Like most Speech-Language Pathologists, I LOVE incorporating a good theme into my therapy sessions! And when the weather takes a turn in my neck of the woods, I know it’s time to start putting out my fall wreath, baking my annual cinnamon pine cones, and pulling out all of my favorite pumpkin recipes! My therapy sessions are similar, and when the heater starts kicking back in my house, I start to file all of my summer-themed activities and pull back out my favorite fall-themed activities. The only difference in my fall-themed activities that I use with my older students and young adult clients is that I try to use picture that are high qualify, digital images that are relatable for older students and young adults, and the activities I select are relevant and practical to meet the communication demands related to activities of daily living. Here are my top 5 ways that I include a fall theme into my therapy sessions with my older students and young adults.
- Life Skills Calendar
Who doesn’t love a good visual, right? One of my absolute favorite resources that I have made and loved over the years is my Life Skills Calendar Homework for the Year. September, October, and November months are filled with ideas for activities to get ready for the fall holidays, including practicing setting the table, making a shopping list, following the steps to make a recipe, carving a pumpkin, raking leaves, decorating for fall, making a fall craft, and far too many more to list here. I offer my fall months FREE to my email subscribers, which you can access by clicking HERE. You can also get the full year broken up by each month of the year by clicking HERE.
- Problem Solving Fall Edition
One of my favorite ways to work on life skills in activities of daily living is through verbalizing solutions to hypothetical problems. I have found that older students and young adults love interacting with digital task cards that provide them with a problem and a corresponding real-life image. This interactive Boom Learning deck is leveled for teachers to select either the multiple choice or open response format. I do have a digital task card deck for each season, but you can access my fall version by clicking HERE.
Cognishine is another subscription-based website that contains real photographs and short video clips that simulate real-life scenarios in activities of daily living. I love their Halloween content that is filled with Trick-or-Treat story sequencing, storytelling, formulating questions, and vocabulary memory pairs related to Halloween. Their website is incredibly easy to navigate, with all activities housed under the following categories: cognition, communication, speech, and social-emotional. There is a free trial period, and then a monthly subscription that would be need to be purchased after the duration of the trial period ends.
- Everyday Speech
Everyday Speech is a subscription-based social-emotional learning platform that is jam- packed with incredible video modeling simulations with realistic situations and actors, and corresponding interactive practice and review activities. Therapists can select lessons designed to target specific skills, and I simply use their search bar to find what I’m looking, which in this case is “fall,” “holidays,” and/or “themes.” Some of my favorite fall activities I can access from this website includes the following: “Halloween Conversations,” “Thanksgiving Traditions,” “Thanksgiving Behavior,” and “Fall Topics.”
Edpuzzle is a wonderful free website that combines videos and editing together, and allows therapists to upload and edit videos, and students to watch and learn from the interactive video lessons. Once a video is uploaded, a therapist can embed questions for students to answer within the videos that involve life skills activities, or you can use any video that’s been uploaded and add your own twist to it. I do a search within the search bar and type in “fall” to find videos to target perspective taking, problem solving, predicting, executive functioning, sequencing, etc. all related to the fall season.
When working with older students and adults, the most important thing we can do is provide our students and clients with opportunities to increase independence and give them exposure to activities that are relevant, functional, and designed to help meet the communication demands generated during activities of daily living.
What else would you add to this? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to drop a comment below.