Year: 2021

Preparing Teens with Communication Disorders for the Workplace

By middle school, the American Speech and Hearing Association reports that students with an IEP tend to have reduced or discontinued supports by high school. Advocacy for middle and high school students to continue receiving their speech and language supports is necessary in order to help prepare students for the post-high school. Teaching skills for post-high school transition success while the student is receiving services is essential for the best outcomes after graduation. For example, emphasizing role playing and problem solving through work place scenarios is recommended to introduce coping skills and guidance on inappropriate responses with co-workers. Self advocacy skills are necessary for success in the workplace and are important when asking for help with completing a task or

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Supporting Attention at School

As students transition back to in-school or e-learning, appropriately supporting attention can be one of the best ways to facilitate early year learning. It has been said that children with attention challenges don’t just have difficulty paying attention. Rather, they have difficulty controlling their attention. Due to these challenges, an environment for managing must be modeled and made available in different settings.  ADDITUDE Magazine has listed a number of strategies parents and teachers can consider for better facilitating learning in the classroom for children with attention needs.  Consider a seating adjustment; keeping children with attention needs close to the teacher, away from doors, and far from windows is reported to minimize environmental distractions. Sandwich activities; alternating between high interest and non preferred

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Improving Imitation Skills

Children begin to develop skills through imitation in infancy. A research review, Leford & Windsor, 2020, outlines current intervention research for increasing imitation in children with disabilities. The research recommended the following:-Include support and rewards for planned, systematic, and frequent instruction and practice.-Start young and teach imitation to toddlers.-The instruction and practice should be based on functional learning and individualized goals.-Practice and teach imitation activities in different environments such as home, school, out in the community, etc. Here are some examples of imitation activities and games you can play with your child:-Encourage imitation in daily routines such as turning off the lights, filling the dog’s bowls with water and food, and cleaning the kitchen counter.-Play Simon Says or Follow the

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Late Talkers: Why You Shouldn’t “Just Wait and See”

What is a “Late Talker”?  This is a toddler who is late to start using words, but has typical development in other areas. These late talking children understand much of what is said to them, have good play skills and interact well socially.  Despite these typical skills, their expressive vocabulary is limited compared to other children their age. How do we decide if your late talking child needs some help?  Here’s what we know: —Certain factors make it more likely that a child will experience ongoing issues. If your Late Talker doesn’t use many sounds or gestures, or has difficulty understanding language,  they are at greater risk of having language delays that persist. —Family history can play a role.  Late

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Drawing with Chalk!

Drawing outside is a great way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine while also practicing speech and language skills. Go outside and draw with chalk on the driveway or sidewalk. Talk about the colors you’re using, the size of the chalk (big/small) or how the chalk feels on your hands (filmy/dusty). Draw a rainbow and describe all the colors you chose to use for the rainbow. Trace your child’s hand or outline their body and let them add colorful decorations.  Draw a hopscotch board.  Practice writing letters/numbers.   Play hangman.  The options with chalk are limitless.  Just remember to have fun and enjoy! You can encourage the following concepts with this activity:-Verbs: draw, color, make-Adjectives: colors, shapes, dirty/clean, small/big-Word Combinations:

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Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Has your child’s Speech-language Pathologist used the term Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) before and you weren’t sure what they were talking about? CAS is a speech disorder that can appear like a variety of different speech sound disorders, which means differential diagnosis is a very important first step in the initiation of treatment. Some characteristics your speech-language pathologist may look for in order to accurately diagnose CAS are the following:  -A limited consonant and vowel repertoire. -Minimal variation between different vowel sounds. -Vowel errors and distortions. -Inconsistent errors and idiosyncratic error patterns. -Reduced rate or accuracy with diadochokinetic tasks. -Oral groping behaviors. -Prosodic differences (reduced rate, excess or equal stress, “choppy” words and syllables, monotone speech). -Increased errors with

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Literacy in the Early Stages:

Literacy is defined as the ability to read, write and understand language and text. Emergent literacy regards the precursor skills necessary for formal literacy training. Skills such as book orientation and handling, directionality of print (left to right,) comprehension that books contain stories which remain consistent every time they are read, print corresponds to pictures on the page and early sequencing (i.e., there is a beginning, middle and end to stories) all contribute to early literacy. A child’s exposure to literacy before entering formal schooling is imperative. Research has shown that the birth-to-three developmental period is crucial to developing oral language skills and a foundation for literacy. In fact, researchers have found that the age at which parents/caregivers begin reading

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Parent Burn Out

According to Fox 32 Chicago, researchers surveyed the concept of ‘parent burnout’ across the globe and found that American parents were among some of the most exhausted. The study also found that identifying with a “westernized culture” played a large role in a person’s perception of burn out. Researchers described the concept of ‘burnout’ as including perceptions of emotional exhaustion, lack of self care, loss of pleasure in parenting, as well as emotional distancing from children. Participants in the United States, Belgium, and Poland had the highest reports of parent burnout with parents in Thailand, Asia, and South America reporting the lowest levels. ‘Parent Burnout’ is reported to be more common within cohorts of younger parents, parents who live in

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Preschool Benefits-Power of Pre-K

A recent article published in the New York Times eluded to the long running debate regarding the true benefits of preschool.  Systemic socioeconomic variations prove to be a large indicator of children’s readiness for learning given the quality of their preschool education. For instance, a study showed that children who attended federally supported Head Start programming presented with more solidified math and reading skills in early elementary years, but presented with fading academic gains beyond primary school compared to their peers who attended privatized preschools. President Biden has recently stated that in his administration, his intention is to make preschool universally accessible to narrow the divide between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds. Aside from test score measures, children who attend

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Repetitive Line Books and Verb Learning

Verbs are an important part of a child’s early language development. Learning verbs is beneficial for building syntax (the rules of word order and word combinations to form phrases and sentences.) For example, if a child has 10 words in their repertoire, all of which are nouns, there’s a limited amount of communication that can occur. However, if the repertoire is expanded to include verbs, a child can begin to combine words and begin utilizing simple sentences (e.g., ‘eat cookie, hit ball, go car.’) Books are just one way to promote verb learning. Listed below are a few examples of books that utilize a repetitive script with a lot of exposure to verbs. ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle: target

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