5 Reasons to Use Books for Practically Any Speech Language Skill


For parents who are wondering how they can work on their child’s speech and language goals at home, Shari Robertson, PhD, CCC-SLP from the ASHA Leader has identified five reasons that books are all you need! The reasons cited are:

1)    Books provide a natural context for learning vocabulary: Research has found that children’s books contain approximately twice as many infrequently used or rare words than in conversation and also provide a model of more advanced grammatical structures.

2)    Books are efficient: A single book can target multiple communication skills.

3)    Books are convenient: Children’s books are portable and typically low-cost.

4)    Books are fun: Choosing a story that a child is interested in and motivated to read can facilitate learning language and carryover of those skills.

5)    They do not have LED screens: A growing body of evidence suggests negative effects of screen time in young children, particularly speech and language delays, disruptions in sleep patterns and mood swings.

For the full article and a list of books to read for each speech and language skill, click the link below!


Online Games to Help Boost Reading Skills

Does your kindergartener-2nd grader need an extra reading boost over the summer? Improving phonological awareness (syllable counting, rhyming, segmenting, and word manipulation) has been proven to help improve a child’s reading ability. Check out these fun online games to play with your child. Remember, play these games with your child so that you can help teach and reinforce skills not quite mastered.


Comic Strip Conversations

Social Stories describe a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format. For many years, we could only create these stories via paper and pencil, but wonderful apps for both Apple and Android products have been developed that allow parents and therapists to create colorful, simple, and engaging social stories. Although your child’s therapist may have some great ideas for appropriate social stories, if you’re curious, the following link offers nice instructions on how to develop your own social stories as well as questions to ask while reading it with your child.


Planning for Summer Learning/Fun

Spring is upon us and before you know it you’ll be celebrating the end of another school year. Research tells us that kids lose up to two months of learning over the summer. So it is even more vital to continue to support learning for kids with learning disabilities, speech/language, and pragmatic impairment.
Although there are many camps designed for children with various diagnoses, don’t overlook your city’s park district summer camps or activities. They offer a plethora of classes that tangentially support, receptive/expressive language and social skills. For instance, an acting class’s primary goal might be to produce a play, but it may also support social and expressive language skills.

Here are a list of possible camps based on various needs/interests:

ADHD/Autism Spectrum Disorder:




Apraxia of Speech:


Physical Limitations:


Developmental Disability (spina bifida, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism):


Deaf and Hard of Hearing:



Reading/Writing Camps:




Park Districts:




Improve Executive Functions Through Aerobic Exercise!

In the last few years’ executive dysfunction has become a hot topic in the world of education. It has become an important area of research for good reason! There is mounting evidence to indicate that the collection of skills that comprise executive functions are a stronger way to gauge academic and social success than IQ. So what does this new buzz word mean? It is an umbrella term for the collection of the following skills: regulation of emotions and impulses, organization, sequencing, adapting, recalling information, persisting through a task even when it’s difficult, working memory, and task initiation. Reduced development in these areas can affect all areas of academics and social interactions.  We are all born with the capacity to develop these skills, and they continue to be refined all the way through early adulthood. Unfortunately, little is known about improving these skills.

Beware of computer programs or tutors that market themselves as boosting executive functions. Computer programs like “Tools of the Mind” are not supported by evidence and anyone is allowed to call themselves an executive function tutor; it is an unregulated area. They are not licensed by a governing body. But all is not lost! Aerobic exercise is a well supported way to improve these skills in both children and adults. In particular, working memory, focused attention, inhibition, and task persistence are developed.

Check out this article for more information: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/secretlife/blogposts/the-science-of-smart-surprising-way-to-improve-executive-function/

Here’s another piece from Harvard about creating opportunities for your child or teenager to practice executive functions: http://developingchild.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Enhancing-and-Practicing-Executive-Function-Skills-with-Children-from-Infancy-to-Adolescence-1.pdf

Car Time = Language Time!

Car time can be a natural and fun way to reinforce speech and language skills. Check out the list below for specific ideas for toddlers, pre-k -kindergarten students, and 1st-2nd graders. One favorite strategy is talking about schedules and using specific words like “before, after, first, then” to talk about the day. You could even talk about activities from the previous or next day to reinforce past and future verb tenses.


Rainy day fun!

WIth fall coming and the weather getting cooler, here is a great idea for those stuck in the house days.  Kiwi crate is a subscription based company that offers creation kits for kids. The kits supply everything you need for the enclosed activity.  There are 3 age ranges to choose from 3 -4, 4- 8, and 9-16+ years.    Check it out here!  www.kiwicrate.com