Social Attribution Task

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Have you every heard of the Social Attribution Task (SAT)? 

I hadn't until I attended SCERTS Model training by Emily Rubin, M.S., CCC-SLP

If you haven't heard of SAT, let me tell you about it...
  • It was originally a cartoon created by Heider and Simmel in 1944 
  • It is now available on YouTube! You can access it at work, if you know how to access YouTube. At my work you have to use MyBigCampus or know how to get through the filters to access it at your site.
  • I would suggest you watch it first before showing your students.
  • You see shapes move around on screen for a few minutes.

How do you administer it to your students? 
  • The student being assessed first watches the video.
  •  Then student is asked to describe what they saw.
  • You transcribe exactly what they say. 
  • Typical students would describe the video using social terms (anthropomorphic words),  meaning the student has to interpret the inanimate symbols and attach social actions to these symbols. 
  • Examples: The triangle is trapped! The triangles are fighting. The circle and the triangle are friends, they trapped the big bully triangle. He is mean. The  circle and the little triangle run away from the big triangle. The big triangle destroyed the box.

Why should you use SAT in your assessments? 
  • A study by Klin (2000) has shown that students on with Autism Spectrum Disorders are shown to pass high level theory of mind (ToM) tasks and assessments, but do not show the same level of social adaptation in a naturalistic setting.
  • The study also discussed that, "individuals with autism and AS identified about a quarter of the social elements in the story, a third of their attributions were irrelevant to the social plot and they used pertinent ToM terms very infrequently. They were also unable to derive psychologically based personality features from the shapes' movements. When provided with more explicit verbal information on the nature of the cartoon, individuals with AS improved their performance slightly more than those with autism, but not significantly so."
  • Meaning students with Austism Spectrum Disorders would be able to pass our Theory of Mind  (ToM) tasks, or perform well on pragmatic assessments. However when viewing the Social Attribution Task (SAT) they would exhibit difficulty describing socially what is happening in the video (e.g. They might respond with "I see a circle, two triangle and a square. The circle and the two triangles are moving." but lacking humanistic words like fighting, chasing, mean, friends).  
  •  Another study by Abell, Happe & Frith (2000) found that students with Intellectual Disabilities also performed poorly on the SAT. However students on with ASD tended to use inappropriate descriptors more often. Meaning their descriptions would not be appropriate to what they are watching.
  •  They also found that students with ASD would pass a standard false belief task, but had difficulty with the SAT (Abell, Happe & Frith, 2000). 
  • What does this mean? You can use the SAT in your assessments as an informal measure of pragmatic abilities!

Items to consider:
  • A study by Hu, Chan & McAlonan (2010) suggests that the SAT would best be used on students 8 years or older, "Together studies suggest social attribution ability may not fully develop before the age of 8 years old." Students younger than 8 years old would not be expected to perform well on this task. 
  • Hu, Chan & McAlonan (2010) also found that girls performed better than boys on the SAT.
  • This is an informal assessment. I have not found norms or researched enough to find what is a "typical" versus "atypical" responses. However, you can use this to informally describe how a student views social situations. You can provide a narrative of how they responded and use your professional judgement to discuss the appropriateness and amount of humanistic traits.

Do you know more about the Social Attribution Task (SAT)?
Have you ever used it? 
Leave a comment, I would love to hear about it!
  • Klin, A, (2000) Attributing social meaning to ambiguous visual stimuli in higher-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome: The Social Attribution Task. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. Oct;41(7):831-46.
    Hu, Z., Chan, R., & McAlonan, G. (2010) Maturation of social attributionskills in typically developing children: an investigation using the social attribution task. Behavioral and Brain Functions Feb. 6:10 
    Abell, F.; Happé, F. & Frith, U. (2000) Do triangles play tricks? Attribution of mental states to animated shapes in normal and abnormal development. Cognitive Development. Mar 15(1):1-16

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Chicken Soup for the SLP Soul Blog Hop

Sunday, February 15, 2015

 Very excited to be participating in this heartwarming Blog Hop! 
 "You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life" ~Zig Ziglar 

This story begins during the last few weeks of my externship at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). By this time I was in the swing of things and felt like I knew what I was doing. My supervisor Bonnie pretty much left me alone to do morning rounds.

I worked from 7:00 am (sharp) to 2:00 pm everyday. I would get in, check my client list on the whiteboard for the day and make myself a schedule. Then sprint upstairs to start breakfast rounds and ended my day with lunch rounds. I typically saw between 7 to 8 clients a day.

