Rushing. It's a familiar experience to all of us. We are always in a hurry to go here and here and here. We have to move quickly to get to the next big thing. In the process, we often lose sight of what's most important. It is my Thanksgiving wish that each of you finds time to enjoy something small. Maybe it's the joy of a handwritten letter or taking a picture with your family. Just don't forget to stop and smell the roses in the mad dash to get gifts (and taking care of December IEPs) as the holiday season looms ever closer.
Children, of course, imitate our sense of urgency with their own desire to have everything NOW. They want to grow up. They want to graduate. They just want to go to recess. I remember feeling like everything took forever. So it should really not come to any surprise that sometimes they also rush through their conversational speech. Enter an SLP's best friend: the pacing board.
Initially, my homemade pacing boards are met with dubious looks. I admit that pacing boards, even ones that are made with snazzy graphics, don't look like much. Yet, it's the simplicity that often makes them work so well with students who are distracted by everything. They just have to point to stickers and work on their target. I mostly use the boards to help my "fast talkers" to slow down. It works much like having to use their finger to point to each word as they read from their sight word books. They have to spend more time thinking about what comes next, which is usually just the trick to getting them to use a more natural pace. You can also use pacing boards to help segment and blend sounds. I have even found that they are very helpful for bringing fricative sounds in the initial position from isolation to word level.
In the spirit of the holiday season, I decided it was finally time to spruce up my boards to include more than just smiley faces and star stickers. In this packet of pacing boards, you will find boards for 3-6 targets. I also included some blank pages just in case you have some shiny holiday stickers on hand.
You can grab your copy of Holly Jolly Pacing Boards here.