Why is Inferencing and Predicting Important?

By: Ariel Schuman, MS, CF-SLP

Filiatrault-Veilleux, et al. (2016) studied 3-6 year old children and their ability to comprehend inferences. They found that this skill typically emerges early in development, between the ages of 3 and 4. Inferential abilities continue to develop gradually until children are about 6 years old. Researchers have determined that this period, between the ages 3 and 6 years, is important for the emergence and continued development of inferencing and prediction skills. Furthermore, this skill is also important in aiding children in their later reading comprehension abilities.

At the Boston Ability Center, we target inferencing and predicting through various activities. A popular project that many of our clients enjoy involves creating special crafts and/or conducting different experiments each week. Often times children complete these activities with a peer, simultaneously encouraging the development of their social pragmatic skills. As our clients create beaded dragon flies, flour-filled stress balls, pool noodle pumpkins, and countless others, they utilize pictured supports in the form of photographic images. These pictures can help children predict what the next step in the sequence may be. Our clinicians stop periodically throughout the activity to ask clients questions such as, “What do you think we will do next?” or “Why do you think we will need to use a funnel?” These conversations support comprehension of WH-questions, and encourage children to utilize their inferencing skills to make decisions and plan accordingly.

Books are another great way to learn about inferencing and making predictions. Below are also some wonderful books to support your child’s development:


What is Social Thinking?

By: Caroline Curran, MS, CCC-SLP

Social Thinking is a teaching framework developed by speech-language pathologist Michelle Garcia Winner to help those with social learning challenges better understand the dynamic nature of social communication. For those of you who have spent time in our waiting room, it is likely you have already been exposed to bits and pieces of the curriculum concepts and vocabulary. For example, the “group plan”, “expected” and “unexpected” behaviors, and being a “flexible friend” are common concepts we teach as part of the curriculum.

But what is it about this curriculum that is effective in helping children develop social problem solving skills and overall social competencies?

The Social Thinking methodology is developmental and incorporates aspects of behavioral and cognitive behavioral principles. It takes into account personality, cognitive abilities and evidence-based concepts to create conceptual frameworks, treatment frameworks, specific strategies, and motivational tools.

Here at the Boston Ability Center, we regularly incorporate these frameworks and strategies into treatment for our patients of all ages. We utilize the “We Thinkers” storybooks with our younger patients to introduce concepts such as flexible and stuck thinking, following the group plan, size of the problem, and understanding hidden rules. With our older patients, we incorporate the Superflex teaching curriculum to promote self-regulation, social thinking, and related social skills.

For more information about Social Thinking visit: www.socialthinking.com

Sources: https://www.socialthinking.com/research

What is Evidence Based Practice?

By: Ariel Schuman, MS, CF-SLP

Evidence-based practice, or EBP, is an interdisciplinary approach to treatment and clinical decision making that first began in medicine and has since spread to other fields such as speech-language pathology, as well as occupational therapy and physical therapy. EBP incorporates the following three principles: the best available research regarding a treatment’s efficacy, the clinician’s skilled expertise, and the client’s personal preferences and values. Evidence-based practice allows the therapist to make decisions regarding client care by integrating these equally important factors (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2017). We utilize EBP in our treatment at the Boston Ability Center because including current research, applying clinical knowledge, and recognizing client’s characteristics, needs, and interests allows for the best quality of care for our patients.

Source: https://www.asha.org/CE/for-providers/Evidence-Based-Practice-CE-Providers/