White Plains Elementary School is honored to be a recipient of Bluebee Pal Project donation of Bluebee Pals educational tools. As a participant, we provide feedback and testimonials on the impact of technology in our speech therapy programs.
For the past 25 years, I have been a school based speech-language pathologist in the public schools. My journey has been rewarding working in school based services that provide therapy to a wide variety of student populations. I work with children as soon as they turn three years old and students can stay in school with speech services until they are 21 years old. I currently have students from 3 years old to 19 years old in my programs. In addition to the students who attend my school, I work with preschool children before they come to school as well as students in our preschool classrooms at my elementary school.
Just as the ages range greatly, so do the disabilities of the children. My students are working on producing speech sounds correctly to make their speech more understandable. Many of my students have autism or language delays in skills that we take for granted. These students focus on learning conversational turn taking, new vocabulary/concepts, providing appropriate answers and learning to ask their own questions.
Some of my students are learning about fluency control techniques to make their speech more smooth. The variety of age and disability varies greatly when providing services as a school based speech pathologist. So many of my younger students are motivated to practice new skills with the Bluebee Pals assistive technology tools. Young children learn faster when learning is fun and play oriented. Play is the natural state for preschool and young children so the Bluebee Pals fit right in with this therapy setting.
We are utilizing Bluebee Pals in the speech room, in two preschool classrooms and in a self contained classroom for children with significant disabilities, including autism. In the speech sessions, our objectives are on comprehension skills using story apps. In articulation therapy, we use them for modeling the target word and also recording the child’s attempt for playback in speech apps like Articulation Station.
We have the students practice their words with the Bluebee–the Bluebee just listens in this activity but the children love to practice saying their words to Bluebee and give better effort knowing the Bluebee is listening. I am working toward using the text to speech to reward/encourage them during this activity. We are also using it for conversational and social skills with students that have a delay in social language.
They are learning to take conversational turns and participate in interactive play which is so important for language development. The students love the Bluebee Pals! In the classrooms, we are still in the introductory stage and using them mostly with story book applications and songs. I have sent the teachers your information with ideas to use across the curriculum and we will continue to use them in different ways in the classroom.
Katrina Ginn: Speech-Language Pathologist, White Plains Elementary School, Anniston, AL
Thank you again for this wonderful donation to our school and students.