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Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Home
Ages: 12-22   Grades: 7-Adult

Use a narrative therapy approach and familiar routines to teach speech and language skills to teens and adults with developmental disabilities, autism, and/or English as a second language.  

Outcomes

  • Increase listening comprehension, expand utterances, and use functional vocabulary
  • Expand narrative skills through verbal sequencing, story grammar, inferences, and summarization
  • Prepare client to enter workforce and sustain relationships with peers
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The language lessons teach clients how to generate narratives while focusing on listening, expression, vocabulary, grammar, and conversation skills.  The materials use a strategy similar to the Teaching Tales model used with clients with autism (Blank, McKirdy, & Payne, 1997).  This flexible approach lets you target a variety of speech and language skills based on client need. 

The book has 25 age-appropriate lessons about functional routines in the home including grooming, preparing meals, and cleaning.  Each lesson consists of a four-part picture sequence (i.e., a routine) and a corresponding page of language stimuli.  Three levels of language stimuli allow you to easily adapt the lesson to your client's needs:   

  • Beginner—two or three simple sentences per routine
  • Intermediate—three or four sentences per routine, more complex grammar, and sequence words like first and next
  • Advanced—four or five sentences per routine, more complex grammar, sequence words, and mental states such as thoughts, feelings, desires, and perceptions

Every lesson follows this sequence:

  • activate prior knowledge
  • listen to the story (routine)
  • story (routine) comprehension questions
  • retell the story (routine) with and without pictures
  • extension task

You may purchase Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Home individually or as part of the 4-book Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults set.  The 4-book set consists of:

Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Community

Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Home

Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Leisure & Recreation

Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Work

Copyright © 2008

Components
55 pages

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists Serving Persons with Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities [Guidelines] (http://www.asha.org/docs/html/PS2005-00106.html, 2005 ) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (http://www.ncset.org/docs/osers/idea04_sec_transition.html, 2004), Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Home supports:

  • enhancement of communication skills for functional routines in a natural setting (ASHA, 2005)
  • communication at home, work, school, and in the community (IDEA, 2004)
  • independent living and vocational skills, community participation, and student interest in leisure and recreational activities (IDEA, 2004)

Additional research supports the following therapy principles:

  • use of story retelling or narrative-based language intervention (Blank et al., 1997; Franke, (n.d.); Franke & Durbin, 2006; Hayward & Schneider, 2000; Schneider & Dibé, 2005)
  • embedding language goals in the context of a story (Swanson, Fey, Mills, & Hood, 2005)
  • use of picture support to increase the mean length of utterance (Miles, Chapman, & Sindberg, 2006)
  • use of modeling, imitation, prompts, and fading (Kouri, 2005; Rogers-Warren & Warren, 1980; Wolery, Ault, & Doyle, 1992)
  • use of verbal routine contexts and expansions (Yoder, Spruytenburg, Edwards, & Davies, 1995)

Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Home incorporates these principles and is based on expert professional practice.

References

Blank, M., McKirdy, L., & Payne, P. (1997). Teaching Tales. HELP Associates. Retrieved June 15, 2007, from http://www.linkstolanguage.com/teaching_tales.htm

Franke, L. (n.d.). What did you do at school today? Strategies for teaching story retelling and personal narratives to children with complicated language problems. Retrieved May 30, 2007, from http://www.animatedspeech.com/pdf/OCDE_Autism_News.pdf

Franke, L., & Durbin, C. (2006, November 4). Narrative intervention for children with complicated language impairment. ASHA [Convention]. Miami, FL.

Hayward, D., & Schneider, P. (2000). Effectiveness of teaching story grammar knowledge to pre-school children with language impairment: An exploratory study. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 16(3), 255-284.

Kouri, T.A. (2005). Lexical training through modeling and elicitation procedures with late talkers who have specific language impairment and developmental delays. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 48(1), 157-171.

Miles, S., Chapman, R., & Sindberg, H. (2006). Sampling context affects MLU in adolescents with Down syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49, 325-337.

Rogers-Warren, A., & Warren, S.F. (1980). Mands for verbalization: Facilitating the display of newly trained language in children. Behavior Modification, 4(3), 361-382.

Schneider, P., & Dibé, R.V. (2005). Story presentation effects on children's retell content. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 14, 52-60.

Swanson, L.A., Fey, M.E., Mills, C.E., & Hood, L.S. (2005). Use of narrative-based language intervention with children who have specific language impairment. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 14, 131-143.

Wolery, M., Ault, M.J., & Doyle, P.M. (1992). Teaching students with moderate and severe disabilities: Use of response prompting strategies. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Yoder, P.J., Spruytenburg, H., Edwards, A., & Davies, B. (1995). Effect of verbal routine contexts and expansions on gains in the mean length of utterance in children with developmental delays. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 26, 21-32.

