Ask an OT about self-talk
- Jun 29, 2011
- Posted By: Charlene Wright
- Tags: adhd, attention, developmental coordiantion disorder, motor planning., non-verbal learning disorder, praxis, self talk, strategies
I had my student, Nicole Hnatiuk, develop this handout for clients:
Self talk is speech that a person addresses to themselves or no one in particular. It can be out loud or it can be carried out silently in the person’s head. It is the voice that normally guides us through new and complex motor actions or complex social situations.
How to teach it: Model the simple, positive, self-instructive phrases we all use to guide our actions. Say it out loud. Ask the person to try saying out loud what they think they should do. Ask them to practice together. For instance, “I am making a cloud in my drawing. “what are you making?”. Then, later, “tell me what you need to say to yourself”. Practice games talking at a regular voice, then very loud, then too loud and back down all the way to a whisper and a whisper inside your head that no one else can hear.
Teach self talk for:
- Challenges in the classroom. “I need to sit quietly in the classroom”
- Challenges in the playground. “I can find something else to do”
- Problem-solving, “what should I do different?”
- Staying on task: “almost done”
- Self-motivation: “I can do it”
- Self-regulation: “cool, calm and collected”. “ready for anything”
- Reducing anxiety: “that’s okay, I can just wash my hands later”
- Improving self-esteem: “I am good at making up songs”
- Reading (to “hear themselves” in the story). “I am the main character, what am I going to do next?”. Read out loud. Note: Reading, as a visual perception issue may be managed through vision therapy. Please contact an educational optometrist.
- Helping the brain and the body to work together. “I can tell my body what to do”
- Preventing reversals (b vs. d): “a ‘b’ kicks a ball right.” “A ‘d’ catches a ball”
- Letter formation: “a “g” has a tail needs to be below the line.”
- Spacing between words: “finger space between the words.”
- Staying on the line: “All letters ride on the line.”
- Letter recognition: “lower case ‘y’ has a tail that digs below the line”. “a ‘g’ has a circle on top.”
- Spelling (a sequencing task): make the sounds for each letter while counting the letters on the hand and saying: “1,2,3, c. a. t.”
- Making a plan: “stop and think, goal, plan, do, check”.
- Capitals: “capitals start a sentence”. Or “stop, dot, capital”. “If it’s a name it needs a capital”. “All capitals are tall letters”. “Capitals tell the reader to take a pause”.
- Visual coding: “that one is different from this one because it is turned around”.
- Memorization: repeat, repeat, repeat. Use verbal repetition to aide memorization.
- It also can be used in combination with visual tasks, such as reading and writing.
Source: Lee, Scott Weng Fai (2011) 'Exploring seven- to eight-year-olds' use of self-talk strategies', Early Child Development and Care, 181: 6, 847 — 856
Nicole, did using these strategies help your client?