Passwords and Space Aliens in Speech Therapy

Passwords and Space Aliens in Speech Therapy

As adults, we have a massive amount of important things we need to remember, and passwords are right at the top of the infamous must remember list. A password for the email address, a password for the bank account, a password for the go-to social networking website, yada, yada, yada — YIKES! If I have to memorize one more password, I swear that my brain just might explode!

I wish passwords were fun.

Wait. Guess what? Passwords CAN be fun! For example, one time while vacationing in Orlando, Florida, I ate at a yummy restaurant that required each customer to say a secret password in order to be allowed entrance into the restaurant. It was a cute spin on the whole dining experience and I couldn’t help but think that using some sort of variation of a password to enter MY speech therapy room might go over well with my students. So I gave it a go and I have been happily doing it for quite some time now.

Give your students a secret password!

About once a month or so, I choose a completely random word as a password (pancakes, spider, smelly sneaker, etc.). I go on to tell only one student on my caseload. After I reveal the random word to him/her, I urge that student to share the password with as many speech friends as possible. In addition, he/she must encourage all who are told the password to also pass it on to as many speech friends, too. I usually play it up by informing them that they will not be allowed to enter the speech room next time unless they whisper the correct password in my ear. The kiddos really get a kick out of that.

Word of mouth is amazing.

It really does knock my socks off when sometimes within 24 hours, literally ever single youngster on my caseload knows the password. The password goes viral! Even the students who were absent the day that it was shared STILL usually know the password (I’m often told that they got a text message from one of their speech friends, LOL!).

Why do we need a password to enter the speech room? Good question!

I enjoy telling my students that passwords, here and there, are necessary for me to ensure that they really are who they say they are. Because . . . well . . . sometimes . . . SPACE ALIENS take over the bodies of school-aged kiddos and I can’t have any space aliens in my room because I’m allergic to them (HAHA!). It’s simple. If you’re human, you probably know the password. If you’re a space alien, then you probably don’t know the password.

A simple app can make it make it even more exciting.

To drive this point home further, I bust out my iPad, which contains an app called Alien Scanner. This silly app allows speech-language pathologists to “detect” if any of your speech therapy students are space aliens. All you have to do is have your student press his/her finger on the app screen in order to begin the scan. Then, the app starts scanning the fingerprint and once complete, it shows a final percentage number as to how likely the fingerprint is or isn’t attached to a space alien. Also, the cool thing about this app is that the final percentage number is set to random by default, but by pressing the Settings button, you can change the result to your liking. So it’s up to you if your students have a high or a low space alien percentage. (FYI – this is a free app; however, I upgraded to the paid version for $.99 because I just love the app that much!)

Unlimited possibilities!

What I love about the idea of having a password in speech therapy is that it could work perfectly with articulation kiddos. Let’s say you have a student who is working on that tricky /R/ sound. Well, how about making the random passwords contain lots of /R/ sounds? We all know that there’s no shortage of /R/ words in the English language, so why not turn those words into passwords? Genius!

In closing . . .

So, what cha think? Do you think your kiddos would be into the idea of having a random password here and there? Do you think your kiddos would enjoy placing their finger on the Alien Scanner in order to see if they are or are not a space alien? Please do give these little speech therapy ideas a shot and let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you. Oh, and if you’re craving another app that has to do with passwords, please check out the app that I created called Secret Mission Articulation. It is, hands down, one of the coolest apps out there! 😉

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