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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew - Color My Conversation Northern Speech Services

Review, #hsreviews #colormyconversation, Color My Conversation, CMC, NSS, Northern Speech Services, Rosslyn Delmonico, Social Language, Face-to-face, Eye Contact, Conversation, Socialization

Northern Speech Services Color My Conversation, #hsreviews #colormyconversation, Color My Conversation, CMC, NSS, Northern Speech Services, Rosslyn Delmonico, Social Language, Face-to-face, Eye Contact, Conversation, Socialization
Northern Speech Services Color My Conversation, #hsreviews #colormyconversation, Color My Conversation, CMC, NSS, Northern Speech Services, Rosslyn Delmonico, Social Language, Face-to-face, Eye Contact, Conversation, Socialization

I was thrilled to get a chance to review the Color My Conversation (CMC) from Northern Speech Services (NSS) which is basically weeks of speech therapy instruction focusing on conversation social skills coaching in a box where I, as the parent teacher, became the conversation coach for my child. It can be used with professional speech therapists, teachers, or parents in a group or one-on-one setting and works especially well with high-functioning Asperger children. Though, any child would benefit from its use.



What is the Color My Conversation CMC from Northern Speech Services NSS?

Color My Conversation is a program that was developed by a speech-language pathologist and is intended to teach children to develop social conversation skills. It takes a multi-sensory approach and is easy to adapt to any child's needs. The program is designed to be used over a 14 to 16 week time period but can be adapted as needed for shorter or longer timeframes, even up to an entire year with each session lasting between 30 to 45 minutes at least once per week along with at-home practice throughout the week.
The program uses color coding, sign language, gestures, songs, and other hands-on and interactive learning style techniques.
The program is intended to be used with children ages K-7th Grade.


Northern Speech Services, #hsreviews #colormyconversation, Color My Conversation, CMC, NSS, Northern Speech Services, Rosslyn Delmonico, Social Language, Face-to-face, Eye Contact, Conversation, Socialization
Northern Speech Services Color My Conversation, #hsreviews #colormyconversation, Color My Conversation, CMC, NSS, Northern Speech Services, Rosslyn Delmonico, Social Language, Face-to-face, Eye Contact, Conversation, Socialization

I received a complete kit that was packed with everything I needed to implement the course. It included a CD instruction manual and a music CD, a yellow ball that came deflated and needed to be inflated, rubber mat colored stepping stones and lightning rods (12 total), 50 game tokens, a cloth ribbon that is about 9 1/2 ft. long, 100 picture/emotion cards, 2 dry erase pens, 50 dry erase wall display cards, a poster, and a game board,

The kit includes video tutorials with an instructor who was pleasant to listen to and easy to understand:

Review, #hsreviews #colormyconversation, Color My Conversation, CMC, NSS, Northern Speech Services, Rosslyn Delmonico, Social Language, Face-to-face, Eye Contact, Conversation, Socialization


The lessons come with video instruction that includes:

Review, #hsreviews #colormyconversation, Color My Conversation, CMC, NSS, Northern Speech Services, Rosslyn Delmonico, Social Language, Face-to-face, Eye Contact, Conversation, Socialization


Begins with what they call the Yellow Conversation (basically hello goodbye). It continues into the Short Conversation (green and red stones) with basic chit chat. It then moved into long conversations (blue stones).  These beginner lessons are complete with instructions for the teacher/parent on how to implement them.

It then moves into the intermediate level which covers the basics of conversation, such as the WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN WHY's, making transitions from one topic to another, body language, and wraps it all up by making a color beaded bracelet that correlates with the stepping stones and conversational flow.

From here, it finishes up with a more advanced conversation that discusses body language, the tone of voice, "bubbles" of thought conversation, and face-to-face communication practice. The program concludes with expertise level skills.

There is also a section on using the program with special needs children.

Finally, there is a section within the expert level that helps develop critical thinking, character development, integrity, and leadership skills and using what they have learned in the real world with real-life face-to-face conversations.


Northern Speech Services Color My Conversation, #hsreviews #colormyconversation, Color My Conversation, CMC, NSS, Northern Speech Services, Rosslyn Delmonico, Social Language, Face-to-face, Eye Contact, Conversation, Socialization

The yellow ball is really fun to use for the beginner and part way through the intermediate level. It is suggested that you stop using it by lesson 7.




The game pieces, cards, game boards, and floor mats are used throughout the lessons.



 

There are also worksheets for the coach and the child to complete and wall displays.


And, an assessment rubric.



How Did We Use It?

I was interested in using this with my 10-year-old who has not officially been diagnosed as autistic but demonstrates some borderline characteristics, as does her older brother, mostly when it comes to social interaction with her peers and some sensory issues.  I began by watching the introduction instructional videos and looking over the manual before I did anything with my daughter with the program. I soon learned that most of the beginner level lessons dealt with more basic forms of conversation that she really has already mastered for the most part, so I touched on these briefly and moved into the intermediate lessons rather quickly. As silly as it may sound, the part that took me the longest was figuring out how to get ahold of a ball pump to pump up the ball.



We wrote on the dry erase mats, but for some reason the black marker didn't show up well in the pictures.





I started her at the beginner level but quickly moved into the intermediate lessons as she was comfortable with the concepts at the beginner level. As I watched the instructional tutorial videos, I decided that my daughter would be most receptive to delving into these social communications lessons if I incorporated them into her language arts lessons a few times a week.

I also thought my older son could benefit from this but knew he was too old to willingly sit through the lessons. So, as I was watching the instructional videos, he asked about it and it opened up the door for me to share with him some of the concepts which he surprisingly was excited about grasping.

What Did We Think?

First, I love anything that includes color coding. It's how I think and seems to be how a couple of my children think as well. Another thing I love is the feel of the ball. It is smooth and the perfect size. This may seem like no big deal, but when you deal with sensory issues in children that can create melt downs, this is a HUGE deal. I was pleased to see how excited my daughter got when she saw the package arrive. I had told her nothing about it and wasn't sure how she would respond. I found it to be an interesting and fun way to teach social conversation. The instructor's voice was pleasant to listen to which made it easier to follow. I especially liked that it was hands-on and active. The part I had the most trouble with is figuring out the sign language used. I'm sure if I was using it with a group, this would be something I would work on more. Also, the music is a nice addition especially for groups, with the gathering song, etc. and also for smaller children.

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Read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

Color My Conversation {Northern Speech Services Reviews}


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