As a Speech-Language Pathologist, planning out my speech therapy sessions is a large – and important – part of my job. Every student has their own unique challenges…and there’s not always a worksheet available to target a particular student’s communication goal. So to compensate, I’ve taken to developing my own speech therapy materials. I’ve found this is a great way to nurture my creative side…while simultaneously allowing me to develop materials that are exactly as needed!
My journey toward speech therapy material creation has led me down a path of both little-known websites, as well as popular websites that don’t immediately come to mind as tools for developing speech therapy materials.
Spatial Concepts and Visual Support
Pictures for speech therapy are a critical element when putting together activities…and luckily, you can find beautiful, royalty-free stock photos in tons of places! Sites such as Pixabay, Pexels, Stocksnap, have hundreds of high-resolution images added weekly (free from copyright restrictions), while Max Pixel has thousands (and in some cases, millions!) of free images available. Or – if you decide you’d prefer more decorative graphics with which to create games, worksheets, etc. – I highly recommend Scrappin Doodles or KPM Doodles.
Another great image resource: photos of your students! Of course, it’s important to ALWAYS ask – and document – parent permission (signatures are best!) My students absolutely love being incorporated into their therapy materials. Whether we are writing a story or an article, or working on concepts, vocabulary, or prepositions (the list goes on); using personalized materials help students to become more engaged, and (in my experience) they seem to internalize the skills they are learning more quickly.
When seeking word lists addressing specific phonemes, Home Speech Home is a great resource. There, you’ll find words that address articulation, apraxia, language, phonology, and stuttering, for both children and adults. There are also lists that address a variety of language skills (e.g., question asking, following directions, antonyms, synonyms, sequencing, metaphors, and multiple-meaning words), as well as lists that address social language skills. Simply select the skills you are targeting, copy the items onto slides in PowerPoint, add a photo or vector from one of the free resources referenced earlier, and voila! You have created a skill-specific, therapy tool!
Never Underestimate the Power of Pinterest
A free resource that might not immediately come to mind for creating speech therapy materials: Pinterest. One summer, I made a wide variety of materials listed on different Pinterest boards. For all, I either had the necessary items at home or was able to pick them up from a discount store. To find ideas on Pinterest: type the targeted skill area in the search box toward the top of the page (it has a magnifying glass icon to the left), and a number of different “pins” will appear. A pin is typically an image with a title. If you click on an image, it will take you to a more in-depth description of the pin.
Put It All Together
A photo editor, collage maker, and graphic designer all-in-one, iPiccy is an invaluable (and FREE) resource for combining images/text to create your speech therapy masterpiece. Their editor is an easy to use web-based (no download) tool for combining photos and text. Once completed, you can download the final product as an easy to distribute image file.
A World Full of Free Resources
As you can see….for a Speech-Language Pathologist with the time and inclination to get a bit creative, there are a TON of free resources available for creating your own speech therapy materials!
Have a go-to resource not mentioned here? Share it below!
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