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The Cyclist: Part III

D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer

Rachel has advanced from “flustered” to “determined”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

R

achel:

All my kids go around chanting the Shabbos book… whoops, I mean chanting. 

Mr. Friedman:

The beauty of this system is that the practice is built-in. It’s not another extra thing to do.

Teacher:

Now that she’s not trying to do everything, Yossi’s mother seems calmer, and it’s rubbing off on Yossi.



At Yossi’s next session, Rachel has advanced from “flustered” to “determined.”

“I’m doing it,” she asserts. “I stress the ‘-ing’ and do the hand-twirl thing. I do it when I’m talking to him and when I’m reading to him at bedtime.”

“Fantastic!”

“I don’t see any change in Yossi’s speech yet, but there is another benefit. I used to correct him all the time, and it made him mad. Now I’m only focusing on this one skill, and I use the hand gesture as a cue. It doesn’t make him mad like a verbal correction did. It’s gentler. I think he’s behaving a little better.”

At this second session, I spend only ten minutes on “bombardment” before moving on to stage two, practice.

I start with a book with a repetitive refrain, “Shabbos is coming.” Yossi is familiar with the book and the refrain from last session. This time, I pause before each “-ing” word, to allow Yossi to fill in the word. I perform the hand-twirl to cue him, too.

“Bake the challah because Shabbos is…”

“Coming!”

“Set the table because Shabbos is…”

“Coming!”

We practice with familiar songs, too. “It’s raining, it’s pouring…”

“The therapists and teachers at school are doing it too,” Rachel reports. “They said it’s totally different from their standard protocol, but they were willing to try.”

The next two sessions are also devoted to “-ing” and follow the same format: Ten minutes of bombardment followed by practice. As Yossi progresses, he fills in the word without waiting for my pause, and soon the hand gesture becomes unnecessary as well.

After four sessions (two weeks), we choose the next goal: correct use of the pronoun “I.”

Once again, our first session is just bombardment.

“I am a tree,” we sing. “I reach up to the sky… Now I am a trunk…” I create a new special gesture, placing my hand on my heart each time I say “I.”

Again, we read books with a familiar refrain. “I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam I am!”

We play dress-up, and I put a crown on my head. “I am a queen,” I say, hand on my heart.

Yossi holds a sword. “Soldier!”

“Who is a soldier?” I put my hand on my heart and wait.

“I a soldier!”

The next three sessions will be devoted to practice, following the same format as the ING sessions: Ten minutes of bombardment, then practice.

I give Rachel a new card, with the new goal and gesture, and of course, a copy for the school.

“Bye, Yossi!” I say. “I am looking forward to seeing you again!”

Yossi places his hand on his heart. “I looking coming!” He returns my wave with a little hand-twirl as he skips out to the car.



The constant verbal corrections were very upsetting to Yossi. By removing that source of frustration, their relationship is calmer, and Yossi is a little more compliant. 



Repetition is key. If you don’t have a book that repeats the target goal, make up your own words.




Originally featured in Family First, Issue 588. D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist in private practice for over 15 years. She is the creator of the Link-It reading comprehension and writing curriculum for elementary school students and directs continuing education programs for speech-language pathologists and educators.

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