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April Showers Bloom Flowers!

Why are Multi-Syllabic Words So Important?

Perceiving syllables is important for both early literacy development as well as speech and language production. Click here to see Kaitlyn demonstrate multi-modal cues to ensure an 80% accuracy level in counting syllables within multi-syllabic words. This educationally rich activity benefits literacy, language expression, and speech clarity skills concurrently: 


Counting Number of Syllables Activities: 

Counting Syllables in One-Two Syllable Words

Counting Syllables in Two-Three Syllable Words

Counting Syllables in Three-Four Syllable Words



Make a Difference by Teaching Children to Comment

Dear Parent or Primary Caregiver, 


I am missing your child but understand the importance of social distancing at this time and the resultant statewide school shut down. 


Research has shown that parents do make a difference when supported. For this, I will be sending out new, educationally rich activities each week with YouTube tutorials that demonstrate how to effectively improve communication skills. 


I am also happy to connect with you through video chat or any other means to support and empower you and your child throughout this process. Do not hesitate to email me so we can arrange a virtual meeting or connect through other means. 


Know that you can make amazing strides with your child using these sentence strips to request access to desired activities and objects. To minimize sharing of germs, you can attach the sentence strips to high request locations, such as the fridge (for drinks and foods) or the wall of a toy room (to request toys and games). We know that children with ASD are incredibly intelligent and so many learn to read as an avenue to learning to talk.


Research has clearly shown that children commenting (e.g., "Look at") is a much stronger indicator of communication outcomes than requesting (e.g., "I want"). For this, we focus our efforts on commenting and are happy to report that our children typically develop "Look!" (with pointing) to share information as one of their first spoken words. 


See the attached YouTube clip of our Wayne State University SLP graduate student Rebecca Matuz by pressing here for multi-modal cueing of the "Look at" carrier phrase. At this time, we would not have the child touch his face (but keep fingers in the air) due to the current virus outbreak.


I have also provided an example in a YouTube Clip explaining why we gesture slowly so your child can both process the information and join you in producing sounds and movements in which I do not touch my face when cueing. 


Do not hesitate to email me with any questions or concerns--small or big. I always look forward to hearing from you. Know that you can make a difference today by having your child point to the words on these sentence strips, as you read them, to request.


Your child can also participate in weekly, hands-on activities or worksheet activities with you cueing along the way to always ensure a continual 80% success rate.


My entire caseload of diverse preschoolers participate and benefit greatly from the educationally rich activities shared on this page. I will show you how to use highly effective, multi-modal cues every step of the way with YouTube tutorials to ensure a minimal 80% success rate for all children. Sincerely, Kelly Vess, CCC-SLP


Use Multi-Modal Cueing to Improve Communication Skills for All Preschoolers

Click here for a digital tutorial demonstrating multi-modal cues that we have effectively used to improve speech, language, and literacy outcomes for preschoolers. These multi-modal cues are also showcased in digital clips as an effective evaluation and treatment tool with very diverse populations of preschoolers in my forthcoming book. 


Recent research indicates that you don't have to be a speech-language pathologist to make a difference using multi-modal cues. Today, I encourage parents, teachers, and caregivers to use cues presented here or develop their own to more saliently teach preschoolers with and without disabilities. 


Do not hesitate to contact me at any time. I would love to be of assistance in any way I can during this shut down. Parents, caregivers, family members, I know you can make a difference during this time.


The activities on this webpage are very educationally rich, while improving your child's communication skills. I will be updating this site with new material weekly so you are empowered to make a difference. 



Activities That Improve Speech Clarity and Early Reading Skills

Click here to see how we have effectively been able to teach rhyming to diverse populations of preschoolers with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder by using real objects and sorting them into bins. We also tape pictures on items like balls and throw them in the bins. 


It's naturally rewarding for the children to sort the objects. Our Wayne State graduate student intern "Miss Kaitlyn" Alsheskie, who is graduating this spring, illustrates the cues we use to always ensure a minimal 80% accuracy level with all of our children. Click below to access activities that target both rhyming and speech sound practice for your child.



 Rhyming Activity

Rhyming Activity/Polysyllabic Words

Rhyming Activity/3-Element S-Blend


Click here to see what you can do using real objects or here using an IPad as a worksheet template. 



Learning Elements of the Story to Improve Communication Skills Globally


Showcased here is one digital clip of over 130 from my forthcoming book "Evaluation and Treatment of Speech Sound Disorders: A Comprehensive Approach" with Thieme Publishers. Research has indicated that learning the elements of the story improves language comprehension, expression, and literacy skills.


Please see how Rebecca Szczembara, at that time a speech language pathology graduate student from Eastern Michigan University, illustrates best practices using multi-modal cueing. She is currently an SLP specializing in improving communication skills of children with ASD. So many will benefit from her unique brilliance. I am fortunate to be able to share her therapy with you today!


Back Cover to Each Element of the Story 


Mom Can't Come to My Birthday Party!

No Veggies Please

Penguins Can't Fly

Rain, Rain, Go Away 

Staying Inside Can Be Boring

The Egg Hunt Story

The Robot that Costs Too Much Money

Trip to Grandma and Grandpa's House is Cancelled!

Why Is Sitting Criss-Cross Applesauce So Hard For Me?


I hope you and your child enjoy these stories. New stories will be posted on a weekly basis. With you in spirit in the important work you are doing with your child, Kelly


Cueing the Beginning Versus Ending of a Sound Using Multi-Modal Cues. Digital Clip from "Evaluation and Treatment of Speech Sound Disorders: A Comprehensive Approach" with Thieme Publishers


More Activities to Improve Speech Clarity and Phonological Awareness Skills


The goal of the complex, phonological awareness activites below is to stimulate the cerebellum visually as well as auditorily. The cerebellum is the CEO of the brain. It decides what we think and do and connects to virtually every area of the brain.


The cerebellum is responsible for approximately 80% of the total neuronal activity in the brain. By targeting the cerebellum through auditory and visual-spatial challenges for young children, we can create complex neuronal connections in the brain.


One way to rewire the brain is to efficiently improve phonological awareness skills by targeting the complex skill of both identifying an individual sound as well as its position within words as beginning versus ending.  


Try teaching this complex skill within the context of movement activities using kinesthetic cues. I share accompanying movement activities for each letter on instagram page kellyvessslp.


Our research has demonstrated this technique to be effective for populations of preschoolers with and without disabilities. This evidence-based strategy is demonstrated in this YouTube clip.