Sunday, November 7, 2010

Improving the Expressive Verbal Tools Cognitive Function

Are you wondering how to get started on improving the Cognitive Function known as Expressive Verbal Tools? Here are a few ideas to get things started. Remember that if you work to strengthen this cognitive function for 15-30 minutes a day for 5-7 days straight, you will see improvement and change. Be consistent and have fun!

I play a game with my kids called "Tell me what to do".
I tell my child that I am going to do their chore today (or this math question for them,make their bed, etc.) The only catch is that they have to tell me EXACTLY what I am supposed to do.
And based on their instruction I will do it EXACTLY as they tell me to.
This game will give you a good idea of how well you have communicated and taught the task to your child, as well as showing you the word labels they have for this particular task.
Afterwards, you can discuss the importance of accuracy and precision when it comes to giving directions.
(click here to read an example of this game)

Another game we play is Teddy Bear Helper. I'm sure for older kids, you can play this as a 'Foreigner comes to your House' or an 'Alien Drops By.
You are a Teddy Bear that has come to life, you want to live like they do but they need to tell you how to live. They are NOT allowed to show you. They must tell you how to do a task.
Get ready to be messy and laugh with these suggestions:
-how do I brush my teeth (remember you don't even know what a toothbrush or toothpaste is) Make sure you follow their instructins EXACTLY. It may mean you get toothpaste all over your mouth and face, but the illustration will be unforgettable
-how do I drink a glass of water?
-how do I tie my shoes?
Click here to read about an example from our house

Make the most of your car rides by playing "How many ways..."
How many ways can you tell me
...that you are hungry
...that you don't have the pants that I'd like to buy
...that tractors are not transports
...why pigs can't fly

Clown Around
Act out a story or an idea
Use puppets to express yourself
Make up a dance or rhyme to tell how you feel
Play a game about Emotions (click here for examples of discussing emotions)

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