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Here's a Cool Way to Use AI When Creating Your Speech Therapy Activities

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

You can use generative AI to help create speech therapy materials that are tailored to individual students

Is anyone else following the news about generative AI and wondering about all the ways it will change our lives?


It sure does feel like we're on the precipice of some very new, very different territory.


For anyone who's not sure, generative AI is a type of technology that uses large data sets (e.g., information on the internet) to learn how to create new stuff, i.e., text, images, sounds, and more.


I encourage you to try generative AI out for yourself if you haven't already.


It will make you ponder all sorts of big, philosophical questions about reality, truth, equality, and what will happen as all of this inevitably evolves and gets even more sophisticated.


For example, I can ask ChatGPT to "write a blog post that will be helpful to elementary school speech-language pathologists" and it will spit out an entire blog post faster than I can say, "How is this possible?"


I can even ask it to tweak the same blog post so that it has a more relatable tone and again, it'll spit out the same (but friendlier!) blog post faster than I can say, "This cannot be happening!"

a boy using AI in speech therapy

I would attach the text here but it's unclear to me how mad Google will get at me if I have AI-generated content on this blog. In my opinion, the blog post was pretty bland stuff that we all already know. And maybe I'm old fashioned but I still want my blog posts to be purely generated by me and my own human brain, with all its nuance, experience, and fallibility.


Part of the conversation around AI has been concern that some jobs might be made obsolete by these new capabilities. Though I'm sure most of us would not mind if AI could take on some of our paperwork, it does seem like a serious concern, especially for some jobs.


But I heard a very cool take on this the other day that went something like this:

"For now, AI is not going to take your job. Someone who knows how to use AI to do your job better will take your job."


While I think our jobs as SLPs are pretty secure for the foreseeable future, I found a way to use generative AI to do some cool stuff in speech therapy for our articulation students with good decoding skills.


One of my students was working on generalizing the /r/, /tʃ/ and // phonemes. She had good decoding skills and really liked dragons. So I went to ChatGPT which is free for anyone to use (you just have to register for it, which doesn't take long). I gave it the following command: "Write a story for an 8 year old about a dragon. It should contain multiple occurrences of the words chase, judge, challenge, change."


Within about 4 seconds, ChatGPT spat out a story about a dragon called Sparkle who likes to chase other dragons. Sparkle embarked on the Great Dragon Challenge. A wise old dragon called Judge Flare guided her... you get the idea.


I then asked ChatGPT to modify the story with commands like, "Ok now make it suitable for a 5 year old" (it modified the language to be simpler), or "Ok now make the story funny" (it modified the story so that the main character was a dragon called Chuckles who lived in Giggletopia!)


(Of note, when I asked ChatGPT to write the story at a certain Fountas & Pinnell level, it couldn't do it.)


I then used the strategy I described in this blog post about helping students to generalize their speech sounds to work with my student with the text ChatGPT had created. She liked the story and it felt special because it was based on her interest.


Cool or what?!


Have you discovered any interesting ways to incorporate AI into your practice? Please share in the comments below.


LEVEL UP YOUR SPEECH THERAPY ACTIVITIES WITH STORYWHYS

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe below to get the latest blog posts, which feature lots of speech therapy ideas for busy SLPs who want to provide fun, impactful, and meaningful speech-language therapy.


Did you know book companions can be among the best speech therapy materials for elementary students? Explore all of the StoryWhys book companions for speech therapy in my store. You'll find comprehensive book companions that target many different language skills or Spotlight Series book companions that focus on one type of skill, all using high-quality, beloved storybooks.


And get your FREE, 71-page book companion for speech therapy on the free download page.


Have you heard? StoryWhys now offers the Speech and Spell series of resources. I am always trying to tie articulation work and spelling together in my therapy and I've never found any good resources out there to help me do this. So I made my own! Many more speech sounds and spelling rules to come. They'll be 50% off for 48 hrs when new resources are added to the StoryWhys store. Find them here.

Enjoy!

link to StoryWhys homepage






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