Saturday, 25 July 2015

Sequencing - not just writing stories!

Every week I receive phone calls from parents asking me to work with their child, often stating that they can talk 'fine' it just some speech sound errors. On first meeting the child I can see that yes the child does have some problems with speech sounds and is talking in full sentences, but on closer inspection realise that much of what the child is saying doesn't make a lot of sense. Children often struggle to plan and organise their ideas in a logical way, which results in the listener finding it difficult to follow what they are trying to say and is often the result of a sequencing problem. The ability to sequence doesn't just correspond to narrative skills, but encompasses all areas of language development including; speaking, understanding, thinking, reading and writing.

To keep up with the increasing demand from children to include some technology based activities in therapy I have recently discovered some fabulous iPad Apps from Colorcards, which help me to target sequencing problems and the interactive activities are both motivating and engaging for children of all ages.

When working with either a group or individual children I like to use the 'Everyday Objects' app first to ensue the child is able to describe the pictures accurately, as a foundation skill to sequencing. All three sequence apps ie 'Basic', '4-step' and '6&8 step' are definitely worth investing in, as it is vital to ensue the child fully understands the concepts of first, next and last in a simple three part sequence, before you can expect them to build up to large sequences and then eventually prediction. The added extra of an accessible report template is quick to use and enables me to comprehensively track progress throughout the therapy process.

Each app has the great ability to set up multiple student accounts which can be tailored to target individual difficulties and goals. Differentiating between three levels (easy, medium, hard) is fantastic for building confidence with even low level abilities and being able to input your own images supports the child to be fully engaged in their own learning. Often some of the children I come into contact with have had limited and varying life experiences, so the option of creating your own story sequences ensures these apps are accessible to everyone.

Natasha Hallam

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