Therapy ideas for Life Skills, Autism, Functional Academics, Mod/Severe Settings and more!

When I started out as an SLP a good percentage of my students were in a self-contained reverse inclusion class for students with moderate to severe Autism.  I had multiple practicums with students with moderate to severe communication disorders, but I still felt unprepared.  Working with global delays can be stressful.  I often asked myself questions such as: Where do I start?, What do I do next?, Am I meeting their needs?, and How to make therapy more effective?  

While an SLP in Texas, I worked in a communication/language-based class of student’s with moderate to severe autism.  As an SLP, I would work with the teacher to write goals that the entire team could work on.  I focused on any speech sound goals and I supported the team with communication and language.  I modeled and instructed the team on how to facilitate language.  Another component of my role was to run a group lesson 3 times a week.  We worked on social communication and language development, while I modeled strategies for the team.  My caseload here in SoCal also includes students in a moderate to severe setting with mixed disabilities and diagnosis.  

I have always strived to make our group time more effective.  There are so many social communication goals we can work on, but I also wanted to use this time for language growth.  From research and experience, I have learned that using themes is an effective tool for supporting vocabulary and communication.  

I have wanted to create thematic units for years.  So this last summer, I started to create thematic units to support the therapy goals of my students in a moderate to severe setting.   

The communication level of my students is variable, from minimally verbal to working on answering “how and why” questions.  I also have different age groups.  So I wanted to create a unit that would be applicable to all my students. 

Speech Therapy Fairy

They didn’t issue a magic wand in graduate school!

I don’t know about you, but they didn’t issue me a magic wand in graduate school and my magic ball was dropped and busted by my own kids!!!  As an SLP we can have an incredible impact on our students/clients, but we are so much stronger when we work as a team.   So I made these activities and included strategies for the special education teacher to carry over the activities throughout the week.  Have your teacher and classroom assistants take part in your groups.  Give suggestions during your group or meet as a team to support the carryover of the vocabulary and language work.  

This year I am implementing my thematic units and I feel more prepared and excited to see the language growth of my students and the collaboration of my team!  

I have created these units and am posting them on TeachersPayTeachers.  You can purchase individual activities, thematic units, or a bundle for the year!

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

Click to see the Back to School Unit