Author: Elizabeth Novak-Czech MA CCC SLP

Snow Day Activities

As the snow continues to fall, take advantage of all of the wonderful language opportunities the snow provides. Here are some examples of free activities you can do in the snow: *Snowball Fight -Talk about basic concepts such as big, little, cold, round, etc. while making the snowballs -Practice words with target sounds (e.g., ‘snow’ for /s/ blends, ‘ball’ for final /l/, and ‘throw’ for /th/) -Talk about action words including throw, roll, catch, scoop, hide, hit, etc. *Snowman -Talk about basic concepts such as big/bigger/biggest, cold, round, little, etc. -Practice words containing target sounds (e.g., ‘stick’ for /s/ blends and ‘mouth’ for /th/) -Discuss different vocabulary terms for body parts and action words (e.g., roll, make, put, get, etc.)

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Using Books to Teach Fall Vocabulary 

  There is so much to enjoy during the fall season which also includes activities that may contain vocabulary your child doesn’t currently know such as “pumpkin”, “acorn”, and “hay”. Books are a great way to teach these new or less familiar concepts. 1. Read books about fall activities you are planning such as going to a pumpkin patch, leaf hunt, apple picking, etc. When you do these activities, reinforce the same vocabulary used in the books. 2. Repeat new vocabulary words in a variety of contexts (e.g., These pumpkins are big.  Wow, look at that pumpkin. Let’s pick a pumpkin.) 3. Talk to your child about the connection between the book and the activity you are planning to do (e.g., We are reading

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Choice Making 

Giving children choices helps them feel like they have some power and control over what they do. Everyone likes to have choices in what they do. Some caregivers think they need to do all of the planning. They forget that children can and need to make choices too. Here are some times throughout the day when you can offer choices: Food for snack time Clothing items when getting dressed While playing with toys Book reading Bath time toys

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Prelinguistic Skills 

PrelinguIstic skills are ways that children communicate without using words. They are good indicators of a child’s readiness to begin talking. Children who demonstrate these abilities appropriately are ready to begin communicating using sounds and words. *Attention abilities: A child’s ability to pay attention to a particular activity or person is relative to his/her age. Between 13 to 24 months a child should gradually develop the ability to sustain their attention for a few minutes to a preferred activity. If a child is unable to pay attention to a toy, they will likely demonstrate difficulty listening to the sounds and words their communication partner is saying in order to repeat them later. *Play Skills: Children learn by playing, so their ability to play appropriately is essential In order to learn to

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Echolalia 

Echolalia occurs when a child repeats what he/she hears either immediately after hearing the utterance (immediate echolalia) or hours to days after hearing the utterance (delayed echolalia). Echolalia can at times be self-stimulatory. The child may repeat lines from or his favorite movie or even repeat a conversation he/she heard. For example, during dinner time the child may say, “To infinity and beyond!” The child may do this to self-calm or for self-stimulation as the utterance is not related to the situational context; However, echolalia can also be communicative or functional in nature, in which the child repeats something he/she has heard in the past for a specific communicative purpose such as requesting or commenting. For example, when a child sees his/her parent take

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Myths About Dyslexia

  Dyslexia is one of the most common language-based disabilities that affects approximately 20% of the world’s population. It is the most common cause of reading, writing, and spelling difficulties. Many people have heard of dyslexia, but there are myths and confusion about what it is. Dyslexia is NOT: -Seeing letters or words backwards -Having a low IQ -Caused by poor eyesight or hearing problems -Caused by laziness or lack of effort Dyslexia IS: -A language-based learning disability -Neurological in origin -Difficulty with processing and manipulating

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5 Tips To Foster Language Development

  During the early years (0-5, children learn language naturally through their environment by participating in back and forth interactions with the adults in their lives. Here are ways to encourage language development: Spend time face-to-face: Sit with your child at their level when communicating with them. This encourages eye contact, developing an understanding of facial expressions, and aids in learning how to produce sounds. Simplify what you say: Keep sentences short. For example, instead of saying, “Let’s go outside and play in the pool because it’s a hot day,” you could say, “Let’ go swim. It’s hot!”. Emphasize key words when reading: To highlight the most important informant, use increased volume and intonation. Use repetition: Your child needs to

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Aided Language Stimulation for AAC Users

  Aided Language Stimulation (ALS) is an evidence based strategy for teaching an AAC user about their system and how to use it. ALS provided a visual model for communication using the AAC system. Here are some simple steps to use this strategy: Select an interactive activity or routine that brings joy to your child. For example, your child may love books, music, swinging, or PlayDoh. Provided repeated exposure to words that are meaningful to your child. For example, if your child enjoys swinging you could provide ALS and model words such as ‘push’, ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘stop’ and ‘swing’. While you say the word, model the word on their device as well. Don’t expect your child to use the word

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Answering Yes/No Questions

  Most children develop the skill of answering yes/no questions around 18-24 months of age. Some children may be delayed in developing this skill. Here are three tips to help your child: Begin with nodding head for yes and shaking head for no. Your child may not be ready to verbalize the words ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and may be more comfortable using the gesture. Make it a fun game. For example, grab an object such as an apple and say, “Is this a bird?” “No.” “Is this a grape?” “No”. “Is this an apple?” “Yes.” Use a visual. For example, a green check mark could represent ‘yes’ and a red letter ‘X’ could represent ‘no’.

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Building Imitation Skills 

  Typically, there are eight phases that must occur before your child will talk. These phases center around the importance of targeting the pre-linguistic skill of imitation. It is important to remember that imitation is a core skill that must begin before your child develops linguistic skills. Phase 1: Imitation of Actions with Objects (e.g., child imitates you stacking blocks) Phase 2: Imitation of Communication Gestures (e.g., child imitates finger movements while singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider”) Phase 3: Imitation of Non-verbal Actions with Face/Mouth (e.g., puckering lips to blow a kiss) Phase 4: Imitation of Vocal Movements (eg., pretending to growl like a dog) Phase 5: Imitation of Exclamatory Words (e.g., child imitates “wow” or “uh oh”) Phase 6: Imitation of

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