By Jordan Hanson, M.S., CCC-SLP from Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center
From someone working on AAC with individuals with motor deficits, I find it so important that these individuals receive similar sensory experiences as their neurotypical peers ( hence, my co-workers will often see me running down the halls with my kiddos with Cerebral palsy telling me to ‘go fast’ , ‘stop’, ‘go slow’ , etc… (Yes, I get paid to do this) so that they experience what it’s like to run.
I digress. One of the universally loved sensory activities that most of the kiddos that I work with love involves the process of making and playing with Goop/gak/slime/or any other name you want to call it. To make this, you use the tiniest amount of Borax (found in your local Walmart in the Laundry section), clear or white Elmer’s glue, and water. After much experimenting, I believe that I have found the way to make perfect slimy goop.
You need two containers: one for the water and borax mixture and one of the glue and water mixture. Start by mixing the glue and water mixture in the larger of the containers (okay, that amount of glue you just used isn’t enough. We’re talking copious amounts of glue and then add about ¼ that amount of water.). Then you need to poor the Borax into the water. Only poor a few table spoons of Borax or it will get too hard to manipulate (and who likes goop that breaks apart…Right?!?!). After mixing the borax-water mixture, pour it into that larger mix of water and glue, and stir. It will congeal into the best language stimulating material that you can… point stick at….or whatever that phrase is…
Okay, so how do I use it with core words on a nifty highly technological device? This is where the skies the limit, but here’s what I do.
I usually will begin the session by using aided language stimulation (talking while using the device as my own voice) and going over the words (core words and fringe vocabulary) within this project. (One important thing to keep in mind is to focus on the core and action words and don’t sweat it if you are unable to find ‘Borax’ or ‘Gak’ in the vocabulary.)
Words I discuss prior to beginning the project depending on child’s current language abilities: Core words: ‘pour, in, on, want, make, more, open, help, look, stir, my turn, your turn, go, stop, where, and what’ Fringe vocabulary: ‘disgusting, silly, water, powder, bowl, spoon, etc’
When it’s completed, I will often times put animal figurines into the goop and talk about how the animal is “Sooo Stinky” and needs a bath, and pull vocabulary from that ‘help page’ (e.g. wash, soap, etc.)
Most of my sessions are done in a way in which I have a portion of the time spent doing a clinician directed activity, and the latter portion doing a client centered activity in which I will follow the child’s lead and use vocabulary from what they are doing or saying/approximating.
I hope this is helpful!
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