Facilitating Communication with your Toddler

 

Research completed by Anna V. Sosa, has shown that toddlers attempt communication more often and hear more words from their parents when playing with non-electronic toys versus electronic toys. Toys that do the talking for toddlers or parents don’t allow as many opportunities for spontaneous language and interaction. Use of these electronic toys should be limited and more opportunities to play with non-electronic toys with parents should be encouraged. Some examples of non-electronic toys to consider are puzzles, books, blocks, dolls, and race car tracks. When playing with your toddler, use simple sentences (car go fast), ask questions (what is it?), narrate what you and your child are doing (open door), give directions (give me blue), and use repetitive language your toddler can begin to imitate (ready, set, go). Playing with these types of toys will increase the opportunities your toddler has to learn language all while playing with you!

Basic, Non-Electronic Toys May Be Better for Parent-Toddler Communication. The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.21032016.12. https://leader.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2498630

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant, PhD with Tom Fields-Meyer.

Dr. Prizant, an internationally renowned autism expert, suggests a new and exciting shift in the world of Autism. In this book, his main focus is that “the most successful approaches to autism don’t aim at fixing a person by eliminating symptoms, but rather seeking to understand the individual’s experience and what underlies the behavior.” Dr. Prizant sees behaviors of Autism as part of a range of strategies in coping with a world that feels overwhelming and intense. He suggests that we should not curb these behaviors but rather enhance these children’s abilities and build on their strengths. He argues that attempts to get rid of these behaviors of Autism may actually interfere with important development of the child. Check out this book to learn more!

Language Opportunities in the Kitchen!

 

When you are cooking in the kitchen, many of your children are curious and want to help.  It is often difficult to have a child participate in the cooking process due to safety and height of counters. It is also hard to cook with an active toddler running around the house. This has all changed! A new product has been developed that allows your child to be at the level of the countertop safely. Whether or not your child is old enough to actively cook, the kitchen is a place where you can model/incorporate many language skills. Many companies make a version of this product and we have even seen people making their own.  The kitchen is a beautiful place for language so we wanted to share this product!

https://www.amazon.com/Guidecraft-Kids-Kitchen-Helper-Adjustable/dp/B000SQNAQC/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_bs_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=DDNQSTAAQ7TCKPQHETR0

Home Literacy Activities and Executive Functioning

Researchers from the University of Washington recently conducted a 5-year longitudinal study of 241 families to study home literacy and its impacts. The participants included a group of first- to fifth graders and a group of third- to seventh graders. The study found that children with higher reading and writing achievement at school engaged in more reading and writing activities at home. Parental rating scales also indicated that children’s ability to self-regulate attention spans remained consistent throughout the study, however, executive functioning skills including goal-setting, often improved.

Getting Ready for Your Child’s IEP Meeting

With the start of each new school year comes discussions about Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings. Some families may feel nervous about these meetings, especially those that are new to the process. However, IEP meetings are very important to your child’s education as the team prepares for a successful school year full of growing and learning! If you’re unsure about what to expect, you’re not alone! This website (link below) provides a collection of helpful tips, tools, and checklists to prepare for your child’s IEP meeting. Check out these great resources including how to get organized, questions you should ask, what to bring to the meeting, legal FAQs, and so much more!

https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/ieps/iep-boot-camp-getting-ready-for-your-childs-iep-meeting

New Speech Homework App coming soon!

Wee Speech is proud to partner with SpeechBytes to develop a brand new speech homework app!
At-home practice is a critical element in an overall speech therapy plan, helping your child make progress more quickly and consistently. But it can be hard to get your child excited to practice at home and even more difficult to find time in your busy day to make it happen.  Here’s how it will work:

  • Log in to the app on your mobile device or tablet – the app is free to families.  
  • Enter your Wee Speech therapist’s private access code
  • As your child plays the game, each repetition is recorded and saved to a private and secure platform. This allows your therapist to review the practice session, correct and reward your child for their work, and plan accordingly for future sessions and practice. Check it out here! 

 

‘Social Camouflage’ May Lead To Underdiagnosis of Autism in Girls 

According to recent research done at The University of California, Los Angeles, school-aged girls with high-functioning autism may be better at interacting and blending in with peers than boys with high-functioning autism. Research suggests this may be due to ‘social camouflaging’ or the ability to blend in with peers despite the fact that they may not necessarily be connecting or creating friendships.  Differences between the genders play a large role in this study, with boys tending to be more isolated and having more repetitive behaviors and fixations which drive them away from socializing, while girls tended to more quiet and stayed closer to groups. The girls fixations are also perceived as more socially acceptable than those of their male counterparts. Preliminary results do suggest that there are differences in the brains of girls and boys with autism. Imaging shows that girls with autism have less disruption in the area of the brain that processes social information. These differences often lead to later diagnoses of the disorder in girls.

Why is my child’s speech so hard to understand?

 

Developing intelligible speech is not so easy. It means that your child has to correctly produce enough sounds to be understood. So what could be causing your child’s difficulty in producing intelligible speech?

There can be several causes. It may be because he hasn’t learned the correct placement or manner of production for certain sounds. It could be because he is only able to inconsistently produce the sounds he has mastered. It is also possible that your child’s speech is difficult to understand because of structural problems or oral weakness.

The role of a speech pathologist is to evaluate why your child’s speech is difficult to understand.  Finding the underlying cause/s for your child’s reduced speech intelligibility is essential to correctly treating the condition.  Understanding the cause should aid in the rate of progress toward improved articulation.

If your child is over the age of 3 and their speech remains difficult to understand by you or others, consider consulting with a speech pathologist.