Author: Kristin Hupp MA CCC SLP

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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Language Disorders in the School Setting

Language impairment is described as “one of the most common childhood disorders that you’ve never heard of.” According to a researcher from the University of Delaware, language impairment affects 7 out of 100 U.S children and is believed to affect more, as language disorders are frequently overlooked or misidentified as other disorders of behavior or attention. Researchers through the National Science Foundation have been investigating three types of intervention for language disorders-vocabulary, grammar, and phonological awareness, to see what intervention has the largest impact on academic performance. It is said that in a school-based setting, time constraints limit the extent to which therapists are able to address all three areas of intervention, forcing service providers to focus on one area […]

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