Something you may not know about me is that I also designed the iPad app “Questions2Learn” in 2012. The iPad was fairly new in 2012, especially for being used as a tool in therapy. I think I purchased my first iPhone in 2010 and noticed that there were a couple apps for speech therapy. My students were very interested in playing with or looking at my iPhone.
Why I designed my app? When I saw the first speech therapy app on iTunes, I thought what a brilliant idea to create an app that could be used in speech therapy and would motivate students to work on speech and language skills! Some of these speech therapy apps were not easy to use with my students, especially my students who were not speaking or limited speakers. The Sped Teachers, who I worked with, asked our students questions about books or about their weekend. Yet our students could not respond due to speaking difficulties. Some teachers were not sure if the student didn’t understand the question or have the communication skills to answer the question. I remember spending hours after school creating questions and pictures on software programs (i.e., Board Maker) to help our students have choices to answer the questions. I will never forget spending time creating those pages of pictures, using lots of paper and ink to print them out, laminating them, cutting them out, and then sticking Velcro on them. After all of the work, many students either had difficulty physically selecting the picture or were not motivated by the pictures and choosing the answer. A light bulb went off in my head – I could become an app developer and create an app that does this! I registered at the nearest college for a C++ coding class. A couple of weeks into the class I realized I wasn’t grasping the coding lessons as easily as the other students in the class. I constantly asked for help from my classmates. Coding was not in my skill set! After making a “C” in my C++ class, I decided to hire an app developer and a graphic designer to help bring my idea to the iTunes store.
After Questions2Learn launched, I was ecstatic when I saw the progress my students were making when answering “Wh” questions. See this video of my student using Questions2Learn . Many of us did not think our students could respond to questions or understand them, but thankfully these students proved us all wrong. We were very happy to see that they understood “WH” questions! Our students were proud of themselves for showing us they could answer the questionsl!
Questions2Learn is a tool to use in classrooms, speech therapy, or at home with parents. Some children may be able to use the app by themselves, but other students will need either a SLP, parent, or teachers’ assistance (i.e. adult to help them play the app or use it as a teaching tool).
Coming up…I will be posting about how a parent, SLP, or teacher can use Questions2Learn with students. So stay tuned!
One of my favorite therapy activities is reading Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham. I have 5 of his books! Warning these books can gross out some children (and parents). In the first book mischievous Sam sneaks yucky bugs into his sister’s sandwich. This book targets so many goals and can be read to children from preschool to 5th grade.
After reading the book and answering questions we made pretend sandwiches (toy sandwich by Melissa and Doug). If you really want to be creative and fun you can bring pretend bugs and hide them in the sandwich that you make!
Goals you can target while reading this book: 1) rhyming words 2) articulation 3) language – vocabulary, categories, inferences, predicting, and more! This week I targeted the “s” sound with a client during one session and in another client’s session we answered “wh” questions about the story.
As you can see we had a lot of fun during this activity!
The experiences that are in my thoughts and close to my heart are the ones that have inspired me to start my private practice. My goal for speech and language therapy is to help children with mild to severe communication difficulties make connections with their family, friends, and the community. I want to work closely with the child’s family and team so that we can help their child improve their speech and language skills. I want to provide accent modification training to non-native English speakers so I can help them communicate effectively and progress in their profession. Speech Dynamic Solutions’ mission is to help people communicate effectively and make connections within their community.
I have many memorable experiences that make me love my job as a speech language pathologist. My first job was working in Japan. During this time, I was able to learn about different cultures and work closely with families who are non-native English speakers. This experience taught me the importance of providing cultural competent services and responding to cultural and linguistic differences. A few years later I worked in a center based program which allowed me to spend 2 days a week with 7 children who had multi-disabilities. I was involved in these children’s entire school day. This job made me see the importance of working closely with a team of teachers and therapists. I was able to see how I could help these children communicate in a large group, with their friends, in the lunch room, on field trips, etc. This environment was where I gained a lot of experience helping children initiate language using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). After leaving this job, I worked for a private practice and provided speech/language therapy in children’s homes. This was a wonderful experience because I developed a close relationship with the child and their family. I was able to share what we worked on in therapy with the child’s mom, dad, caregiver, grandmother, and even their brother and sister. Then I worked in a setting where I was a member of a team (a.k.a. “The Dream Team”) who collaborated about student’s goals, therapy, class activities, social groups and much more. I learned valuable information from special education teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, visual impairment specialists.
Hi! I am Leanne Pool, owner of Dynamic Speech Solutions LLC. I want to share my story about why I decided to open my private practice. In May 2016, my husband retired after serving 20 years in the US Marine Corps. As a military wife, I was fortunate to live overseas and in 6 different states. Moving around was a wonderful experience, which allowed me to grow as a speech language pathologist. During graduate school, my clinical experience was providing accent modification training to non-native English speakers, providing therapy to children with multi-disabilities, and working with adults in acute, inpatient and outpatient care. I have worked in a variety of settings, such as: inclusion classrooms, center based programs, public and private schools, classrooms using a push-in model, and in client’s homes. I had the opportunity to work with children of all ages who had speech and/or language disorders that ranged from mild to severe. I have provided therapy to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, multiple disabilities, articulation, phonology, language, motor speech, and fluency disorders. Many of the settings I worked in gave me experience teaching children how to use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).