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November 24, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Gratitude is a Story

Gracias-Thanks book coverThe practice of gratitude is one that research suggests can be helpful psychologically all year round, so my hope is that this post will be useful to you in many days beyond Thanksgiving. However, when you think about it, gratitude is based in narrative, as a thought/emotion we have in response to life events. Culatta and Westby (2016), in a tutorial entitled “Telling Tales,” suggest that intervention to improve narrative language including emotional and theory of mind content should “focus on emotion and character traits that cross events.” For this and other reasons, particularly “in these difficult times,” we would do well to cultivate expressions of gratitude in interventions across the year and in varied contexts. Here are some resources to help you promote gratitude along with narrative and expository language...

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October 26, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: The Very COVID-Relevant SGM®

Sean Sweeney photoAs a (mostly entirely) telepracticing Speech-Language Pathologist during these weird times, I have found fostering narrative language in my students to be an even more critical intervention area than before. From providing opportunities to help students escape into stories, to helping them share their thoughts and feelings on school and home, current events and relationships, the Story Grammar Marker® has been an essential tool in therapy. In this post, I will describe some tech-based applications of SGM® for you to consider during the pandemic. Even with, and perhaps, because of the prevalence of remote learning, students are feeling isolated and likely having fewer opportunities to tell their stories and gain connections with others. In group therapy, we spend time letting conversation “breathe” and scaffolding connections. One way I have worked on this is to blend the new Conversation Paths product by Dr. Anna Vagin, CCC-SLP with Story Grammar Marker® Icons to tackle multiple narrative and social-cognitive goals. Conversation Paths is a pack of editable conversation-scaffolding visuals (PowerPoint) targeting the building blocks of conversation: “4 Starters” (initiation strategies), comments, questions, and others.

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September 28, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Using and Annotating MindWing’s Virtual Posters

Zoom with Custom Background imageIn this post, we’ll describe how to use MindWing’s NEW Virtual Posters product in distance learning sessions, and also how to annotate them for narrative scaffolding with students. The Virtual Posters provide a range of visuals that are easily added to Zoom or Microsoft Teams sessions (currently not Google Meet) and provide a reference for narrative/expository text and social pragmatics instruction. First of all, it is important to know how to add these visuals, which are JPEG image files, to platforms such as Zoom, in order to use them as virtual backgrounds during a session...

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September 11, 2020

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How to STILL Be Multi-Sensory During COVID19: Hygiene-Friendly and Remote-Friendly MindWing Products

Student with Mask imageIn the past couple of weeks, I have spoken with many friends and colleagues about the topic du jour: What does “back to school” look like for you and for your children? The answers range from full-time, in-class school days to full-time remote learning, to every other day in-person school with other days being remote, to weekly alternating student cohorts, to hybrid models, and more. While we, at MindWing, focus most of the time on the social-emotional, language and literacy aspects of these challenges, today we want to focus on the practical – using the Story Grammar Marker® Approach and related multi-sensory tools regardless of venue or platform...

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August 24, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Summer Study Series and “What Does It Mean to Be Social?”

Sumer Study Series imageFor our last 😢entry in our “Summer Study Series” for 2020, we look at a perspective on social cognition with a twist: how are children with significant speech sound disorders, such as apraxia of speech, impacted within the sequence of developing social competencies? This article, What Does It Mean to Be Social? Defining the Social Landscape for Children With Childhood Apraxia of Speech, is provided by Nancy Tarshis, Michelle Garcia Winner, and Pamela Crooke (2020) and was released within ASHA’s Perspectives (Special Interest Group 2) journal available to anyone with a SIG membership in any specialty. For others, the article is behind a paywall, so I hope this review at least will be helpful...

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July 23, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Summer Study Series on an RCT of Narrative Intervention for Adolescents

Sumer Study Series imageWe look at an exciting piece of research from last summer (July/August 2019), Improving storytelling and vocabulary in secondary school students with language disorder: a randomized controlled trial* (full article available at link). In this article, Joffe, Rixton and Hulme describe a randomized controlled trial (RCT) involving both narrative and vocabulary intervention for secondary students in the UK. It is notable because RCTs in language intervention are relatively rare, and considered a high level of evidence. ASHA, on a scale of evidence quality, rates “well designed randomized controlled trials” as level 1b, 2nd on a 6-point scale of evidence; these are research studies in which intervention groups are compared to a control group in which no intervention was provided. Additionally, interventions for adolescents with persistent language problems are less researched, so this study is an important one!...

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June 29, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Return of the Summer Study Series!

Research page imageFor the past several years in this space we have presented a “Summer Study Series” highlighting peer-reviewed articles and research relevant to narrative and expository assessment and intervention. For 2020, we begin with A Systematic Review of Academic Discourse Interventions for School-Aged Children With Language-Related Learning Disabilities (Peterson, Fox & Israelsen, 2020). Systematic reviews are a higher tier of research applying selection criteria and metrics to determine effect sizes of studies of particular types of interventions. In other words, a study of studies specific to narrative and expository (more the latter) discourse...

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