Recently a colleague was looking for some ideas to help severely language-impaired students understand and deal with death and tragedy. Certainly, collaboration with a mental health professional is desirable, but sometimes an SLP, SLPA or paraprofessional is the adult in the building that has the closest relationship with a student. Our knowledge of communication support can also be important. A recommendation from a school social worker led me to the Mad, Sad, Glad board game, providing visuals to talk about emotions and feeling words. Young children with language disorders often struggle to communicate without a visual reference for what they are talking about, so having family pictures or other visuals present in the room will help kids initiate conversation.
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