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Using TikTok in Therapy

By Rosemarie Griffin

Who doesn’t love TikTok? If you haven’t heard about it before, TikTok is a fascinating platform of  short videos of literally everything! Hours can definitely be spent watching videos about  cooking, dancing, story telling, and even bee keeping! More to come on beekeeping later. TikTok videos can be a great tool for therapy too!

TikTok is such an awesome tool to interest your students with autism in therapy! Think about the engagement of students when you start using TikTok videos in combination with your lessons! I even have a TikTok, ABA Speech, full of some fun videos and some really useful information to use with your autistic learners of all ages today! There’s also just some fun videos too!

Because TikTok has been a huge success in recent lessons, I had to take some time to share a success story I had during therapy! I actually paired a super exciting article about honey bee’s in a mans car (from a tremendous website called Newsela) with an actual beekeeper (Erika Thompson) who shares videos of her bees on TikTok! 

So what’s the lesson?

In therapy, our goals are to work with language anyway we can. I do lots of reading comprehension, practicing taking turns, saying new words and learning new vocabulary.  Using Newsela articles is a really useful tool in finding topics that students may be interested in because it is so diverse in the variety of different articles.

First, just in case you haven’t used the site Newsela before, it is a website for educators, therapists and students alike. It is chock full of articles about everything and I mean everything. There are science articles, social studies, current events and even fiction and poetry. Questions are embedded for reading comprehension  and there are also writing prompts to use if you choose! You also have the ability to change the lexile level to meet your students’ reading levels. Newsela does need a subscription for the full site, but there are options for free articles too! 

I found this really cool article about bees, but not just any bees. These bees filled a man’s car! The title is “A man’s car is filled with 15,000 bees.” The crazy thing is the man is actually a beekeeper! This man, Jesse Johnson, is super passionate about saving the bees. The story is Jesse went into the grocery store, like any other normal day, and when he began driving away, he saw a whole bunch of honey bees, 15,000 honey bees, hanging from his rear window! Of course Jesse, being passionate about the bees, saved the bees by relocating them! The article then goes on to give a wealth of information about honey bees and why we need to protect them, which is so current in our world today.

It is a pretty fascinating article and we were able to do so much with it! I was able to ask reading comprehension questions, discuss the article, ask opinions, take turns, use new vocabulary and have genuine conversation, but then I paired it with TikTok!

So where does TikTok come in? 

This is where the lesson really takes off! I actually paired this article with a woman named Erika Thompson’s Tik Tok account. She is a woman that is also very passionate about saving the bees. She is a professional beekeeper in Texas! Her Tik Tok handle is texasbeeworks and she has over 10 million followers! She has a ton of videos posted with her handling bees, talking about the bees, and giving some really cool facts about bees in their element.  

The students showed so much engagement watching the videos and connecting them to the article from Newsela. It was such an incredible opportunity to share more language, practice new words, and again take turns sharing ideas. The videos on Tik Tok are all short, and each video is different, some with words on the screen along with someone talking! It is such an exceptional tool for SLPs. 

Let me know if you try using this lesson and how it goes with your students! 

Want More? ABA Speech is on TikTok!

If you are looking for even more really great tips and tricks or ideas for therapy and you are a fan of TikTok, check out ABA Speech on TikTok! I have some short, but super helpful videos to help you in planning lesson ideas! Come check out Simon Says, some cool dance moves, and just some incredible quick tips like using stuffies and fake food to help build conversations with your youngest autistic learners. TikTok is the social media outlet you didn’t know you needed! TikTok can definitely help change the game in your therapy sessions! Come check out ABA Speech on TikTok today! 

TikTok in Therapy have seemed like a far fetched idea for therapy, but after reading about this lesson, hopefully you take a spin into the TikTok world and engage your students!


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