Posts Tagged ‘speech’

Top Toys & How They Can Support Speech & Language Development (Part Three)

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 by by

Welcome to part three of four of my Top Toys series! To read more about why I am doing this series, please check out Part One HERE. You can also check out part two HERE.

I am writing these posts to help parents pick good, quality toys for their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers that can be used to help support speech and language development. As I share with you my personal top picks for toys for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, I will also be sharing the areas of speech and language that these toys can help support. However, as I noted in part one, it is important to know that for these toys to help support speech and language development you, as the parent or caregiver must help to facilitate that language. What I mean is this: You can’t just give a child a shape sorter and expect him to magically know and use the names of shapes and colors! You need to sit with your child and facilitate his learning. You need to use some strategies that I have mentioned before including:

Parallel Talk, Self Talk, & Descriptions

Expansions, Extensions, and Repetitions

Commenting and Asking Questions

If you are a fellow speech pathologist and work with infants, toddlers or preschoolers, you may also find this series of posts valuable for choosing therapy materials.

Here are my next five top picks for toys (in no particular order)

Kitchen set

We got my daughter her play kitchen for Christmas the year she was two. Actually, Santa brought it for her. We got her the one pictured above, but there are SO many different kitchen sets out there to choose from at very reasonable prices. (more…)

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Top Toys & How They Can Support Speech & Language Development (Part Two)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 by by

Welcome to part two of four of my Top Toys series! To read more about why I am doing this series, please check out Part One Here.

I am writing these posts to help parents pick good, quality toys for their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers that can be used to help support speech and language development. As I share with you my personal top picks for toys for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, I will also be sharing the areas of speech and language that these toys can help support. However, as I noted in part one, it is important to know that for these toys to help support speech and language development you, as the parent or caregiver must help to facilitate that language. What I mean is this: You can’t just give a child a shape sorter and expect him to magically know and use the names of shapes and colors! You need to sit with your child and facilitate his learning. You need to use some strategies that I have mentioned before including:

Parallel Talk, Self Talk, & Descriptions

Expansions, Extensions, and Repetitions

Commenting and Asking Questions

If you are a fellow speech pathologist and work with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers, you may also find this series of posts valuable for choosing therapy materials.

Here are my next five top picks for toys (in no particular order)

Baby Doll

The baby doll is such a fantastic toy that I wish ALL children (Yes, even BOYS!) could have. It is a toy that can really help open up and expand a child’s pretend play. Let’s look at just some of the language concepts that a baby doll can help teach and support:

  • Body Parts: Use the dolls to teach all the body parts: eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hands, fingers, tummy, feet, toes, knees, elbows, etc.

(more…)

Conversations with Haeden

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 by by

It’s quite funny to look back and remember that, this time last year, our pediatrician was suggesting that we take Haeden for a speech evaluation. At this point, I can’t remember how far “behind” he was, but we all knew that he was definitely not saying as much as the other kids his age. Ultimately, we decided to wait it out. We realized that his pediatrician was just trying to be proactive, but we figured we’d wait until he hit two before running out to getting him analyzed. And we were glad we did. The month before he turned two, he started to talk up a storm, and he basically hasn’t stopped since.

I absolutely love his voice. He has the most adorable southern drawl that you ever did hear, ya’ll. And the funny thing is that he is the only one in the whole family (other than my sister in VA) that talks like that. No idea where he picked it up, but it is seriously cute, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The best, of course, are the ridiculous things that come out of his mouth. Never a dull moment when you have an almost three year-old.

We are planning a trip to Disney next month as an early birthday gift, and we’ve been talking about meeting Mickey Mouse a lot the past few days. Here’s how it went this morning:

Me: Are you excited to meet Mickey Mouse soon?
Haeden: YEAH! He’s gonna take me to his clubhouse!!
Me: Oh yeah?
Haeden: Yeah! And Imma HUG him and KISS him and show him my FIRE SHOES!

It always comes back to the fire shoes, you guys. Always.

