Three weeks ago, I opened my email box and was delighted to receive not one but two Kid in Story books from a customer named Ellen. The first story, “A Snow Day,” stars a beautiful boy who finds himself stranded at home instead of going to school. The second story features the same wonder boy at an exciting Washington Capitals hockey game. Both stories demonstrate the genius of creative social stories for children with special needs and for kids who are learning to read. Ellen combines repetition with rhyming to reinforce the pictures in the story making it especially engaging to adults and kids alike.
I’m so lucky to chat with Kid in Story Book Maker users like speech and language pathologist Ellen Edwards from Reston Speech and Language Center, the author of the new stories. I still consider myself an emerging Kid in Story writer, even though my daughters and their friends enjoy over a dozen books that we’ve authored together. So when the opportunity presented itself to learn from an SLP about using narratives to help children with speech and language disabilities and delays, I jumped at the chance!
3 SLP Tips to Create Engaging Kid in Story books for Children with Speech and Language Delays.
1. Create stories that integrate a child’s interests in the therapy exercise. Your child may be especially interested in Fireman Sam or a particular sports team such as the Washington Capitals. Repurpose images that relate to the child’s interest and use them to create a visual narrative that engages them in the therapy exercise. For example, if the goal of the activity is to learn and master prepositions, use Fireman Sam as a background image and superimpose the student beside, below, and above Fireman Sam. Here are a few examples.
2. Share the stories you create with the free Kid in Story Reader so family and other service providers can extend the therapy exercise at home and in the classroom. (For me personally, I underestimated the time my daughter would spend reading the stories we created together. She is exposed to all kinds of books, digital and traditional, but nearly every day she returns to her Kid in Story bookshelf to read the stories she stars in. It’s a great opportunity to reinforce what she’s learning in therapy.)
3. For expressive language and honing in on the skill to retell stories, create one story that includes narration, text and visuals. Read it together with the child. Copy the same story but delete the text and narration. Have the child retell the story with the visuals as prompts to help cultivate the storytelling skill. The audio recording feature in Kid in Story Book Maker is especially helpful in documenting the progress of this skill over time.
Ellen has been in practice for more than 15 years and uses both low tech and high tech tools to promote speech and language with her students. I am especially grateful for the time she shared with me to discuss her experiences using Kid in Story Book Maker and I hope you enjoy her “A Snow Day” and “We’re Going to a Hockey Game” templates as much as we have. You can download them today using your Kid in Story Book Maker app or the free Kid in Story Reader.
If you have tips or Kid in Story Book Maker templates to share with the community, please send them to info (at) locomotivelabs (dot) com. We want to help showcase the awesome stories created by children with special needs and the professionals that support them.