Instant Resource: The Olympics! (Inspiration for Speech Therapy)

Instant Resource: The Olympics! (Inspiration for Speech Therapy)

The Olympics are coming! Because the Olympics are loved across ages and cultures, I think they can be used in relevant, functional ways for speech therapy! Read on for some inspiration on how you could use Olympic material as a vehicle to target a variety of  goals in speech therapy!

The Olympics + Person-Centered Care:

In order to be sure your therapy activity is person-centered, here are some questions you could ask to decide how to tailor your activity to be person-centered:

  • “What do you enjoy about the Olympics?”
  • “Do you have a favorite event?”
  • “Do you enjoy talking to others about the Olympics?”
  • “What sort of information do you like to share about the Olympics?”


Key Olympic Websites to Use for Speech Therapy:

Rio 2016 Schedule:

*This schedule is great for reading comprehension, problem-solving for reading a new type of schedule, short-term memory for information, etc.

Spectator Guides Sample:

*These are available for EVERY sport–personalize for each Person depending on their interest! Check out Page 2 on each Spectator Guide for some awesome information that could be used for auditory comprehension, reading comprehension, verbal summarizing, short-term memory/new learning, problem-solving using a map, and MORE! Your Person could learn some fun facts to share in conversation with others!

Video Clips from London 2012:

*There are many 3-minute clips that could be used for comprehension, organizing info/verbal or written summary, short-term memory.

Olympic News:

*Interesting stories for comprehension, which sometimes include 3-minute video clips. Here’s an example of one that could be used for comprehension, delayed recall, or summarizing in therapy:

Rio 2016 Video Clips:

*I’m hoping this will be a great spot to grab short video clips for use in therapy, once the Games begin.

Speech Therapy & The Olympics

Sample Therapy Ideas:

I hope these ideas are useful or help you easily target a person-centered goal! If you would like other ideas like this, please check out my Home Sweet Home Series.

To Target Strategies or Skills in This Area: The Patient Could Do This:
Verbal Expression *Use word-finding strategies to describe an event / performance / summary of competition

*Participate in unscripted dialogue

*Practice script training with new listeners (ex: asking what time a certain event starts, sharing what one likes about the Olympics, telling an interesting Olympic story)

*Summarize new information from a news clip

Written Expression *Write out/script phone conversation or questions to assist with organizing information

*Sentences: Write a summary of new information learned from news clip or Olympic event

*Word level: Write sports, athletes, medals, countries, etc

*Critical writing: Written evaluation of performance and agree/disagree with judge’s ratings

Auditory Comprehension *Comprehend new information from broadcaster during live event or news summary (1-5 minutes)

*Use of breakdown/repair strategies

*Use of writing notes to improve comprehension

*Answer yes/no or open-ended questions about live event after watching for a few minutes

Reading Comprehension *Navigation of a new website

*Following a large schedule to determine dates/times

*Read xx-page article and demonstrate comprehension by summarizing 5 points

*Use key code to locate items on a map of a novel setting

Motor Speech  *Challenge ability to carry-over motor speech strategy or skill during word-level or discourse task
Attention *Sustain attention: Watch or listen to 3-minute summary and express 3 facts

*Alternate attention: Watch video or use schedule to prioritize what events you want to watch or schedule

*Divide attention: Take notes about people / stats / facts while watching, reading, or listening

Memory *Short-term recall for new information from article /video / map
Thought Organization *Organize list of directions using map info

*Summarize article / video info in cohesive paragraph

*Prepare a 3-day schedule, prioritizing events

Problem-Solving / Reasoning *Explain what is necessary for an athlete to better his/her performance based on certain situation

*Navigation of new website and ability to find specific info

*Using a map to determine directions

*Using a schedule to pre-plan availability of watching events

Executive Function *Evaluate strategy success during task, or plan how to adapt strategies for new situation.

*Plan home program task that could be a similar challenge


The Olympics are scheduled August 5-21, 2016. And great news: The Paralympics follow in September, so we may have lots of opportunity to use this relevant topic over the next few months!

If you want more ideas of how to make your therapy functional and person-centered, check out the Home Sweet Home Series and Functional Toolbox posts (Garden Seed PacketsTool KitCookbook).

Make sure you get the latest functional therapy updates: “Like” Honeycomb Speech Therapy on Facebook or Pinterest, or sign up for email updates right on my website to receive these ideas right in your inbox!

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