Friday, February 11, 2011

Review: Kids' Express Train KET Set 1

This is the final set of reviews of products suggested in the The Autism Sisterhood: A (brief) Manual.  This month I will be featuring the four KET Set's available from Kids' Express Train.  KET stands for Kid's Express Train. 

Each set contains two music CDs of at least 24 songs, a 12 page manual, and CD-Rom that contains 100's of pictures in color and black and white to illustrate each song. 

Each song encourages speech and language practice in children from toddlers to early elementary age.  Most songs were written specifically for a child in need of specific help in some verbal area.  Most of the songs feature both adults and children singing.  The adult says "your turn" to let the child know that the child is supposed to repeat.

KET 1 is the most basic vocabulary and imitation set.

Momma C's Thoughts: 
When Bubs started speech therapy as a three year old his speech path suggested using music.  Since music is a huge part of our lives, I was all for it.  She explained that CD's are great but they go too fast for kids, especially those with speech issues.  How true!  She told me that there were CD's specifically written for children with speech problems.  

The Kids' Express KET Sets are such CD's.  They incorporate repetition, a slower pace, and working on key areas to help children. 

CD 1 contains thirteen songs.  Throughout the songs an adult models a sound, word, or phrase and then says "your turn" to provide the child a chance to repeat it.  This is a unique opportunity provided unlike any other music CD that I have seen before.  These songs are written by a speech pathologist who knows the troubles that children face and has learned how to best help them.  

The second CD in the set is a vocalizations.  With music in the background, words are stated and the child is asked to repeat with the "your turn" cue.  Instead of random words, each vocalization is set up like a song, with rhythm and lyrics, just without singing pitch - basically a rap. A few of the tracks are of the instrumental background without the words which allows the parent or teacher a chance to work specific areas.

Kids' Express has taken the learning to another level by adding the visual concept with picture sheets that correspond to each song and rap.  Both color and black and white sheets are available to print off.  Lyrics are also available to print off.  Also included in the CD insert are specific ideas to do with each song and rap. 

Overall, there is so much information available to make these songs and raps successful it is unreal.  As I dig into the CDs and I am amazed at how much material is includes.  Of course these are written for children who struggle with speech and language but these can be used with any child.  I could see how the SETs could be very beneficial with child who has English as their second language (ESL).  What these CDs have to offer is unlike anything that I have ever seen.  This gives parents a chance to come along the speech therapist and help their child.  Therapist have another avenue to reach kids.  And for the parent whose child are developing normally, the KET sets can be used to encourage lanuage skills which lead to better reading skills.  Plus, the songs are catchy and fun. 

Here are two websites that I encourage you to visit to find out more information. 
  - Express Train - - view other products and free materials and listen to samples
  - You Tube videos - four videos available
Also, Rachel Arntson, the co-founder of Kids' Express Train, enjoys doing presentations at conventions, staff development workshops, etc.  She has been a speech-language pathologist for 24 years and loves sharing her expertise with others. Ms. Arntson is also the writer of almost all of the songs featured on the KET sets.  A conference page is listed on the website so you can see if a conference is available close to you or contact her to hold your own. 

I realize that this is a lot of info but if you are interested and have questions, I highly encourage you to contact them.  In my communications, they have been very quick to respond and help answer my questions.

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