Thursday, November 17, 2011

Have you heard about Nuffield?

If you as a speech therapist/teacher haven't heard about The Nuffield Centre Dyspraxia Programme (NDP3) as yet you need to ask someone quickly!

I learnt about and used Nuffield in grad school. My favourite tutor believed in the programme, particularly for use with children with Cleft Palate, and she passed that obsession with the program onto me. I use it pretty much every day for children with a range of speech disorders, and the images of "Popeye picking poppies" never get old (If you've used Nuffield you know what I mean).


The NDP3 website summarises the program as:
  • suitable for any child with a speech disorder.
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  • a complete resource, spanning pre-speech to connected speech levels.
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  • Provides for parental/school involvement in therapy.
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  • most suitable for the 3-7 year age range but can be adapted for younger and older children.
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  • Affords great therapeutic flexibility.
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  • Provides detailed guidance on planning and management.
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  • Is 'clinician-friendly.'
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  • Ensures that therapy remains fresh, engaging and stimulating.
What I love about it is that it is a complete program, from assessment to intervention. It allows you to move from sounds in isolation to connected speech, giving guidelines all the way. The sound sequencing pages are perfect for children with CAS! What's also important is that the phrases and sentences are functional; working on negatives, possessives, everyday phrases etc. The sound stories are also fun! Check out the sample pages!

My only criticisms however, were that I would have loved the pics in colour, and a way to edit them to get specific sounds/words for each individual child.

You could imagine then, that when I heard about their new speech builder I was over the moon.

It has all the pictures from the Nuffield Program PLUS Jolly Phonics pictures! (Yea I got a bit excited there) and it allows you create your own worksheets, customise, and colour as you so desire. Needless to say I have been using it constantly in therapy. I've been even incorporating worksheet making into sessions, and the children love being able to create their own 'speech pages.'

All the info you need to know about the NDP3 Speech Builder (including demo video) can be found at http://www.ndp3.org/speechbuilder.html, and the original Nuffield at http://www.ndp3.org/.

Let me know if and how you're using Nuffield in therapy and what you think of the new program!





Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's App Time! Giveaway Inside

I know, I know it has been a while since my last post. I'm very ashamed about that, but things have been super hectic. I started two new jobs this September; one in a special school and the other in an autism unit at another school. Exhausting but I love it.

The super, excellent news is that I have created an app, available for iphone, ipod touch and ipad. After working 4 long hard months with developer Kevin Hinkson of Coralstone Communications the app was released to the itunes store on Monday October 31st 2011. The app is called EasyConcepts and can be found here .

It's an idea I've had in my head for a long time, after looking for countless ways to teach those early concepts that we assess on the CELF Preschool, such as biggest and smallest, before and after, first and last. Those two and three step directions are also quite difficult to target in therapy. I would usually put a bunch of animals on the table and go through "First touch the bear, next touch the lion, last touch the zebra etc." I thought to myself "This would be perfect as an app for children to play on the ipad." No one was creating it, so I did.

Testing it on the children in my private practice really inspired me. Their enthusiasm for "the jungle game" got me so excited about how it would benefit children, parents and therapists worldwide. What fascinated me even more was when I started to see improvements from week to week in their performance, and generalisation to other activities! I don't have a large enough sample or the control conditions to say this was a direct result of the app, but if there are improvements I'm pleased as a therapist.

What I also liked about the app was that it wasn't made to only target children with special needs. Siblings and family members enjoyed it and it required special attention and listening skills from typically developing children as well (particularly the before and after section).

I've created two pages where you can find out more about the app, special promotions and giveaways etc. You can follow @EasySpeakApps on twitter or like EasySpeak Apps on our facebook page .

I can't wait to hear your feedback on the app.


Now for our first giveaway:
I've created a printable resource called "Whose home," which looks at matching animals to their homes. It looks great when printed and laminated. To enter the giveaway you have to:

1. Like EasySpeak Apps on facebook
2. Post on our page saying how you think the app would help your children/patients.
3. Share EasySpeak Apps page on your wall.

The first 10 people to do this will receive our "Whose Home" printable and 2 lucky persons will win a free copy of the "EasyConcepts" App.

Here is a video of the app in action.


video