One of my morning patients for about two weeks was an elderly religious woman (let's just call her Ruby) who was very frail as a result of pneumonia. I spent my mornings trying to get Ruby to drink her ensure (which she hated) and she tried tirelessly to convince me to give her more chocolate jell-o pudding (which she loved). I had this feeling like I had met Ruby before, but not sure where.

During my time with Ruby I never met any of her family members, but I could see their presence in her tiny hospital room. Ruby could talk and talk bout her church, the baptism pool she designed, showing me the cards and messages her family had left. Her bulletin board just overflowing with love.

Toward the end of the second week, I could tell Ruby was not her usually perky self. Something was wrong, I could tell the instance I walked in the room that morning. I asked her if she was alright, to which she quietly responded yes. I grabbed the pudding and began helping her eat. After the first spoonful I heard a cough, and another cough. We moved onto the thickened coffee, that produced another cough. I stopped. No more breakfast until we figure out what is going on. Ruby's nose was runny, the nurse said she was running a fever. Ruby continually coughed for a while longer, I suspected the pneumonia was back.

I told my supervisor that I think she needed to go back to the hospital. She needed more advanced medical attention than we could provide. My supervisor agreed. That was the last time I ever saw Ruby.

My supervisor and I would make a habit of checking the obituaries every morning. Sounds morbid, but when you work in a SNF you don't get to find out what happens to your clients. Also if one happens to pass away, then you can send a card to the family. We checked the obituaries like we normal do, and Ruby's name was in there.

I start reading. I was suddenly dumbfounded. Ruby wasn't just a client. She happened to be my oldest friend's grandmother. It was like every memory started flooding back. Since we were born, my friend and I lived next door to one another. I attended many family gatherings and parties at her house, I mean we were practically family. I had met Ruby many, many times. However, when I saw her in the SNF, she didn't look like the Ruby I remembered as a child.

I immediately called my friend to tell her I had been feeding her grandmother breakfast every morning during her last weeks here on this earth. My friend couldn't believe it. "How did we not run into each other?" she said. Remember I leave at 2:00 pm, my friend didn't come to visit until she got off work around 4:00pm. We never crossed paths. My friend was so grateful and felt at peace that someone she knew was spending time caring for her grandmother in her last days.

In this field, you honestly never know who you are providing therapy for and the impact it will have. Although we don't always get to know the outcome of our clients, we can take pride in that we touched their lives, even if for a little bit.

Check out these amazing prizes! Be sure to keep hopping!

Don't forget to grab my number! 
Enjoy hopping! 

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My other love...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This month's Frenzied SLP theme is all about things we love. While  I love everything Speech and Language Pathology. My one true love or should I say my passion is crafting.  I guess you could call me a home body. I would rather be home or in my backyard creating something than doing anything else.

Depending on my mood, the season and whatever tickles my fancy, I dabble in different crafting forms. I actually used to have a craft blog where I posted all my recent projects. I paint, quilt, embroider, hot glue, glitter, name it I have probably tried it. So much so that I think I am going to need a craft room soon. Shhh, don't tell my husband I said that.

Below are some new and some old projects. I hope this inspires you to try creating something new! 

I made a dog collar cover for my puppy Bindi.

Rifle Paper Co. inspired Kenny Loggins quote water colored for my mother this Christmas.

A baby blanket I started crocheting (finally finished) for a friend's baby.
Crafting keeps me centered and lowers my anxiety. It gives me something to think about other than my job! I also cannot watch TV without doing something with my hands. Lately this is why crocheting is my favorite. I am good enough at it now that I can watch TV and crochet without looking at my hands. 
The infamous morning monster I made for my best friend. He has traveled all over the world!
An antique pattern I stitched for my grandfather of an Alfa Romeo
I LOVE mermaids. This is a pattern I created from vintage mermaid postcards.
My mermaid piece is one of my very favorites! I tried many different types of stitches and threads. It was one of the most complex things I have embroidered. I have it framed and hanging in my bedroom.
I love making baby stuff! Especially using embroidery and felt!
Felt is another one of my favorite mediums. You can make bean bags, appliques, ornaments, puppets and so much more!

Blown eggs, watercolor and sharpie.

I still put these eggs out every Easter!
So colorful!

Another cute blanket! Outerspace!
Can you tell I like making things for my friend's babies!?
A mobile I painted for my speech room when it was ocean themed.


I still own these shoes! They were so much fun to embroider! 

Creating things for other people and to decorate my own home makes me feel good and like I accomplished something, especially if it's a new craft I haven't tried before. 
 Being a crafter is how I ended up becoming an SLP blogger and TpT seller.
Making things is what I enjoy doing. 

Do you have a hobby? If so what is it? 