Top Toys & How They Can Support Speech & Language Development (Part One)

Thursday, February 9th, 2012 by by

As a speech pathologist, I am asked all the time by parents what toys I recommend they buy for their children to help expand their speech and language skills. When I became a mother, I became even more interested in children’s toys. So for the month of February, I’ve decided to write a series of posts all about my personal top pics of toys I wish every child could have, and how they can support language development and overall learning. Welcome to part one of four in my series!

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I have been working with children in  professional capacity for over 15 years and have had the pleasure of working with children of all abilities in a wide variety of settings (preschools, elementary schools, middle and high schools, child care programs, recreation programs, homes, etc.). Working in these settings over the years, as well as my experience as a speech pathologist and a mother of two, has given me a unique perspective on the use of toys as learning tools. Particularly how toys can help (or even HINDER!) speech and language skills.

As I share with you my personal top picks for toys for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, I will also be sharing the areas of speech and language that these toys can help support. However, it is important to know that for these toys to help support speech and language development you, as the parent or caregiver, must help to facilitate that language. What I mean is this: You can’t just give a child a shape sorter and expect him to magically know and use the names of shapes and colors! You need to sit with your child and facilitate his learning. You need to use some strategies that I have mentioned before including:

Parallel Talk, Self Talk, & Descriptions

Expansions, Extensions, and Repetitions

Commenting and Asking Questions (more…)

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Using Craft Activities to Expand & Stimulate Language Skills

Friday, December 9th, 2011 by by

I LOVE arts and crafts. I love drawing, painting, coloring, cutting, gluing, using clay, paper, paints, glitter, craft sticks, and other arts and crafts materials. Have you ever noticed that arts and crafts activities are a staple part of the curriculum in early childhood education?  I challenge you to find a preschool that doesn’t incorporate arts and crafts in their lessons. Not only are arts and crafts activities vital for the development of fine motor skills and visual processing skills, but they also are an amazing way to stimulate and expand receptive and expressive language skills! I do crafts all the time with my daughter (and have blogged about a few of them here) and use crafts in my therapy sessions often.

Why crafts are great for language development: Crafts are amazing for language development because they require being able to understand basic concepts, follow directions, and answering and asking “wh” questions (among other skills). Therefore, crafts can be used by parents, speech pathologists, and early childhood educators to teach/target/practice the following:

  • Vocabulary of basic concepts (spacial, temporal, quantity, and quality)
  • Vocabulary of nouns
  • Vocabulary of verbs
  • Following 1,2,3 plus step directives
  • Answering “wh” questions
  • Asking “wh” questions
  • Giving 1,2,3 plus step directives
  • Social/pragmatic skills like requesting, protesting, informing, eye contact, turn taking, etc.
  • Articulation skills
  • Fluency and Voice skills

How to stimulate and expand language skills during crafts: (more…)

Strategies to Help Your Child Talk: Commenting and Asking Questions

Monday, December 5th, 2011 by by

In my last two posts on Strategies to Help Your Child to Talk (that you can read HERE and HERE), I explained the strategies of self talk, parallel talk, descriptions, expansions, extensions and repetitions. Today, I am going to discuss how to use comments and questions to help expand your child’s language.

Make comments about your day: Comments are similar to self talk and parallel talk. However, where self and parallel talk are based on what you or your child is seeing, doing, or hearing in real time, comments can be made about things not happening right then or about things that are not in your child’s vision at that time. A great example of comments often used by parents during the day are ones that are explaining what is going to happen now, or what is coming next. For example, “We are going to go to the store after nap,” or “It looks like it’s going to rain,” or “We are having spaghetti for dinner.” Comments can also just be random information like, “I like going to the park.” Comments can help inform the child of what is coming up next or can provide the child with more information on a topic. Using comments along with self talk, parallel talk, and descriptions should be part of your daily communications with your child from birth to help him/her acquire speech and language.

