Author: Kristin Hupp MA CCC SLP

Verb Learning

Research shows that verb knowledge is a necessary prerequisite for generating sentence structures of increasing length and complexity. It is suggested that children with language disorders traditionally show greater challenge in learning verb forms and understanding the concept of verb tense-referring to when an action has occurred. Research suggests that by 2 years of age, children should begin acquiring a number of early-learned verb forms in their functional vocabulary to guide in their overall development of language. Resources from The Hanen Center suggest there are high-frequency, concrete verb forms that are most commonly and most easily understood by children as they develop language. These verb forms include: bite, blow, break, bring, bump, clean, close, cry, dance, draw, drink, drive, eat, […]

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Toy Selection

Toy Selection Parents often go to great lengths to find perfect toys which will be engaging and educational for their children. Research shows that it is less about the specific type of toy and more about how play is achieved with the toy that is most important. With cause-effect toys, children learn how simple/repetitive motion creates sound, movement, and sensory responses they generate through initiation (reaching, pushing, pulling, opening/closing.) Early on, cause effect toys help children understand the power they have with toys. Cause-effect toys help encourage manipulation of objects, hand-eye coordination, operational use, and play exploration as children observe how the toy works given its parts. Cause/effect toys are shown to encourage memory of play and joint attention skills […]

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Study Blue

Study Blue is a tool which assists in generating customized flash cards for study preparation. Resources can be made individually and then shared publicly for group reference. This app allows for students to make flash cards which are picture or audio-based to ensure associations are made for recalling vocabulary. The app also allows for students to track personal progress and set reminders of deadlines. This app could be helpful to any student with needs in vocabulary and executive functioning.

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Parenting Styles and Communication

Research confirms there to be three general parenting styles most commonly used in raising children. The style in which parents raise and interact with children is said to highly affect their development and functioning into adulthood. In the authoritarian parenting style, parents stress order and respect for authority capitalizing on positive reinforcement for desired behavior and utilizing negative reinforcement (e.g. discipline/punishment) for non-preferred behavior. Research suggests that this parenting style can encourage desirable behavior and academic success but can restrict children socially and emotionally. Children raised in an authoritarian style are more likely to suffer from anxiety. They are more likely to have difficulty separating from their parent’s control and influence as they get older, having difficulty in establishing their […]

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Everybody Needs a Turn

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that nearly 1 in 12 U.S children aged 3-17 have disorders relating to speech, language, voice or swallowing each year. Of these children, many have siblings, leaving parents with the challenge of equally dividing their time, energy, and attention between all of their children in their given family. Denise Underkoffler, a speech-language pathologist, recently wrote a book entitled “Everybody Needs a Turn” addressing the role of siblings within these family structures and explaining the challenges siblings may feel within these roles. Underkoffler explains that similar to parents, siblings of children with disabilities often experience an array of emotions pertaining to the given disability. Siblings may experience helplessness, jealousy, and frustration […]

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Technology Supports for Communication and Independence

Technology platforms such as Google Home and Amazon Echo are giving speech pathologists a means of facilitating independence, natural reinforcement, and motivation for individuals with communication challenges. These platforms provide support, organization, and information. Given a single phrase (E.g. “Alexa start my day”), the platform can transmit everything from the day’s schedule, to weather reports and news headlines to keep people informed and organized in their daily lives.For individuals with special needs, accessing this amount of information in a traditional sense would require a significant amount of time and effort. People with communication challenges may live more socially restricted lives, causing a sense of disconnect in the world around them. With smart-assistant technology, users can interact and keep informed. Smart-assistant […]

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Basic Concepts and Language

When young children are learning adults often focus solely on teaching numbers, the alphabet, shapes, and colors. There are a number of other basic concepts that are integral for early learning. These basic concepts include spatial directions, quantities, sequential order, size, adjective forms, and time concepts. Basic concepts are said to be the foundation for education. They impact the level to which children can successfully complete tasks, follow instructions, and engage in conversation. Academic achievement is based upon mastery of several prerequisite skills many of which are rooted in basic concept knowledge. Basic concepts are said to occur in groups or pairs. A survey from preschool and kindergarten teachers reveals there to be a number of early-learned basic concept pairs […]

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Mendeley

Mendeley is a tool that assists with writing assignments. It helps in finding and organizing reference materials for research papers and allows for students to annotate text on a digital platform. Mendeley works in conjunction with Microsoft Word and could be helpful to any student with needs in written expression. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mendeley-pdf-reader/id380669300

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Play Schemes

Play Schemes Play combines prerequisites of joint attention and imitation and encourages problem solving, creativity, risk-taking, and flexibility in thinking. Play is said to greatly facilitate the sensory, motor, social, and emotional development of children. In addition, strong play skills are said to correlate with the language skills. Play develops early in the first months of life and is said to emerge in complexity as children develop. The foundations for play are established early in development as children learn from others in their environment through back and forth interaction (e.g. peek a boo, patty cake, singing.) Early play develops in infancy when babies learn to use their bodies and objects purposefully for movement, activation of sound, and cause-effect. Before 1 […]

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A Doll Like Me

Amy Jandrisevits, a former Wisconsin social worker in pediatric oncology realized that play dolls marketed for children were lacking in inclusivity and diversity. She decided to passionately pursue doll creation starting with GoFundMe to raise funds for providing dolls to children in need.  Through access to her website “A Doll Like Me”, dolls are available for purchase for children of all colors, genders, and body types. She also stressed the importance of having dolls available to children who may have limb differences, cleft pallet, birthmarks, etc. to ensure all children with differences and disabilities are represented in the world around them. Her initiative is growing in popularity, with thousands of followers on Facebook and Instagram supporting her in this cause.

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