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Episode #013: Strategies for Generalizing Language Skills with Katie Castro

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How do we help our students generalize their language skills in the community and the larger school environment? Fellow “unicorn”, BCBA and SLP, Katie Castro is an alumni of my Help Me Find My Voice course, and she’s also a clinical director of speech therapy at Children’s Autism Center.

You can’t just hope that a student figures out how to generalize on their own. As therapists, we can build a system that helps lead them to generalize. Generalization is teaching students to apply skills in different environments and circumstances. We may not realize that when we teach a word, there are many different examples of that word. For example, how many kinds of dogs are there? If we show a picture of a Labrador and only that kind of dog, it doesn’t teach a child the variety that is inside the word “dog”.

It’s hard for therapists to have the resources they need to teach generalization which is why I ended up creating some. Katie talks about how she uses multiple examples and teaching loosely to help a child learn a less strict definition of a word.

It’s important to keep really specific data when you’re working with students, but when you combine specific data with IEP goals and first trial data, it can be difficult to keep track of where a student is progressing. If you want to make your progress reporting easier, then Katie and I have some techniques to streamline the process.

For more SLP strategies, be sure to check out my FREE webinar 5 Strategies to Help Students Engage and Communicate. Register now for this April event.

What’s Inside:

  • How I use a variety of flashcards to expand the concept of basic vocabulary words like dog, cat, or car.
  • Maintenance goals can feel like a drag for a child, so I share ways that I keep it fresh for that child.
  • Collecting and reporting data might feel complicated, but Katie and I have both streamlined the process so that it’s easier and takes less time.
  • Katie incorporates parent training to help reinforce what a child learns in speech therapy, and that has actually been made easier by the pandemic and telehealth sessions.

Today’s Guest:

Katie Castro is a dually certified Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). She has been working in the field for 16 years as an SLP and received her certification as a BCaBA in 2019. She grew up in Indiana, receiving her undergraduate degree at Purdue University. She then moved to Texas and received a master’s degree from University of Texas at Austin in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Katie started her career working with adults for several years at a skilled nursing facility. She then transitioned to providing in-home therapy to young children in Early Childhood Intervention for 8 years, completing assessment and intervention in the areas of speech, language, play skills, and swallowing/feeding skills. Since 2016, Katie has been the clinical director of speech therapy at the Children’s Autism Center, an ABA and ST Clinic in Austin TX. She specializes in incorporating behavior-based strategies into speech therapy to provide motivating and effective intervention to children with Autism.

Mentioned In This Episode

— 5 Strategies to Help Students Engage and Communicate
— Program Item Checklist
— Children’s Autism Center
— ABA Speech
— ABA Speech TPT Store

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