How we help children play hard and learn deep at ASPIRE.

Language is beautiful organized mess. It is a part of higher order learning and a way for us to communicate and learn from our environment. Communication disorders in fact pulls from other fields such as psychology, education, and neuroscience. And…

How we help children play hard and learn deep at ASPIRE.

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Language is beautiful organized mess. It is a part of higher order learning and a way for us to communicate and learn from our environment. Communication disorders in fact pulls from other fields such as psychology, education, and neuroscience. And that’s one of the reasons why we like it.

My name is Theresa Hunter. The new team member and speech language pathologist at Aspire Interventions.
As you’ve probably read, I am a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas where I got my masters in Communication disorders. I am also an alumni of the terry scholar foundation and the University of North Texas. Go mean green!
My passion is in early intervention and children suspected of social pragmatic disorder. Now my hobbies outside of the office are playing with my blue heeler Sheila, sitting on Netflix, Pinterest, watching movies, and working on cars.
My interest right now is in building my skills with PROMPT and SCERTS. If you’re interested in learning more about these philosophies, you should keep watching.
I started at ASPIRE as a summer camp intern in 2013. Since then I’ve been either a summer camp lead or a summer camp intern or a graduate student intern since the very beginning of ASPIRE.
Now something I’m really passionate in is something called PROMPT and something called SCERTS. Both of these I’ll provide video examples of me performing these later in the video.
Language is beautiful organized mess. It is a part of higher order learning and a way for us to communicate and learn from our environment. Communication disorders in fact pulls from other fields such as psychology, education, and neuroscience. And that’s one of the reasons why I like it.
Here at ASPIRE we are PROMPT trained. PROMPT stands for Prompts for restructuring oral motor phonetic targets. PROMPT is a holistic way of approaching your child’s intelligibility, nonverbal, or language disorders. For more information, I invite you to visit the PROMPT institute website. Now let’s take a look at a video from one of the children at ASPIRE using PROMPT.
As you saw with our friend, she was trying to produce the “n” sound, but due to poor jaw stabilization it did not come out appropriately. When provided prompt later in the video, she was able to make the “n” sound with appropriate jaw stability.
Here at ASPIRE we are building our PROMPT skills with children with apraxia of speech, nonverbal children, and children with language disorders. Our team here at ASPIRE is working toward becoming PROMPT certified.
SCERTS is an acronym that stands for Social Communication Emotional Regulation, Transactional support. It was developed by Barry Prizant and Amy Weatherby and is a developmental approach to working with children suspected to be on the Autism spectrum and children with sensory integration challenges.
SCERTS helps create an optimal learning environment through visual and verbal support. Now let’s take a look at some videos of us using SCERTS at ASPIRE.
What you’ll see here is emotional regulation under the SCERTS model. In each session we provide a structured environment with hello and goodbye. This helps reduce the processing load that a child might have when they have language difficulties. If you look behind me you’ll see that there are visual supports. These visual supports help reinforce language. Here we’re using the transactional support under the SCERTS model. I want to explain that transactional supports does not need to be just pictures. You’ll see here in the next few seconds that a child chooses a friend. The clinician tells them to go to a visual boundary. Here they go to a blue mat and on the blue mat is a visual boundary for the next activity. The visual boundary helps with transitions. Often these transitions are seen as difficult for our children on the spectrum. { Here we use visual support for instructions in our activities. As you see all of our children are engaged, and we go through step by step of what the children expectations are for this craft. Here the child is choosing arms or legs to color for a skeleton activity. Here is another example of a child using our visual instructions supports. Here he is choosing a color to color the bone he had chosen.
These visual instructions help the child understand language while also reducing his processing load. Our instructions provide the expectations of what is going to happen next, such as what color should you use.
We currently have a preschool program that meets on Saturdays that is developed around the SCERTS model. We hope to expand this group into a 4 day program for children that need the structure in order to learn.
Parents our job at ASPIRE is to help you find your child’s optimal learning environment.

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