation with someone who speaks a different language, how would you communicate? Facial expressions, gestures, imitating environmental noises, placing stress on certain words - these are also considered to be communicative.
What is language?
Language is the symbolic representation of ideas. It is symbolic, because ideas are infinite and abstract. We have to take our thoughts and convert them into consistent, meaningful words so that other people can translate them into their own thoughts correctly. Language can be expressive (writing, talking, making gestures, etc.) or receptive (reading, listening, understanding gestures).
What is speech?
Speech describes the motor process (muscle movements) of producing sounds and words. For example, in order to say “pop”, my lips start together, then my mouth opens wide and comes back together again. While the word itself is a part of language, the controlled movement of the mouth is a motor function, which is controlled by a specific part of the brain. In speech-language therapy, people can be treated for speech, language, or both.
What is Assisstive Technology?
As described in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004, assistive technology (AT) "is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a (person) with a disability". Examples of AT are: prosthetic shoes; wheelchairs; hearing aids; augmentative and alternative communication devices; closed captions.
What is AAC?
According to ASHA, augmentative and alternative communication (referred to as AAC) " includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write." Less commonly, when people have more profound speech or language difficulties we might introduce a number of technology-based (also known as aided) AAC options. For example, the exchange of picture symbols is commonly used by people who are non-verbal (unable to speak). The most widely known system for picture exchange is PECS. Other options are computerized and produce voice output to speak for the person. For more information, see ASHA's website, or feel free to leave us a question in the comment section.
Have other questions about speech-language pathology? Please let us know what you would like to learn more about!
So, you're a speech-language pathologist? I know exactly what that is... said no one ever.
Hand Turkey * A Multi-Touch Thanksgiving App
During the week of Thanksgiving, we can't get enough of the turkey and Fall themed activities! Hand Turkey is a free app than can add a fun twist to your sessions this week. It is as cheesy as it is seasonal, and serves as interactive version of the old turn-your-handprint-into-a-turkey craft (which we also love).
Making your turkey - When you place your hand on the screen, it creates a turkey based on the size and positioning of your hand. From there, it continues to respond to your touch by changing its size and position, moving around the screen, making turkey sound effects, and numbering or labeling the fingers. Even if you repeatedly place your whole hand on the screen, it will continue to respond. This is a great time to play with cause and effect!
Decorate your turkey - When you stop touching the screen for a few seconds, options will appear along the border (see far right picture above). If you press Decorate Your Turkey, you will see options for your turkey's head, body, and feathers. Have fun playing around with your turkey's look - you can easily work on expressive vocabulary, building phrases, following directions, and turn taking.
Rake the Leaves - This one is also good for cause and effect, but can be a fun way to work on expressive language, identifying colors, or following instructions as well. You pick a style of Fall leaf and then drag your finger around the screen to leave a trail of leaves. If you put leaves on your turkey's head, it will sneeze and the leaves will blow to another part of the screen. Spread out as many leaves as your heart desires, and then click the button that says rake to watch as a little turkey moves up and down your screen raking up all of the leaves (great opportunity for commenting).
Turkey Stampede - That's right, turkey * stampede! When you choose this option, a stampede of adorable and silly turkeys runs across the screen with a level of graphic sophistication that rivals that in season one of South Park. During the stampede, I like to model commenting and descriptive or comparative language.
Name your turkey - This is something that I think is generally underrated. It actually takes a fair amount of skill and confidence to come up with a name for a character. I am surprised at the number of kids I work with who cannot do this, or who can only manage to come up with the label (in this case "Turkey") for the name. Whether pulling from names in the child's own life, summarizing the character's personality or looks, or more creative avenues, I've found that kids frequently need support in order to generate a meaningful or unique name.
Even though you likely won't be able to work extensively on any one goal with this app, there are certainly opportunities to incorporate a variety of skills. We hope you enjoy playing around with Hand Turkey, and wish you all an 'Appy Thanksgiving.
