Hope everyone is having a wonderful year!  I wanted to share my latest article published by Pediastaff:

SLP Corner: Making Connections with the Past: Using Vintage Material in Therapy with Adolescents

When choosing material for lessons that address targeted language skills in adolescents, therapists are often seeking novel and creative resources in order to support curricular activities and maintain student interest. Utilizing vintage material solves that dilemma and provides a unique opportunity for students to practice skills while connecting with the past. With vintage resources, our students are provided engaging opportunities to explore historical themes, values, and styles from bygone eras and apply that knowledge to writing skills, vocabulary, verbal reasoning, cause and effect, pragmatics, etc.

Listed below are suggested examples of vintage material that can be utilized in therapy:

1. Norman Rockwell artwork: The work of Norman Rockwell typifies Americana over several decades. His paintings are ideal for discussions that correlate with a social studies curriculum, particularly lessons pertaining to World War II. His complete collection can be viewed on the following website:   http://www.nrm.org/ or via the following iPad app (.99 cents for the full collection of 228 pictures):


2. Retro TV shows: Free access to full length videos of classic TV shows such as ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and ‘The Cosby Show’ are available on the TVLand website and are excellent for teaching pragmatics in differing social scenarios.

3. Vintage Photographs: Using vintage photography as a therapy source can elicit dialogue that encompasses a variety of subtopics (e.g. historical events, fashion trends, social views, etc.).

The story behind a vintage photograph is often a mystery to present day viewers and can be open to interpretation. Students viewing an unfamiliar photograph from the distant past are taught to rely on the identification of clues and inferential thinking in order to decipher the story. Specific websites that provide excellent vintage photographs free of copyright infringement are as follows:



4. Vintage Ads: As mentioned in my previous article but worth repeating, older ads are a wonderful way to illustrate social norms, societal trends, and stereotypes. Discussion using this genre of ads gives us the opportunity to promote discussion and target a variety of language skills (e.g. reasoning, compare/contrast, pragmatics, main idea, inferential thinking, etc.). Tip: Google “vintage ads” under ‘Images’ for a vast display of ads. Create a folder with prescreened and selected ads for easy access in therapy.

Winston Churchill summed it up best when he stated, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” Utilizing vintage material affords both the therapist and student a novel opportunity to explore and connect with past events while simultaneously applying targeted concepts to the material within the therapy setting. History never looked more “cool”.

Karen :-)

It's back to school for many of us and I wanted to let everyone know that I've added two new activities to help start off the school year on a whimsical note.  The new activities are:

Funny Signs

Story Development Using Cadbury Commercials

As always, each activity has a link to the material on my Pinterest boards.

Hope everyone has a great year and stay tuned for more activities.  :-)



The whole concept that fun changes behavior is something that we as therapists and educators have understood for quite some time.  In 2009, Volkswagon launched an ingenious campaign that further reinforced the impact of ‘fun’ on human behavior.  The Volkswagon project challenged the public to submit ideas of engaging innovations that were paired with everyday activities in order to promote change in a targeted behavior.  After seeing the videos, it occurred to me that these videos would be a really cool way to address problem solving, pragmatics, etc. as well as inspire creativity in our students.  Here is the website for the campaign:


I’ve also written a corresponding activity sheet for the website which is now listed on my page for adolescent activities.  However, for quick reference, here is the activity:

The Fun Theory by Volkswagon

Kudos to Volkswagon for such a great campaign!

Karen :-)

I recently discovered a wonderful resource for therapy and as a result, I developed two new lessons for this week.   As part of an advertising campaign, many zoos have highly entertaining print ads and commercials.  Some of the best that I compiled came from the San Diego and Los Angeles' Zoos.  These ads are very creative and provide another excellent medium for therapy.  The ads are perfect for teaching examples of literary terms taught in the curriculum (e.g. personification, hyperbole) as well as developing skills in a multitude of other speech and language areas.  The two lessons are as follows and contain links to videos and suggestions for search terms:

Zoo Ads

Zoo Commercials

In addition, I also compiled an album of my favorite zoo print ads and uploaded the album onto my SpeechDrive Facebook page.  For easy access, create an album of your own for print ads and save to a flashdrive.

SpeechDrive on Facebook

I will also add the videos to my video board on Pinterest for any of you using that site.

Lastly, I have another really cool activity that I'm working on that I hope to have ready later this week. Check back often or "Like" me on the SpeechDrive Facebook page in order to stay up to date.

