Three Bears, Thirty Ways

When I coach other professionals, I tell them to work smarter, not harder!  I like to pick just one book and make it work for ALL of the children I see in a week.  My schedule is filled with listeners of all different ages, developmental levels, and needs, but with some creative thinking, you can take a classic story like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and find a gold mine of goals inside.  Here are THIRTY ways to make the Three Bears work for (nearly) everyone on your caseload. 

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Time Out! What If I Need a Break?

If parenting, in general, is a more-than-full-time job, parenting a child with hearing loss can sometimes feel like an exhausting marathon.  While we as professionals need to know when to put “good pressure” on parents of children with hearing loss (encouraging all waking hours use of hearing devices, increasing parent talk, emphasizing the importance of reading, etc.), we must be very careful of striking the right balance.  After all, a mom’s got to eat, and shower, and breathe sometimes, too!  Parents should not be made to feel guilty for taking some time for self-care.  It’s an investment, not an indulgence.  So how can we make this happen in a way that’s best for everyone in the family?

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1 + 1 = 3

I often hear from frustrated parents, “My child knows A, my child knows B, so why on earth can’t she make a sentence with A and B together?  I’m pulling my hair out!”  Moving from single words to phrases of two words or more is a significant milestone in language development.  How do we help children achieve this goal?

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Big Goals for Big Kids

A lot of attention in the AVT world is focused on infants and toddlers — detecting hearing loss at birth, fitting them hearing technology ASAP, and getting their families off to a running start with listening and spoken language early intervention.  When all goes well, many of these children can be fully mainstreamed from preschool and have no need for further therapy.  That’s the ideal.  It happens for many children, but not all.  What about children who are identified as toddlers, or implanted late, or have other complicating factors that lead to slower than expected speech and language progress?  What happens when little kids become big kids who still need intervention?

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Therapy Outside the Box

Who says that therapy has to happen at a table, or even within the walls of a therapy room?  Break from the routine and give children (and parents, and therapists!) a much needed shake-up by doing something a little different in your session.

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Indoor Picnic Activity

Depending on where you live, the weather outside might be really crummy right now, and kids (and adults!) are getting sick of being cooped up for the winter.  Get out of the winter blues by planning an indoor picnic!

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The Wheels On the Bus Activity

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

Round and round,

Round and round.

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

All through the town!

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Pop Up Barn Activity

A good barn and lots of Learning to Listen Sound animal toys can be used for a million different therapy activities.  But what about families who do not have a barn or animal toys at home?  Why not make your own in therapy?

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Paper Doll Activities

A good set of paper dolls is a great tool to have in your therapy toolkit.  The possibilities for therapy — for boys and girls from preschool to teens — are endless.  You can create the paper dolls with the child or have your own set pre-made.

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Snowball Fight Activity

Even in climates that don’t get enough snow for a real snowball fight, children of all ages will love to get some energy out with this activity… and work on some speech, language, and listening goals, too!

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