In the Community - A Night to Remember Prom
This shout out is for a community event that is more than deserving of some attention. A Night To Remember, organized by local residents Rob & Cheryl Shields, provides a night of extravagance and joy to students with special needs who might otherwise miss out on the prom experience. As described on their website, "A Night to Remember is a FREE Prom honoring students with special needs ages 15-22 yrs. old. It’s more than a Prom…it’s an experience! Our Honored Guests get hair/make-up done, limo rides, and walk down the Red Carpet complete with paparazzi before entering the dance/dinner. It’s also a night of integration – as each student with special needs is partnered up with a San Diego high school student who serves as their host." The inaugural prom was held in 2011, and it is growing stronger every year!
We could not be more behind this event! A huge call of encouragement and gratitude to the Shields', the donors and volunteers who make it possible, and of course, to the honored guests who inspire us everyday...Check out their website or facebook page for more information, to volunteer, or to make an important donation (any ladies wondering what to do with your old prom dresses, here's a great opportunity!).
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” -Wayne W. Dyer
Let's Get Cooking!
I love getting into the kitchen and cooking with the kids. I am lucky that we have the resources to cook in a full kitchen at my school, but many of these options don't even require that!
Here are some of my favorite foodie activities!
The directions to make these little cuties can be found here- a quick internet search showed so many other great ones as well!
Being the week before turkey day I thought it was only fitting to share some of the fun things we have been doing this month.
Every year our school has a Thanksgiving lunch for the students and their parents. This year, speech and OT were asked to help create centerpieces for the tables- all 20 of them! We recruited the students and decided to use it as a great opportunity for co-treating. We worked on fine motor goals while addressing following directions, oral narratives, and social skills in small groups. We started by making really simple pinecone turkeys- added bonus the whole hallway smelled like cinnamon for days! I couldn't find a picture of exactly what ours looked like but this is pretty similar.
Next up were these great little pumpkins! They look super cute, but be warned- they were much more challenging than I expected and I ended up glueing them together after the students had gone home.
We also traced and cut out leaves in yellow, red, and orange. We had small, medium, and large leaves that were layered to create a cool fall leaf effect.
All of these activities created opportunities to talk about attributes (color, size, shape), follow single and multi-step directions, tell stories about Thanksgiving traditions, and practice group/social skills.
In addition to the Thanksgiving centerpieces we created a "thankful" tree on the bulletin board outside of our speech office. We created a big tree out of construction paper and had the students write one thing they are thankful for on leaf cutouts we got at a local teacher's supply store.
While we were making the "thankful tree" I had the students do this fun Thanksgiving scavenger hunt from Teachers Pay Teachers or work on Thanksgiving mad libs for vocabulary. Both of these especially the mad libs, turned out to be really fun to post on the bulletin board too!
AAC Genie is an application that is intended to help SLP's with the diagnostic aspect of AAC assessments. For me, AAC assessments used to be incredibly intimidating. I had no idea what I needed to probe or how to go about creating an assessment protocol. Once I gathered all this information, how do you create a recommendation from all this data? AAC Genie was invaluable to me when I began doing these assessments. It streamlines most of the important information into a one stop shop for evaluating a variety of skills. As far as apps go (for me) this one ranks on the pricer side at $11.99 but it has more than justified the cost based on how much I use the app.
AAC GENIE: THINGS I LOVE
AAC GENIE: HOW I USE IT
So what exactly is AAC Genie? According to the manufacturer's website, AAC Genie "is an informal diagnostic tool that is intended to assist speech-language pathologists and others with identifying skill areas that relate specifically to the language representation methods commonly found on augmentative communication systems." It is important to remember that this app does not recommend specific AAC devices or apps, and nor should one assessment tool. AAC device or app selection should be the product of multiple assessment tools and decisions made through a feature matching process (you can find resources on what features to look for here, here, & here and some resources to compare apps here & here.)
