Speech in Motion Equals Connected Kids

The book by America X Gonzalez, Lois Jean Brady and Jim Elliot, Speech in Action: Interactive Activities Combining Speech Language Pathology and Adaptive Physical Education gives parents and support staff plenty of activities which compliment nicely with Floortime fundamentals to bring together language and movement.

speech in actionWhat is Speech in Action?

Speech in Action is a combination of speech therapy and movement working together in a child’s therapy session to make the session more engaging.  The authors found that not only do their clients (the children) meet their goals but look forward to every therapy session because the lessons are fun, exciting and meaningful to the child.

Why it Works

The authors feel that traditional education has relied on treating the brain and body as separate components.  Believing the brain is multi-functioning, they feel it is unnecessary to teach skills in isolation. “Taking the idea that the whole is better than the sum of all parts, we can begin to understand why Speech in Action’s synergistic approach can yield better results than simply doing these therapies in isolation (pg.13).”

Parents, teachers, educational assistants or daycare inclusion workers can use this book by basically opening it to any page and picking an activity. The activities are developed with the understanding that our children who are non-verbal or late talkers use their vestibular sense to express themselves. Movement is essential for children to learn and this movement creates an environment for communication.  Each of the 89 activities helps to foster a variety of language skills in a therapy room, gym or outdoors.

How it Works

By using movement and social interactions that are naturally found in sports and teamwork, the authors have found that cooperative games provide an opportunity for pro-social behaviours.   The authors believe that these lessons will teach children needed social interactions which are reinforced throughout the lesson with movement. Each session begins with a warm up and a cool down using breathing and yoga techniques before each activity.

In the book, the authors reflect on the importance of using specific praise.  They believe that praising the exact accomplishment will make a child more aware of their success and gifts.  Instead of “Good job!” which is considered a vague form of praise, they suggest using “Wonderful way of staying inside the line!” –Good reminders for all of us.

The book is thoughtfully pieced together and therefore easy to use, as each activity is well planned.  All the lessons provide a great way to use movement to energize the senses to create engagement with children.  These lessons provide ways to help enhance children’s sensory diet while promoting and strengthening much needed language skills.