Many of our clients have a difficult time expressing themselves. Even talking about/describing common vocabulary or objects can be very challenging. For older kids, expanding on and producing complex thoughts about topics can continue to be challenging. When we discovered and started using the Expanding Expression Tool (EET), we began seeing huge improvements in the kids’ oral and written expression and ability to organize their thoughts! The EET is a hands-on (e.g., multi-sensory) approach that uses colors and symbols to increase expression. There are different areas/colors that are targeted to expand a child’s ability to describe objects and even more abstract ideas (e.g., Thanksgiving). The kit includes a strand of beads with corresponding colors that the kids can hold while they are talking about their topics. The toolkit is designed to be used with children ages preschool through high school and can be adapted to level of ability. The goal includes improving a child’s ability to define and describe, organize information, and learn and expand use of vocabulary. The idea behind the EET is that when children use a multi-sensory approach, there is a better chance that the information will be moved into long-term memory and used in activities outside of the clinic. Not only are kids able to build on their vocabulary and describing skills, but the program can also be used to improve note taking. Those notes can then be used to target forming complex sentences and can also be used for oral presentations on the topics. We have found that the EET has improved our clients’ confidence and ability to expand their expression both in and out of the therapy environment in a positive way!
We have included a Thanksgiving example to show the different areas/colors that are targeted. The capitalized words are the words/groups taken from the EET (e.g., they correspond to the feathers on the turkey in the picture) (please note spelling was not corrected): GREEN GROUP, what group does Thanksgiving belong to = “Thanksgiving is a holiday that we celebrate each year!”; BLUE DO, what do we do on Thanksgiving = “People give thanks, people eat lots of food, and som people wach football.”; WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE, purple = “Thanksgiving at my hous looks like a party and a celabretson. Some kictons [kitchesn] are dury or messee.”; WHAT IS IT MADE OF, yellow = “Happens [happiness], love, tradition, food, givin thanks, fun, games, football, famiy, friends.”; PINK PARTS, parts of Thanksgiving = “Tukey, pupkin pie, mash photos [potatoes], famly, tradition, cranberry sause, celabret, grave [gravy], rolles.”; WHITE WHERE, where do you see/go for Thanksgiving = “I celabret Thanksgiving at my grandperints house in November.”; WHAT ELSE DO I KNOW, orange = “People celubret in many difrent ways.”
If you would like more information on this strategy/product, visit www.expandingexpression.com or ask one of us, we would love to tell you more!