Ask your child questions, but not too much! This is something I see often: parents bombarding their child with questions that the child is unable to answer: “Johnny, what color is this? What is this? Is this a car? What sound does the car make?” etc. Think about it this way: How would you feel if you were in your first day of biology class and the teacher began to ask you question after question about biology? What would you do? You would probably freeze up, feel uncomfortable, and maybe even leave the room. This is how a child can feel when he/she is bombarded with questions all day. These kids can actually shut down and refuse to even try to speak…which is the opposite of what we are trying to do. (more…)

Strategies to Help Your Child Talk: Modeling and Requiring Language

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 by by

Today, some more strategies to help your child to talk!

Model the language you want him to use: This may seem like a no brainer, but modeling the language you want your child to use doesn’t always come naturally (and remember, that’s ok!). I remember when my daughter was a toddler, and she would walk up to me and put her arms up while grunting. Yes, she obviously was communicating to me that she wanted up. However, is this how I wanted her to communicate this to me? Not really. I wanted her to say “up,” and then eventually “up please,” and then at some point “Can you pick me up please?” But how would my daughter know to use the word “up” rather than just gesturing and grunting? I had to model it for her.

So, for a couple weeks every time she did her arms-up-and-grunt, I would look down at her and say “You want up? UP. UP. UP.” Then I would pick her up. This went on for a while until, one day, she attempted to say up! When she said the “uuuu” rather than her grunt, I got really excited, repeated “Yes, UP UP UP!” and picked her right up! I praised and praised her and continued to model, until one day she just started saying it all by herself. My son is 10 months old, and he has started the arms-up-while-grunting, so I have already started to model “UP UP UP” before I pick him up. I do not expect him to say it yet, but soon he will, because I am modeling it often.

PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE!! Once your child starts to attempt to say the words you are modeling for him, it is time to PRAISE him for his efforts! Not only do you want to give him the item he is wanting immediately to reinforce this behavior, you also want to praise him like crazy! Use big smiles, wide eyes, high pitched voice, and say “Yes! UP! You said up! GREAT JOB!” We want to praise his attempts even if they are not perfect. (more…)

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Strategies to Help Your Child Talk: Parallel and Self Talk

Monday, November 14th, 2011 by by

Start talking to your baby at birth (or before!)

Children learn language from hearing it, and they start this process basically at birth – although some would argue that they begin even BEFORE birth, since studies have shown that babies can hear their parents voices in the womb sometime around 18-20 weeks gestation, and newborns can actually recognize their mothers voices! Even at birth, their little brains are taking in all the sounds of his/her language and storing this information for later use.

Infants, toddlers, and young children, then, are learning language from the people they spend their time with. This can be grandparents, siblings, and caregivers, but of course the people they spend the most quality time with is their parents. They are constantly listening, analyzing, and storing what they hear until one day they USE IT!

Language is not learned in a bubble. A young child cannot possibly get enough language stimulation from an hour a week speech therapy session. As I say all the time, the child’s parents are the BEST “interventionists” when it comes to language development. I see my role as an SLP working with young children to help teach and guide the parent to use the best strategies to help their child based on the child’s specific needs. So, what can you, as a parent, do to help your child learn language? I am going to share a few strategies with you that can be used to help your child learn to talk. The following strategies can be used with children who have no spoken words or have many spoken words. (more…)

Behind a little

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 by by

Its been so busy lately trying to figure out when and how to do all these appointments that I’ve been behind on my blog. I have 2 reviews and giveaways to post, one from EcoMom and the other is a book. EcoMom should be up this weekend since the hubby has 4 days off and I’m halfway done reading the book. I also was supposed to make a tutu for my friends nieces birthday and only got the cutting done, I feel like such a bad friend but I can’t work on it when the kids are up or all heck breaks loose. Then today I got my very first order on my Etsy shop!! I need to get to JoAnn’s to get the tulle to make it for her but I’m very excited to do it, and now need to find time for it, hehehe.

We have a pretty busy schedule now though.
Monday 10am is speech, not sure yet how long, guessing an hour
Tuesday Seamus has PSR (unsure on official days yet though)
Wed. Kieran’s Early Headstart
Thursday 10am is speech, 5pm is Seamus’ counselors
Friday – Sunday Free days!! (for now, PSR is supposed to be twice a week)