The content + strategy + retrieval trifecta for language and executive functioning (with Katy Wyatt)

Is it functional to work on parts of speech?

Is sentence diagramming useful? 

How do we improve word-retrieval in kids with developmental disabilities, and is it similar to what we’d do for an adult with a brain injury?

How can we make therapy academically relevant and functional beyond just getting a good score on a standardized test? 

I invited speech-language pathologist and Language Therapy Advance Foundations student Katy Wyatt to the show to share answers to these questions. 

I’m always excited to connect with people who are using the frameworks I teach; because I’m always amazed at some of the creative ideas they come up with to expand on what I’ve given them.

If you’re a Language Therapy Advance Foundations student, and you want some practical ways to use the tools I’ve given you, you'll really enjoy this interview. And if you’ve been lurking and considering whether the program is for you, this will give you an idea of what you’ll learn if you do decide to join. 

Katy Wyatt graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 2017, with a Masters of Arts in Communication Disorders. After moving to North Carolina, Katy has worked in head starts, homes, schools, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities with clients ages 11 months to 99+ years. Katy is a board-certified cognitive specialist, and has also been certified in the SOS approach to feeding. Katy currently works in the schools full time with Kinetic Physical Therapy and Wellness; she works with students to improve their language, articulation, and fluency skills, develop alternative means of communication, and improve their social and academic functioning. Katy also serves as the compliance coordinator and SLP-Assistant supervisor with Speech Inspirations PLLC.

In this conversation, we discuss:

✅The parallels between therapy for aphasia and child language disorders.

✅Why therapy focused on vocabulary and background knowledge can ALSO address executive functioning skills like the ability to self-question, generate and evaluate ideas, and plan/executive them. 

✅Parts of speech and sentence diagramming: How to embed this kind of work into structured but contextualized activities.

✅Syntax as a vocabulary skill: How to help kids understand what words MEAN and what words DO.

✅Why it’s impossible to define what vocabulary skills are “age-appropriate” at each grade level; and how to reframe the way you think about scaffolding across grade levels and varying student needs. 

✅Generalization: How to focus on explicit instruction of content and strategy in direct therapy while ALSO giving students retrieval tools they can use outside sessions. 
You can listen to the entire conversation here. 

The Language Severity Rate Scale and Classroom Communication and Learning Checklist from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) can be found here:

I mentioned this conversation in this interview: EP 148: Unlocking success through sensory processing and team collaboration (with Maude Le Roux) Link here:

Katy is a member of Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that gives SLPs and other service providers create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about the program here:

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The content + strategy + retrieval trifecta for language and executive functioning (with Katy Wyatt)