Karen :-)
Hope everyone is enjoying the start of Spring, which is my favorite time of year!  I have lots of information to share in this month's blog so I will try to keep it concise and easy to read.  ;-)

I've added two new activities on the 'Therapy Ideas for Adolescents' page.  The activities include the links to the following apps and website -

Morfo App for iPad

Draw a Stickman

'Morfo' is a super fun app with lots of potential in therapy.  'Draw a Stickman' is a website as well as an app.  The Stickman activity can be done on a computer, Smartboard (my preference), or an iPad.

I've also added in several iPad apps on the 'iPad Apps for Adult Therapy' page. The most recent additions are:

Mega Collection of Classical Comedy Shows

Magic Window

Getty Images


Spaced Retrieval

Reading TherAppy

Writing TherAppy

Lastly, I recently joined Pinterest.com which is an invaluable site that allows people to create virtual pinboards of favorite websites, interests, etc.  For my page, I have started pinboards that list all of the apps, websites, and videos referenced in my activities or blog on this site.  It makes filtering all of this information so much easier!  So...if you are not on Pinterest, I highly recommend it and feel free to follow my boards.  I'm listed under 'Karen Clark'.

May we always aspire to be relevant and fun!!  Have a great March!

Karen :-)

I've added an additional page to this website (iPad Apps for Adult Therapy) that provides a list of some of the iPad apps I use in therapy with adults.  Many of the apps and activities listed correlate to the therapy activities that I've posted for adolescents.  As with adolescents, within a measurable framework that utilizes evidence based strategies, I enjoy using materials that are functional, relevant, and interesting when working with adults.  These activities and apps are meant to complement therapy materials already used by clinicians and generally garner positive input from the patients and families we serve. It's great to leave a therapy session with lots of smiles!

I will be adding to the app page periodically so check back often.  I'll also post any updates on this blog and on my SpeechDrive Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SpeechDrive). Please feel free to share your feedback, additional iPad apps that you have used with this population, and/or any questions you might have. As always, my continued thanks for the wonderful comments and feedback.  What an amazing profession to work in!

Karen :-)
For this month's blog, I wanted to share two excellent iPad apps specific to aphasia in adults.  In addition to working with adolescents in the public school setting, I also provide therapy to adults within a Skilled Nursing Facility.  For the SNF setting, I recently purchased two applications that are a great resource for the patients who are struggling with verbal expression and comprehension as a result of a stroke.  The two apps developed through Tactus Therapy Solutions are: 

Naming TherAppy
Comprehension TherAppy  
In addition to these two apps, Tactus has also developed two additional apps geared towards aphasia that focus on Reading and Writing.  Other app recommendations for adults are also listed on the Tactus website: 

Happy New Year everyone!  

Karen :-)
A good friend and fellow SLP, Valerie Esgar, recently shared with our speech department, a great website for developing simple animations.  In my opinion, this particular website outshines similar sites that use the same technology.  The graphics are more colorful and varied with added touches of background music and creative characters.  The best part about this site is that it's FREE!  Users have the option to upgrade for a fee but I find that the free version is more than sufficient for therapy activities.  I've written an activity sheet for therapy ideas shared by Valerie which is listed below along with the link to the website:

Animation Fun

Another excellent site that allows users to create cartoons was shared by a very creative Speech/Language Therapist, Haley Mesquita.  This has many options for cartoon development which include facial expressions, color changes, posture, and so much more.  This is a fun, easy to use site that is also free of charge. 


A big thank you to Valerie and Haley for sharing these sites!

Karen :-)

Here's an awesome website that can be used to address concepts such as following directions, matching, sequencing, etc.  I recently did one of the recipe activities on a Smartboard with my students and they loved it!  Haven't had a chance to look at all of the other games but the cooking activities are definitely not just for girls!  :-)

The Peanuts comic strips, created by Charles Schulz, are a compilation of endearing characters and story lines.  My favorite Peanuts character has always been Charlie Brown.  Charlie Brown was portrayed as the ultimate "lovable loser" who consistently displayed perseverance over adversity.  Further, Charlie was a dreamer and a romantic and often demonstrated compassion and brotherly love.  Despite the rejections that he  encountered, Charlie always persevered and because of that, I felt that he would make a great character study.  My latest lesson for this week is titled,  Personality Traits of Charlie Brown

Analyzing the character traits of Charlie Brown offers an opportunity for students to identify positive traits in others.  In addition, conversations about popularity, social stigmas, and persistence can occur through this lesson.  Charlie Brown provides us an opportunity to spotlight a popular "underdog" and predict positive outcomes as a result of his charming qualities.

Karen :-)