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Volume 17, Number 1 2015


describes where to place

objects on the base board in

order to create a 3D scene.

It can be used to develop

receptive understanding of

specific vocabulary, to

enhance understanding of

increasingly longer and more

complex instructions, to

develop the use of positional

vocabulary, and to give complete and grammatically correct

instructions. Overseas, I used this game, and my own

locally created version, to help me learn local language, as

well as to teach clients. There are farm and jungle versions

of the game. Previously available via



but currently

out of stock.

9 Magazines and “junk mail”

What do you do with a mailbox loaded with advertising

materials or boxes of donated newspapers or magazines?

Cut them up for language therapy, of course! Categorising,

picture description, matching, prepositions, articulation, and

other basic concepts can all be targeted both expressively

and receptively. In resource-poor settings, they have been

my paper-based “Google images”. Families have frequently

been heartened by the fact that such easily accessible

materials can be used to develop their child’s skills, as have

teachers and community-based workers. Paired with a

trusty laminator, materials can be created for long-term use.

I have memory games, barrier games, Guess Who?, What

Am I? and many other games made with clippings from a

range of different sources that have lasted for years.

10 Self-inking stamps

I think I like stamps even more than stickers as rewards or

tokens. For the same cost as a pack of stickers, a

self-inking stamp will give literally thousands of impressions.

Children with fine motor difficulties often have more success

independently stamping than removing the back off

stickers. Others with sensory aversions to sticky textures

are likewise not bothered by stamps. As with the magnetic

chips previously mentioned, stamps can be used for any

task requiring counting or quantities. For example, stamps

can represent syllables or phonemes in phonemic

segmenting and blending activities. They can be used to

track and reinforce positive behaviours or the number of

turns in a game needed before a break. Best of all, for a

speech pathologist on the move, they can fit in a pocket or

tiny corner of a pencil case.

5 “Magic wand” and magnetic chips

I first met this motivational

wonder in one of Super Duper

Inc.’s “Chipper Chat” kits and

now find it an invaluable tool on

its own. A collection of

translucent coloured circles

about the size of 10-cent pieces

with magnetic rims, the magnetic

chips are marketed as “bingo

chips” in a range of online stores.

They can be used for any

purpose for which you would use

another type of token or counter

and have an appeal that is far

wider than I would have expected. For example, in some

language groups I have run with boys in senior primary

school, they have been a powerful currency for an extended

period. Not only have participants tried to earn the most

tokens but they have also come up with the most

astonishing tricks and patterns for picking them up with the

magnetic (magic) wand. Available from


for A$9.90.

6 Webber


Photo Cards – Verbs

I think most speech pathologists have some favourite

picture collections and visual stimuli that they use

frequently. One of my favourite collections is the Webber®

Photo Cards – Verbs. There are 62 pairs of cards with

photo images ranging from simple high frequency verbs for

young children, such as “eating” and “sleeping”, through to

much lower frequency verbs such as “loading” the

dishwasher and “arranging” flowers. The images have

mostly been accessible to the people I have worked with in

a range of cultural contexts, both in terms of the actions

depicted and the range of people in the images. I have

used them in some way to target almost any language goal,

as well as occasional articulation goals and vocal

modulation goals where these were used as part of a scale

to represent different volume levels. Available from

Brainstorm Educational and Special Needs Resources verbs.html

for A$45.

7 Key Word Sign

Key Word Sign is one of the most useful, transferable, and

easily implemented augmentative and alternative

communication (AAC) systems available. Apart from the

advantages of being visual and simplified to support spoken

communication, no physical materials are needed. As it is

not reliant on written language, it is particularly useful in oral

cultures, where limited literacy can prove a barrier to some

other AAC systems. In multilingual environments, such as

Fiji and Vanuatu, Key Word Sign has provided a universal

communication system, although for specific individuals the

signs are paired with different spoken languages.

8 Near and Far board game

“Near and Far” is a board game by Buki Ltd designed to

help children understand and use prepositions. It is similar

to a barrier game in that one player holds a picture and

Lydelle Joseph

is currently the team leader for speech pathology

at Irabina Autism Services.

Correspondence to:

Lydelle Joseph

CPSP, MIncEd, Speech Pathologist

Irabina Autism Services, 193 Bayswater Rd

Bayswater, VIC 3153

phone: (03) 9720 1118