The S-LP iTool Kit: Where it all started!

Posted on February 22, 2011

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As itinerant S-LPs, we travel from school to school each day carrying our test supplies and therapy resources/materials in the trunks of our cars.  We have plastic containers and copious black bags with potato heads, slinkys, spinners, books, articulation cards, Ned the Heads, crocodile dentists, and other assorted goodies that we use to stimulate our students’ learning and promote their communication skills.  We push and pull our mobile offices through parking lots and are masters at navigating our wheeled crates up and down the stairwells and hallways of our schools.  At times, feeling like packhorses as we strap one more bag on our back.  We live the life of the school-based S-LP.  For those of you who practice in education, you’ll likely know what we’re talking about.

In the summer of 2010, however, our lives changed; our bags became a little lighter and the trunks of our cars a little less cluttered.  But, our creativity did not suffer nor did the motivation and enthusiasm of our students!  In fact, just the opposite occurred.  Why you ask?  Well a new device – the iPad – was finally available for sale the end of June 2010.   Ah YES!  The perfect “grading gift” for the traveling, pack-weary   S-LP.   So easy to use, compact and convenient – a new tool that also packs a therapy punch!

With loads of free and reasonably priced apps that can be used to support our work on speech, language, fluency, voice, AAC, and literacy, the iPad has quickly become a favourite new resource in our roving S-LP Tool Kit.  Not only popular for us because it is small and portable and seems to be lessening our load a bit, it is a BIG hit with our students!!  New questions like “Can we . . . bake cookies?” “. . . feed the fish in the fish pond?” “. . . decorate Christmas trees?” “. . . build a car?”  “. . . make a cartoon story?”.  These are just some of questions and comments our students have been making on the way to our sessions!

Our work as traveling S-LPs will not change nor would we want it to, but lightening our bags a little and seeing the impact this technology has on our students’ motivation and learning is powerful – WOWerful! For these reasons the iPad is definitely worthy of consideration for the S-LP therapy backpack!!!

STAY TUNED: In future posts, we will continue to talk about the iPad and look at how it can be incorporated into speech-language therapy.  We’ll discuss apps for each area of S-LP practice:  articulation, expressive and receptive language, fluency, voice, AAC, social communication, functional life skills and literacy.

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