Category Archives: Speech

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Celebrating Therapro’s Speech Language Pathology Authors & Creators

Therapro is celebrating its speech language pathology authors and creators during Better Hearing and Speech Month 2023. Read on to learn more about these great speech language pathologists and their creations!

Social Language Rules & Tools: A Preschool Curriculum

Deborah Fortin, MSPA,CCC-Speech is the author of Social Language Rules & Tools: A Preschool Curriculum.   Deborah’s knowledge for this particular skill area derived from her many years working in an integrated preschool program. Social Language Rules & Tools: A Preschool Curriculum is a unique program that can be used to present highly interactive lessons to preschoolers. It was designed to be a collaborative approach between SLPs and classroom educators in order to encourage follow-up and carryover for incidental teaching all day long.



Pediatric Feeding Disorders: Evaluation and Treatment

Kelly VanDahm, MS, CCC-SLP is the editor of the book Pediatric Feeding Disorders: Evaluation and Treatment. Kelly has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for many years, serving patients of all ages. She has also authored articles, book chapters, learning modules, and textbooks. Pediatric Feeding Disorders: Evaluation and Treatment brings together 14 leading clinicians, the latest research, and interdisciplinary perspectives on pediatric feeding disorders.

Red Sensory Spoon

Mary Schiavoni, MS, CCC-SLP worked with Therapro’s Karen Conrad Weihrauch and Filomena Connor to create the Sensory Spoon. Mary Schiavoni is the creator of Chewy Tubes, a noted author and Pediatric Feeding Specialist. The Sensory Spoon is a unique tool that focuses on the development of self-feeding with infants as young as 7 months old. Its unique characteristics include a short, textured handle that offers sensory input to the palm for grasping, a natural “stop” that prevents gagging or deep insertion into the mouth, and a flexible, smooth texture.

Therapro is proud to support and promote the work of the many great professionals involved in the diagnosing and treatment of communication disorders, including speech language pathologist and audiologists.  We wish you all a very happy Better Hearing and Speech Month!

Novenops; game in small yellow tin

NOVENOPS! A Multitasking, Therapy Tool All-Star 

When budgets are tight and space is limited it is essential that the tools in your therapy toolbelt are multitaskers! Games are a fun and engaging therapy tool that can be quickly set up to address many therapeutic AND educational goals. In this post we are going to take a look at all the ways the game NOVENOPS can be adapted to meet a variety of therapeutic goals. 

What is NOVENOPS ?

NOVENOPS is a popular game that is easily adaptable to all ages and levels. Best of all Kids LOVE it! NOVENOPS is a card game designed to develop an understanding of the basic elements of grammar and sentence structure. NOVENOPS is an acronym created from the words NOun, VErb, NOun, and Phrase. It includes 52 cards, a heavy duty foldable game board and directions all in a portable tin box.

Basic Rules for Playing NOVENOPS!

  • Goal – be the first player to discard all of the cards from their hand
  • Time- about 15 minutes
  •  To Play: Unfold the enclosed “game board” and place it within reach of all players.
  •  After shuffling the game cards, deal 5 cards to each player and place the rest of the cards in the center of the board
  • The first player plays a noun card from their hand onto the Noun space on game board; if they do not have a Noun card, then they draw from the deck.
  • The next play is a Verb card, followed by a Noun card and finally a Phrase card.
  •  Repeat until one player has played all the cards in their hand. They are the “winner.”

For more information, check out the video below.

Modifying Game Play to Target Different Goals!

The Reluctant Writer With Handwriting Goals

Modifying NOVENOPS to meet handwriting goals can be done simply by adding a scoring element. Game play follows the basic rules of NOVENOPS with the following modifications:

  • Players all receive a ‘scoreboard’ at the start of game play. This scoreboard can be any writing paper that is appropriate for the player.
  • Playing a ‘Phrase’ card ends the round and whoever played that card is the winner of the round.
  • The winner of the round writes the sentence they created on their scoreboard as a means to keep score and then play moves to the next round.
  • Whoever has the most silly sentences written on their scoreboard at the end of game play, wins!  

