Author: Margaret Morris MS CCC SLP

Conversation and Brain Development

By now, you may have seen the viral video of comedian D.J. Pryor and his 18-month old son sitting on their couch having a little chat.  If not, check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY35eXTKVLY While the father-son duo is adorable and the video is good for a laugh, it is also an example of parent-child interaction that is beneficial to a child’s brain development.  Really!  A recent study from York University showed that infants who are exposed to adult conversation have greater cognitive abilities.  The study found a link between children who heard higher quantities of adult speech and their nonverbal reasoning and linguistic development.  The researchers also found that children who interacted with adults who used a diverse vocabulary knew […]

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Summer Language Learning

With summer comes barbecues, beaches and family road trips!  You’ll be surprised at how many ways you can incorporate language learning into your vacation. Ask your child to help you make a packing list.  Brainstorm the items you will need along the way, and at your destination; you can group items together, to work on word retrieval and categorization skills. Help your child use the internet to find out more about the places you will visit; you can even print out pictures and help them make an itinerary. Take a break from electronic devices and play some old-fashioned car games.  Some classics include: “I Spy”, “20 Questions”, “I’m Going on a Picnic”, and “Car Bingo”. Your child will be working […]

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May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM).  It is a great time to spotlight the importance of early detection and treatment of communication disorders. Speech-language pathologists assess and treat difficulties in: speech (pronunciation) language (understanding and using words and sentences) stuttering literacy (reading and writing) social skills listening and auditory processing voice feeding and swallowing How do you know if your child should see a speech-language pathologist? Some potential warning signs of speech and language problems include: you or other people are having difficulty understanding your child (by age 3, a familiar listener should understand at least 75% of what your child says; by age 5, children should be able to say most speech sounds.) people think your child […]

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The Benefits of Theater for Children with Special Needs

  The theater arts give children with special needs the opportunity to engage socially with peers while expressing their individuality. In inclusive theater programs, students participate in activities that can help them develop social skills such as eye contact,  listening for cues when others are speaking, taking turns, staying on task and working as a team.  Children learn and experience appropriate body language, improve their ability to follow directions, and develop their communication skills.  Participating in  a theater program can help build the self-esteem and confidence of children and teens with disabilities.   Local area inclusive theater programs include Tellin’ Tales Theatre in Chicago, Special Gifts Theatre (multiple locations including Winnetka, Glenview, and Chicago), and Chicago Children’s Theatre Red Kite […]

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