When you finish with your assessment AAC Genie creates this handy printout that you can screenshot and/or save in your photos (watch those last names if you choose this option!) or send in an email. It is great for keeping data and monitoring progress.
The first 2 categories visual identification and visual discrimination are ways to assess the best button size and from what field the examinee can best select from. Visual identification prompts the user to find the _____ from an increasing field of choices and buttons of decreasing size where there is only one picture on the screen. Visual discrimination is laid out in the same way, only the user must locate the icon from a field of foils.
Next up are the language probes. All administered from a field of 3 and with simple probes.
The word association subtests ask the examinee to "find the one the ____ goes with" and even probe negation, "find the one that's not ______."
The final subtests are related to the Unity vocabulary specifically and may only need to be administered if that is a concern for you.
Overall- AAC Genie has been such a great tool for me and I use it so many different ways! I really can't recommend this app enough!
Upsee * Inspiring to the Max
This unique device was invented by a mother whose child has cerebral palsy. In the video, she describes how difficult it was to help him experience the sensation of walking, and the process of developing a functional system. The smile on his face while in the Upsee is priceless. Hopefully it will not only melt your heart, but inspire you too!
*For even more (mixed-emotion) tears, see Charlotte's, Daniel's, and Bethany's story at the bottom of the link.
"There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what he cannot do." - Temple Grandin
Lets be honest, kids are pretty bad at a lot of things. And who can blame them? Their eager brains learn from experience, which basically means trial and error. Some of the failures that kids experience while gaining new skills are immensely inconvenient and contribute to why I think that good parenting is one of the most difficult jobs around... letting children fail (and ultimately learn) takes intense patience, hard work, strategies, and sometimes even equipment!
According to the Children's Health Network, children should be able to start weaning to cups around 9-18 months old. Sippy cups can be used to help that transition, however they were designed as a convenience to parents, not because they are necessary for children. There is even some argument that the sippy cup design can have a negative impact on a child's development when used in excess. The way a child drinks from a sippy cup imitates the suckling motion used with bottles, as opposed to the tongue positioning and coordination used for drinking from a true cup. Because of this, there is potential that overuse of sippy cups - and the consequential lack of practicing the adult swallow - can inhibit a child's natural developmental process. In speech, we occasionally see children who rest with their mouths open, have misaligned teeth, and have tongue positioning that may be associated with over use of sippy cups and/or binkies. From this perspective, it is ideal is for children to skip the sippy cup altogether.
That being said, I realize it isn't functional to bypass the sippy cup. I recently polled my colleagues at SmallTalk to see what their thoughts were on the subject. From a combination of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and mommys, the general consensus was this: work on cups at home, by placing a small amount of liquid into a cup while the child is seated (e.g., during meals). That way if there is a mistake, the mess will be manageable. Use a cup that is spill proof when you are out and about, but look into options that support development. Cups with straws, for example, offer a more adult way to drink than sippy cups. We also love these cups, which are a great compromise because they mimic regular cups while keeping spills to a minimum. I've recommended them to a couple of parents who have come back with glowing reviews. I've been told that similar cups are available at Toys"R"Us and Walmart.
Best of luck with your transition to cups - please share your experiences and any gems of advice that you have for us!
"There's no learning without trying lots of ideas and failing lots of times."
Fun With Directions HD
Fun With Directions HD ($15.00 in iTunes) is an app that was developed by Patti McAleer Hamaguchi, M.A., CCC-SLP. A clinician for more than 30 years, she developed this app specifically for helping children strengthen their ability to understand and follow auditory directions. There are many great apps out there, but there is something to be said about a designer who understands the population we work with, and how to best support their learning. Here are some of the reasons why I think this is a great therapy tool:
Molly and Larissa are speech-language pathologists in San Diego, CA, who are looking to share inventive, inclusive, fun ideas for developing communication. This is also their platform for highlighting the many amazing people and resources in the community.