The Reluctant Conversationalist With Expressive And/ Or Receptive Language Goals

Targeting expressive and/ or receptive language goals while playing NOVNOPS typically doesn’t involve changing game play rather changing the pace of the game.  Try this:

  • Set up NOVENOPS as described above and follow the basic instructions for game play.
  • After each round (when a phrase card has been played) take a moment to pause and reflect on what is happening in the sentence.  For example, players have created the silly sentence “The mother hid the dinosaur in the refrigerator”.
  • Target those language goals! These targets can be simple and concrete ‘wh’ questions like; “Who hid the dinosaur?”, “Where is the dinosaur”, “What happened?”, “How did the dinosaur get in the refrigerator”. Or they can involve more creative thinking; “Why do you think the mother hid the dinosaur in the refrigerator?”, “What do you think the dinosaur will eat while he is in the refrigerator?”. 

The Squirmer With Academic Based Goals 

Adding a movement component to seated tasks can do wonders for focus and attention.  One of the easiest ways to make NOVENOPS a movement game is to turn it into a type of obstacle course. Here’s how to do it:

  • Set up a course with three pathways
  • At the  end of each pathway stack three piles of NOVENOPS cards (a stack of noun cards, a stack of verb cards, and a stack of phrase cards).
  • Depending on the student’s abilities, create obstacles or motor challenges along the paths. For example a chair they have to wiggle under, a stack of books they may have to step over, or a winding path they may have to zig zag through.
  • Whoever creates the most sentences before time is up wins!
  • Pro Tip: This is a great activity idea for therapists doing push in sessions! 

A little creativity can go a long way in making the tools in your therapy toolbelt, multitasking superstars! 

ASHA Conference, November 9-11, 2017

This year’s annual ASHA conference drew over 14,000 speech-language pathologists, audiologists, hearing and speech scientists, and communications sciences and disorders students to Los Angeles for three jam-packed days of educational, networking, and fun events. On Thursday we welcomed the masses into the Expo Hall when they stopped by the Therapro exhibit by asking attendees what parts of the opening session inspired them. They reported enjoying Goldie Hawn’s Keynote Address with her emphasis on mindfulness and self-regulation. She discussed her foundation, the Hawn Foundation, which focuses on a program for schools to teach children the basics of brain science. It was a great kick-off for this year’s conference!

We designed our exhibit this year to focus on various areas we thought would interest attendees. Our “Games Corner” was a beehive of activity with Karen drawing therapists to play NovenopsTrunksLetter Treasure HuntA Fistful of Coins, and Obstacles: A Game of Imaginative Solutions. One therapist loved Novenops so much that she purchased one for herself and several for gifts! The zany sentences players constructed in this game had everyone laughing.

Another area we set up was filled with wind-up toys that drew a crowd with giggles, exclamations, and stories of creative ways they used the toys in therapy sessions. Everyone exclaimed how unique our collection was, including the FirefightersCatsLovely FarmBaby Critters, and retro appliances.

Friends we had met in previous years stopped by to say hello and to see what’s new at Therapro. Our auditory processing publications were much appreciated, including Help for Auditory Processing and The Source for Processing Disorders – 2nd EditionStory Starters Write-Abouts and Silly Starter Write-Abouts were very popular flip books with which students gain valuable writing and expressive verbal practice. Therapists loved the ConversacardsQuestion Series and Question Set with beautiful photos on one side and easy teaching steps on the reverse side.

Therapists who address feeding problems were excited to meet Kelly VahnDam, MS, CCC-SLP, editor and an author of the Therapro publication Pediatric Feeding Disorders. She graciously autographed the book and took photos with admirers. Several students from North Carolina reported that her book is part of their curriculum. Feeding therapists picked up Textured SpoonsNuk Massager BrushesMr. Juice Bear, and much more. It was fun to help therapists select appropriate materials and brain storm with them on ways to use chewies for their clients. Mary Schiavoni, MS, CCC-SLP, creator of Chewy Tubes visited our booth and introduced the new Sensory Dipper she showcased at the conference. Dawn Winkelmann, MS, CCC-SLP of ezpz stopped by as well – we love their Happy Mats and Happy Bowls!

After three exciting and full days of introducing Therapro to speech and language professionals from the US, Canada, and many foreign countries, we were pleased with the dedication and thirst for knowledge expressed by those we met. We left L.A. satisfied that we had met thousands of devoted and gifted therapists who truly LOVE their profession!

We can’t wait to welcome you to Boston next Fall for the ASHA Conference 2018!

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L