Monday, January 16, 2012

Making Sessions Functional!

You know those sessions that go really well, just as you planned them in your head? I know, I know we don't have them very often, but when you actually do isn't it magical.
I had one of those sessions today so I decided I had to write about it and share with you.

My patient is a 7yo, diagnosed with ASD. He is verbal and I'd say quite high functioning, but he has lots of difficulty coping within social situations and with higher language tasks. His play skills are also delayed for his age, particularly when it comes to symbolic/imaginative play. I've been trying to incorporate lots of his language tasks into many functional play activities that relate to his everyday routines. Today we worked on going grocery shopping.

We played a quick barrier game using the supermarket theme in the Magnetalk Match up adventures kit, to work on following directions and building vocab, amongst other goals.

We also talked about why we go to the supermarket, and the types of things we buy at the supermarket.

I found the perfect link for him, a video which actually shows a pretend play routine for going to the supermarket, so we were able to watch the video and model the steps. I loved that the video used pretend items for the activity, such as balls for fruits, and laundry baskets for shopping carts. We watched the video and made a visual timetable for each set.

It was then time for us to go pretend shopping. We drew our shopping list and looked around the office for items which we could use in our activity. A doll pram served as our shopping cart, balls were our fruits, and some empty jars for our milk, juice etc. Then it was time to go to the 'cashier' - a word modelled repeatedly to make sure he got the concept. We took turns being the cashier so that he could get an idea of both processes. Please remember to note "unload the groceries" as a step, since we tend to jump from putting the items in the shopping cart to going to pay. This is an essential step to note. I got a cool toy cash register that lights up and makes sounds for christmas so it was fun to use. We took turns scanning each item and deciding on suitable prices for them. Then we talked about how it mummy might pay with either cash or a credit/debit card, so we used a different method on each turn. After that we got the receipt and put the items into the bags to take home.

What I love about the adventures kit is that there are worksheets for extension activities that cover a range of language areas. Mum got the worksheets for the grocery shopping theme to carry home and work on. She also has the task now of taking him to the supermarket and talking him through the same visual schedule that we made.

It was a fun afternoon and I hope you can use it sometime in your therapy activities :)


  1. This sounds like a great lesson. I have a certain client in mind who will enjoy these activities tomorrow! Thanks!

  2. Hello!

    I wanted to tell you that I just came across your blog, as it was mentioned in the ASHAsphere blog as one the great SLP blog, and I love it! I am an SLP in Minneapolis, MN. I am a little bit of a blog and Pinterest addict, and spend way too much time surfing around looking for great sites. :) So glad I found yours!

    I also have a blog/website if you would like to check out. I focus mostly on social/emotional communication skills, pragmatics. I was also just featured on the ASHAsphere blog as one of the best SLP Blogs A-Z. Lately I have been sharing more and more about technology, apps and promoting other blogs out there. My site has been up for almost 3 years now. I just hit 1,000,000 site visits in early March! :) I added your site to my blogroll right away. I follow probably 40+ speech blogs and probably another 50 teacher & technology blogs - if you want to find more sites - check out my blogroll, it is on the lower right portion of my front page. I am on Pinterest too. A gal can easily lose 6-7 hours without eating, peeing, or tending to one's children, on Pinterest.

    Anyway, better run :) Check out my site if you get a chance - I would love if you added me to your blogroll - the site is:

    Thanks again for a great sharing site!

    Best wishes....Jill Kuzma

  3. Loved this post! Great ideas and way to embrace the day.

  4. Noodle and several of them told me then that they had never seen mistakes as a chance to learn. Speech therapy