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Save Your Breath!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Welcome to the Frenzied SLPs introduction month!
I am excited to be part of the Frenzied SLPs new venture into blogging! 
We have provided tons of freebies for the last few months and now we get to bring you exciting tips/tricks to help you in your practice as a Frenzied SLP!
I don't mean to sound like an infomercial, but are your tired of using your voice by the end of the day? I know I am! 
I went to a fantastic in-service by Rick Morris. He is a advocate for using new management techniques in the classroom that don't use your voice. Imagine that! Here are some ways that I use Rick Morris techniques for the classroom in my speech room. 
Why? Because we need to remember students should be doing most of the talking and we need to save our precious vocal folds!

Help Box 
This is not the first time I have written about the "magical" help box, but I want to write about it again because it's a voice saver. Especially when you get the question, "What are we doing today Mrs. Nortz?" or "What's the date today?" I got this idea from SCERTS training two years ago. I used blue tape and you can include whatever you want! It's great for students who need to see a visual of the schedule for the day. Include actual pictures or write out your schedule.

Being the communication experts that we are, we know that using gestures can be life changing for some of our students. However, have you ever thought about communicating non-verbally with your students?
Rick Morris has a one page gesture FREEBIE page and all the black line poster size masters I have found that the best tip is using the Question, Comment or Answer gestures for groups that are chatty. Then you know what each student has to add to the conversation. In addition a simple gesture with a pointer to the help box will save you a lot of talking!

I give my students stickers at the end of each session. Sometimes students take quite a while picking out that perfect sticker. Rick Morris suggested that using timers take all the guess work out of how long the students have. I set the timer for 30 seconds and like MAGIC my students were speed racers! It was awesome! I have used timers for "think time," after asking a question so every student has time to process the question and formulate the best answer. 

Noise Cues
Students hear teachers voices all day. If you use a noise cue, it will trigger a different sort of "animal-like" part of the brain. I use a few noise cues in my speech room to get attention when students are talking, working on a worksheet or just for fun! You can use it to signal a great answer.  I have a service bell, a train whistle, a squeaky toy and clicker. Get creative and use other things...slide whistles, horn, chime etc.
Do you need students attention when you are writing something on the board? 
Check this out, attach a bell to the end of a marker! 
Your students will be instantly paying attention.

I am a big time band nerd! I have played the flute since 4th grade and music has always been a form of therapy for me. Try cueing your students with music (examples: vocab time, grammar time, sticker time). Rick Morris developed an app called the Music Cue App that you can load your music clips into and play them when you want without going to the next song. Kind of like the way sound boards work and there are a ton of apps with sound effects.
 Boombox with Music Notes
Do you need some music that is safe for students? Check out Free Play Music they have songs without lyrics that are unfamiliar to students. You have to register, but select the type of license for classroom use when you "check out" Click here for all the instructions and if you find a song you like join the Sound Project and e-mail your favorites to create a bank of songs!  
Want some songs your students recognize? Download FREE TV theme songs here at Television Tunes I could spend forever browsing all the songs, it's so much fun!  
I hope you found some nonverbal prompts that will help you save your voice.
More Rick Morris tips from my speech room to yours coming soon!

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The Five Year Burnout

Sunday, November 16, 2014

This is my fifth year as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Many studies have reported that nearly half of teachers quit by their fifth year.  I can see why.....

I am not going to lie, last year was rough. Being an SLP is not all sunshine and roses. Seriously.  I felt like I was on the verge of giving up on this profession. I felt I wasn't being listened to, I was overwhelmed, and taking far too much work home. I became Rachel the SLP at work and at home. SLP 24/7.  I stopped doing things I enjoyed on the weekend because I had to write reports. Even when I wasn't working, I was thinking out it. All. The. Time. Even with all the SLP media, facebook groups, TpT, and blogs. It's everywhere! I find it very hard to believe that being an SLP is on the top 10 LEAST stressful jobs, really? I beg to differ.

I lost sight of who I was as a person. I was in a struggle for regaining balance in my life. I am not just Rachel the SLP. I have a husband and an adorable puppy. I have friends and family. I have a life.  I love crafting, crocheting, painting, glitter, and creating. I actually like to exercise! I enjoy walks on the beautiful beach a few miles from my house, especially during the day, outside, getting fresh air. I love reformer Pilates, who knew!? I like to meditate to help me calm down, especially listening to visualization tapes.  I missed my friends! I enjoy baking. Many hobbies I left by the wayside because I was "too busy" or became too stressed and anxious. I was exhausted (and I still am sometimes).

I do not own this image
I think we all have to be nicer to ourselves, especially those of us working in the public schools. We are great at what we do, but that doesn't mean it has to become us. It also doesn't mean we have to take on the world and everything thrown our way.

