Friday, September 7, 2012

Focus on Fluency Product Review

Ok you guys! It's finally FRIDAY! Are you as completely wiped out as I am? I'm worn out over here! Let's get to our last day of fluency week! It's time for a product review!

Focus on Fluency is a tool kit created by Kristin Chmela, M.A., CCC-SLP, a board recognized specialist in fluency. It's sold by Super Duper Publications.   It contains multiple resources for Education, Desensitization, Basic Communication, Fluency Shaping and Stuttering Modification.

The kit comes with practical treatment activities for busy therapists. When I showed up at my school a few years ago I literally had ZERO fluency materials. If you're in a  similar situation, Focus on Fluency is the answer to that problem!

Focus on Fluency comes in the box shown above, keeping all your resources easily stored. Let's take a peek at what you get...

The education section includes activities for learning fluency myths/facts using cute blue sticks! The program's vocabulary for anatomy related to fluency is the 'Speech Machine.' Posters are included to learn about each body part (mouth, lungs, etc). I really loved the magnet board included that lets your student identify those body parts.  It's a great warm up activity to start the conversation about their communication! This section also includes a board game focusing on manipulating your speech. The included CD contains printable for children to make classroom presentations about their fluency disorders. The presentation is excellent and perfect for teaching friends/classmates about stuttering. The giant button shown above is used to facilitate belly breathing and visual imagery. The Belly Breathing cards shown above allow students to play a concentration game while working on breathing exercises.

The red drawer in the tool kit focuses on desensitization. You will find bean bags and these silly stutter cards. The combination of these items make up several games that focus on fake stutters.

Blank and pre-written 'check-in' wheels are included for focus on discussion about fluency and how fluency fluctuates. Also included in this domain is a set of 'My Thoughts' strips. The purpose of this activity is to become more comfortable sharing feelings/attitudes about stuttering. The CD includes short speech stories about kids who stutter. These includes real issues that kids face(i.e.: teasing) with problem solving questions.

The basic communication portion of the tool kit includes activities to address topics such as wait time, turn taking, and eye contact. The visual symbols on the cards help students identify the targeted skill (i.e.: the eyes for eye contact shown above.) The back of the cue cards include conversation topics for the SLP to use in leading discussions.

The stuttering modification section includes strategies for changing stuttering before, during & after it happens. Cards included again use the visual symbols to indicate which strategy to use. See the green circles above indicating cancellation/pull out. Fake-It cards are also included for practicing Easy Repetitions and First Sound Stretches.

The fluency shaping activities highlight skills in increasing difficulty levels. As you can see the skills are included for each sound (short E is shown above). SLP's can use the same set of cards to target word/phrase/sentence levels as well as the capability to pull out specific sounds that are difficult.

I love these Visual Prompt/Discussion Cards included in each section. They provide the student with the visual prompt, while giving the SLP guided discussion questions. Easy beginnings are highlighted i this section.

The Instructional Manual includes contracts and charting cards for many of these skills. This is a great way to provide homework and support carryover skills.

Bottom Line:  The kit includes activities in 5 domains related to fluency. Contents include: manual, CD with printable handouts, 10 card decks, 2 sets of discussion strips, game boards, magnetic board with speech anatomy, 8 visual prompt cards/discussion cards, 7 manipulatives (dice/weighted button/ bean bags, etc) and 3 posters.

Love it: I love that it is an entire kit with multiple activities for each domain. It's a perfect starter kit. I like the 'vocabulary' of the kit. Introducing a 'Speech Machine' was such a hit and something I can carry over throughout the lessons I create to further skills. I also like that the games are in card form. It makes it easy to slide fluency kids into my other groups because when we play a game they can just use their fluency cards, while my other students use articulation or language cards.

Leave It: In reality most of my students don't need to spend extended time with the education and desensitization activities. I wish there were more activities for the fluency shaping and stuttering modification areas because that's where I spend the bulk of my instruction time. 

The video above should answer any other questions you have about the program!

Focus on Fluency retails for $139.95 from Super Duper Publications at this time. What do you use to treat fluency? Have you used Focus on Fluency? What about some other programs?

*The product above was provided to be reviewed. No other compensation was provided.