Category: blog

Facial Expressions and COVID

Research shows that newborn infants begin attending to faces in the hours following delivery. Facial expressions are said to be one of the most important social elements for human interaction and are said to be an effective tool for promoting infant learning. Research also shows that newborn infants will gaze toward faces for longer periods of time than they will toward objects and that infants as early as 8-12 months, begin using information communicated through facial expressions (especially from their mother and father) to understand situations, read emotion, detect danger, and form bonds. It is reported that early in development, infants detect differences in facial features from person to person. Infants learn the characteristics of people they see such as […]

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Social Groups via Teletherapy

In the article “How Can We Make Social Groups Work Online”, author Mary Ann O’Connell discusses social language group treatment via telehealth sessions. During these sessions, she found it beneficial to adjust the pace and set-up of sessions. Currently, many children may be experiencing heightened and more intense emotions in relation to COVID-19. Establishing a routine for group sessions can be helpful for regulating clients. At Wee Speech, several of our therapists and their clients have participated in social groups online. We have found great success in these groups. Group rules such as refraining from using the keyboard unless instructed to use, waiting until a peer has finished speaking, and minimizing external distractions (clear workspace, quiet environment) have increased the […]

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Daily Reading in a COVID-19 World

Shared reading has many benefits, including increasing your child’s interest in books, building the relationship between oral language and printed language, and promoting story comprehension. A recent study suggests that daily shared reading may be more important now than ever before. A study released in September 2020 utilized data from kindergarteners’ reading scores over summer break to estimate the impact of COVID-19 school closures. Their model estimated that these children may have lost one-third of the reading skills they would have learned in school. The authors did acknowledge that this model does not account for the possible impact of remote learning on reading gains. The good news is, the Boston researchers also found that children who are read to daily […]

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Early Indicators of ADHD

Additude Magazine explains that ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder in children. In 2011, research first showed that indicators of attention challenges could be identified in children as early as 3-4 years with some diagnoses of ADHD given as young at 4-5 years. Research from the CHADD- a nonprofit organization serving Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder suggests that 3-year-old children who show early symptoms of ADHD are more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD by age 13.  Early challenges with attention are not commonly reported to disappear with age, rather they typically become larger hurdles in the learning process. Often, challenges with attention are shown to be first reported in preschool-kindergarten. They are often first reported […]

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Using Music to Reinforce Speech and Language

Music can be used effectively to help your child develop their language and speech skills.  It is motivating, familiar, rhythmic and just plain fun!  It can also stimulate motor and social skills. Music can have a regulating effect on your child, making them more receptive to listening, attending and learning.  By incorporating gestures along with the lyrics, you can support learning and encourage your child’s active participation. If your child is not yet verbal or is minimally verbal, music can help teach gestural imitation skills. By incorporating gestures along with the lyrics, you can reinforce concepts and encourage your child’s active participation. The simple and repetitive nature of songs is an excellent way to reinforce first words. Songs that have […]

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Sequencing Activities for Halloween Time

Is your child working on sequencing and narrative language? Take advantage of the Halloween season to work on sequencing events! Use pumpkin carving, Halloween costume creation, and Halloween decorating to talk about the steps required to complete the task. Break each activity into small steps and try writing or drawing each step so your child can visually see the sequence! Have your child practice re-telling all of the steps to a sibling or stuffed animal. If they are comfortable, try recording their story telling so they can help decide if they included all of the steps!

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Interactive Reading for Early Reading and Language Skills

Reading is one of the most important things you can do with your preschool-aged child to increase pre-literacy skills and facilitate language development. In the ASHA Leader, Corie Viscomi, MS, CCC-SLP discusses the idea of interactive reading and how to use it as a tool to facilitate early reading skills. In interactive reading, parents and teachers can use a variety of techniques to engage the child in the text. The great thing is many of the strategies are intuitive and likely things parents are already incorporating during shared reading experiences with their children; however, it’s always helpful to have a reminder and to have the reasoning behind different reading approaches.   Here are some of the interactive reading strategies: Don’t be […]

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Text Messages for Parent Education

Text Messages for Parent Education The American Speech and Hearing Association is offering free support for parents!  Parents have the opportunity to receive education regarding typical and atypical communication development, milestones, and tips to build communication skills at a young age. This is an easy way to gain access to helpful information! Text the word BRIGHT to 274448 to receive information regarding warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders from Identify the Signs. Research has shown that early detection and intervention of communications disorders leads to more communication gains. Make sure to utilize this free opportunity to learn more about communication delays and disorders.

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Increasing Joint Attention at Home

During your speech therapy sessions, your speech-language pathologist may suggest working on increasing joint attention. Joint attention is the ability to share focus on the same object with another person. This is a skill we use all the time with toddlers without even thinking about it. We need joint attention to read a book together, play peek-a-boo, and participate in songs and fingerplays. Without these foundational skills, early talkers have a difficult time creating meaningful communication opportunities with others. So, how can parents work on increasing joint attention at home? Below are some ideas and tricks to use during play and daily routines. Row Your Boat: Incorporating familiar songs into a fun, interactive activity is always an easy way to […]

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Positive Teletherapy Outcomes

While sheltering in place due to COVID-19, many families (and SLPs) had no choice but to go forth into the world of speech and language teletherapy. Although it was an adjustment to switch from in-person therapy, there is a growing base of evidence to support the efficacy of teletherapy for speech and language outcomes.  One study by Wales, Danielle et al. in 2017 examined whether telehealth-delivered speech-language pathology interventions are as effective as traditional in-person delivery for school-age children with speech/language difficulties. Based on a systematic review of 7 articles, results revealed both telehealth and in-person participants made significant and similar improvements when treatment effects were measured through five of the six outcome measures. The outcome measures included: Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation – […]

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