Author(s)

Beverly Plass

Biography

Beverly Plass, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist in the Irvine Unified School District in Irvine, California.  She has worked with adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities and/or autism for the past 16 years.  She has found that the key to her students' success is tied to their ability to understand and communicate about living, working, and playing.  Beverly is also the author of Functional Vocabulary for Adolescents & Adults, Vocalic R To Go, SPARC R and S, SPARC Artic Junior, and SPARC L.   Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Home is one book in a series of four that includes Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Community, Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Work, and Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Leisure & Recreation.

Introduction

Have you asked your clients what they did over the weekend?  Could they tell you about their activities?  Did they have difficulty describing past events?  The purpose of narrative-based language intervention is to teach clients how to generate narratives while also focusing on specific, underlying language skills.  The strategy is similar to the Teaching Tales model used with autistic clients (Blank, McKirdy, & Payne, 1997).  Narrative skill intervention has helped clients improve their expressive language, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and conversational skills.

The narrative approach is flexible and allows you to target a variety of speech and language skills, depending on individual client need.  Goals could include:

  • Comprehension: Questions are included for different language abilities.
  • Syntax/Morphology: Prompt the client to expand utterances to include longer, more complex sentences than he typically uses.  Have the client imitate grammatical targets, such as verb tense, pronouns, or prepositional phrases.
  • English language development: Facilitate development of English sentence structures and vocabulary.
  • Speech: Ask the client to use clear articulation or fluent speech while retelling the story.
  • Vocabulary: Teach functional vocabulary and concepts in the context of the stories.
  • Social skills: Develop social skills through routines, such as the importance of showering or preparing meals.
  • Sequencing: Encourage the use of sequencing words, such as first, next, then, before, and last.
  • Story grammar: Help the client retell narratives using story grammar elements.  Prompt the client to talk about characters, setting, conflict, events, and conclusions.
  • Mental state awareness: Teach the client to use words that address main characters' thoughts and intentions, such as thinks, wants, likes, decides, hopes, sees, believes, and feels.
  • Inference: Ask the client to answer questions based on what is already known.  For example, ask How do we know she's in the kitchen?  Where do you think he found the frozen waffles?  What time of day is it and how do you know?
  • Summarization: Prompt the client to convey the story's main idea without using extraneous details.
  • Written language: Have the client write a paragraph to describe the pictured event sequences.
  • Picture schedule: Copy the pictures and sequence them as a visual aid for the client's future reference.

Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Home helps you teach narrative skills to adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities, autism, and/or English as a second language.  The age-appropriate picture stories target routines at home, such as cooking, cleaning, grooming, and doing laundry.  The vocabulary in these lessons parallels that found in Functional Vocabulary for Adolescents & Adults.  Each pictured routine comes with the following skill levels that allow you to adapt the lesson for the individual client.  Select a level that is just above your client's language ability.

  • Beginner—two or three simple sentences per picture
  • Intermediate—three or four sentences per picture, more complex grammar, and sequence words (first, next)
  • Advanced—four or five sentences per picture, more complex grammar, sequence words, and mental states (thoughts, feelings, desires, perceptions)

Readability was calculated and averaged for each story level based on the Flesch-Kincaid statistics.  The readability level is a comparable measure to the complexity of the listening task.

  • Beginner: 2.3 RL
  • Intermediate: 2.9 RL
  • Advanced: 3.4 RL

This narrative-based therapy technique is most effective if the client can:

  • understand nouns and verbs used in simple sentences
  • follow simple directions
  • answer simple wh- questions
  • name pictures and actions

Present the lessons to the client as follows.

  1. Copy and cut apart the story pictures.
  2. Ask the Activate Prior Knowledge question.  This helps the client tie experience with learning and also helps you observe the client's baseline vocabulary and narrative skills.
  3. Tell the client to listen carefully.  Read the story to the client as you present the individual story pictures.
  4. If the client is working on syntax or morphology, have the client imitate each sentence.
  5. Ask appropriate wh- questions, according to the client's language ability and skill level.
  6. Have the client retell the story while looking at the individual pictures.  The client's story should be in past tense.  This will help the client formulate original sentences, rather than imitate a model.
  7. Flip the story pictures over and ask the client to retell the story again from memory.  Reveal each picture after the client describes it.  This strategy facilitates recall and helps the client relate about past events.
  8. Ask the Extension question to promote generalization of the vocabulary and narrative skills.

If the client has difficulty retelling a story, use these prompts.

  • Fill-in-the-blank: Retell the story yourself, but pause at key words and allow the client to finish the sentence.  For example, say She put the pizza in the ___.
  • Elaborate: Point to the pictured items and cue the client to talk about them.  For example, point to smoothie ingredients and ask What do you need to make a smoothie?
  • Sentence-starter: Give a one-sentence, succinct summary of the story to help the client begin retelling a longer version.
  • Cue for missing information: For example, ask What did he use?  Who was with him?  Where did he put it?
  • Expand: Once the client verbalizes the information with prompts, encourage him to repeat the sentence.

Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults Home provides 25 pictured story sequences so you can enrich your clients' narrative skills.  Teach active listening as well as increased expressive language skills in a functional, context-based format.

If you like the topics and activities in this book, you may also like Functional Vocabulary for Adolescents & Adults.

Beverly Plass