Here are some things I have done that help:
  • Our work will never be done, so create boundaries.
  • Plan ahead so you don't have to work from home. I mean this, I really do. It will change your life.
  • Make time in your schedule to get things done at work, yep bigger therapy groups.
  • Ask for help!  
  • Breathe.
  • Don't feel defeated or like you are not good enough if the workload is too much. 
  • Change your perspective and negative thinking. This one is HARD for me. I get so stuck in my "twisted thinking".  Love this quote....
I do not own this image
  • Take your lunch and actually eat it, in peace. 
  • STOP feeling guilty. 
  • You are enough, you do enough and it will be okay. 
  • The work will still be there in the morning.
  • Disconnect from your computer for a while. 
  • Disconnect from everything SLP related for a while, including social media. 
  • Leave your laptop at school one night, it's freeing! 
  • Simplify! Are your reports too long? Could you make your life easier? How? Think about it and brainstorm ideas to make a change.
  • Take Breaks (check out all these great ways to take breaks)
  • I do not own this image
  • Talk to someone, yes therapy. It helps. 
  • Listen to good music. 
  • Talk to colleagues and share ideas. What are they doing that could help you? It also helps to commiserate and know you are not alone.
  • Take a mental health day if you need to, that is why they exist!
  • Use aromatherapy in your office (as your school allows), it helps bring me peace.
  • Consider a job change. I know I am...private practice? Clinical supervisor? Professor? New school? Who knows...there are options!
  • LOVE yourself, you are imperfect and a wonderful human anyway.
  • Write in a journal-nope not a blog. A real paper journal, a pretty one and write with fun colored pens. I found I really enjoy it. 
  • One of the best things I realized about our job is no matter how many students we have, WE are responsible for trying to make it work in a way that best works for us and the students we serve. If it's not working out, look over your schedule (I know it's hard), but maybe there is wiggle room you didn't see before.
  • Know that you are NOT stuck, you have options and you create your destiny.

My list will keep growing as I grow and learn. Having a career isn't always easy. I am grateful I have a fabulous job, great pay and time off to relax. However, I think we can get caught up without realizing it. You wake up one day and realize work has taken over.

Take this quote to heart and live it. 
I do not own this image
What do YOU do to help you maintain balance in your life? Do you have a favorite hobby or activity? What is it?

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Oh hello there November!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I'm back! I took an inadvertent break from blogging. Let me tell you it was nice to have a little break! I love the holiday season and I thought it was time to come back and start sharing again. I have been creating, go check out my new Thanksgiving product!

Here is a great mini-book from Figuratively Speeching SLP It's called LEAVES! This is just perfect for my preschoolers. I have 12 preschoolers this year, which is double what I normally have! Having extra resources is nice!

Step 1: Prep your books. Copy, cut, and staple together. I pre-cut the leaves because it would take to long for the little hands to cut, color and glue in a 30 minute session (I should mention it was a session of 3 girls who LOVE to color).
We practiced saying all the fun sentences that are included in the book and the leaves are on everything! Great thing is you can just practice putting leaves on and off with a pocket in the back to store the leaves or you can actually glue leaves onto the pages. It's up to you! 

We read a book about fall leaves and I showed the girls this page for a reference of colors to use, but using other colors like purple and pink was okay to ;)

We had so much fun!
Thanks Jessica from Figuratively Speeching SLP

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Easy Princess Therapy

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I have a lot of young girls who LOVE Frozen. 
Yes. Still. Love. Frozen! 

I think the boys are tired of it, but on the rare occasion I get to have a therapy session with girls (or boys tolerant enough to sing) it's been so much fun! 

Materials for FROZEN /s, z/ and /s/ cluster therapy
1. Let It Go on your ipod, or computer
2. Princess wands are optional but fun. 
3. Let It Go FREEBIE to sing along and track data!
What to do:
1. Practice /s/ using artic cards or sticks (as seen above by Mia McDaniel). We waved the magic wand over the sticks and pretended to be Elsa making snow.
2. After we got tired of doing that, we put on the song Let It Go and I started tracking away. 
3. The students love this so much. They could sing it over and over again. Which means you get a ton of data from ONE SONG! 

Check out the tracker I made:
Click on the image to download the freebie! 

To use: the tracker lists the word in the order that they appear in the song. Once you are done singing tally the amount correct, divide it by the total, multiply by 100 and get a %. Hooray!  Done!

Enjoy the freebie and happy singing!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Disney, I do not own the rights to the lyrics, or anything involving Frozen what-so-ever. This was just something I found useful in therapy. I make absolutely no profit off posting this freebie. Just wanted to share!

Please purchase the song. Pirating is illegal. 

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