Therapy Materials: Wonderful to have but they are not the ‘therapy’


It is great that there are so many great materials that can be used in speech therapy but we need to recognize that these are tools and not the therapy. So just as you would not say that a house was built by a ‘hammer’ but rather it was built by a carpenter, he took his skills, knowledge of house building, ability to use his tools of the trade, his exact measurements, his evaluation of his progress and how they were coming together making adjustments as he goes. As therapists or teachers, it is not the materials we use that is the ‘therapy’ or the ‘education’ but rather it is the professional who takes their knowledge of their craft, their evaluation of the student’s skills,  their adjustments in their treatment in response to the child that is the treatment.

A common error that is made when developing goals is that a therapist may have as part of a goal a material. Here are some examples of goals in which the therapist included a material.

  • The Student will increase their knowledge of Super Flex characters as evidence by their ability to name them with 80% accuracy.

The therapist is using a research-based approach but Super Flex is a material or a therapy method we need to think what is the skill that we want them to learn. 

  • Do we want them to recognize one of their interfering social behaviors?
  • Do we want to increase their social awareness?
  • What is the problem that the student is exhibiting?

Here is an excellent article from Michelle Garcia Winner that explains how we need to look at social learning.Michelle Garcia Winner: Social Learning Tree

Here are other social skills references for the development of goals.

Do’s and Don’ts for Teaching Superflex

Social Thinking Developmental Treatment

Social Thinking goal writing

IEP/Treatment Plan Objective Ideas


Here is another goal.

The student will achieve 90% accuracy on an assessment based on the Unit 1  Lucy Calkins writing curriculum.

  • If I don’t know this curriculum I will be unable to know the skills the student is working on.
  • Lucy Calkins is the curriculum that you are using to get at a particular skill that you are looking for.
  • Look at what are the skills and then write a goal for this ex. The student will increase her writing skills as measured by a score of 80% on a unit test that measures her understanding of nouns, verbs, and punctuation.

Sometimes we may want to have a rubric to measure a skills  as it makes more sense for what we are looking at.

writing-rubric     This is a writing rubric from  You might pick one of the particular skills on the rubric to work on stating where they are in baseline and where you want them to go.

One therapy material that I use and I know many of the student clinicians also use is Text Talk TEXT TALK: Scholastic .  Although this is a fabulous program and it has it’s foundation in good research it is the methodology that you want to talk about with the material you used is Text Talk.

Here is a great PDF that has some research on vocabulary. It is is one of the authors of Text Talk.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email
, , , , , , ,
3 comments on “Therapy Materials: Wonderful to have but they are not the ‘therapy’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar