Did you know that if you're afraid of numbers, you have arithmophobia? Or that if you're afraid of bees, you have apiphobia? Pretty darn interesting, right? Well, if you love learning random trivia as much as I do, you will get a kick out of the following speech therapy idea. It is chock full of new words that are sure to make you and your students say, "Whoa! I never knew that! Totally cool!"
Can we chat about phobias in speech therapy?
Oh, you bet we can! Let me describe to you a little articulation activity I like to do with speech therapy kiddos that consistently introduces them to a ton of new words. Together, we look up some phobias online at a site called PhobiaList.com. There are hundreds of phobias to be found and they're all usually tricky to articulate (perfect for speech class!). Have each one of your students search for phobias that contain their target sound. After they collect a bunch, be prepared to have a BLAST trying to properly pronounce the newly discovered phobia words. Here are some of my students' all-time favorites:
Alektorophobia - Fear of chickens (medial R)
Ambulophobia - Fear of walking (medial L)
Bibliophobia - Fear of books (medial L)
Cyclophobia - Fear of bicycles (initial S)
Dromophobia - Fear of crossing streets (R blend)
Insectophobia - Fear of insects (medial S)
Papyrophobia- Fear of paper (medial R)
Rupophobia- Fear of dirt (initial R)
Selenophobia- Fear of the moon (initial S)
Vestiphobia- Fear of clothing (medial S)
Auditory memory, too!
In addition to remembering to say the target sound appropriately, I also enjoy throwing some auditory memory tasks their way by encouraging my speech therapy students to remember the SPECIFIC definition of the SPECIFIC phobia they just learned about. Was he or she able to remember that bathmophobia meant the fear of stairs? Or that botanophobia meant the fear of plants? All in all, this phobia centered session has the ability to exercise so many aspects of our communicating brain!
Create a phobia for homework!
Once this speech therapy session comes to an end, the phobia fun doesn't have to stop. How about asking your students to invent and write down some brand new phobias that they feel they might have for homework? If you give this a try, trust me, you are going to LOVE the responses. I laughed my head off when I read DadsHomeCookingPhobia and SpidersInTheToiletPhobia on my student's homework paper.
In closing . . .
Do you think the speech therapy students on your caseload would like talking about phobias? I think it is sure worth a shot. Give my speech therapy idea a try and let me know how it goes. I would love to know some of the phobias they come up with.