Category: blog

The Importance of Wait Time in the Development of Self-Regulation

As adults, in any given day, we are expected to demonstrate the capacity for wait time (e.g. waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in traffic, waiting for our food at restaurants, etc.) The ability to exercise self -control and self-regulation through wait time is an important life skill that is shown to first develop in childhood. The capacity for wait time is shown to be closely tied to attention span and memory capacity which evolve as the brain develops with age. Wait time is connected with turn-taking and conversational reciprocity that are relevant in our earliest social experiences with peers and adults. As parents, the importance of wait time in developing self-regulation can be modeled and reinforced for […]

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The Benefits of “Belly Breathing”

Diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes called abdominal or belly breathing, is a deep breathing technique that engages your diaphragm, which is the large, dome-shaped muscle that runs horizontally across your abdomen, under your ribcage. Our natural breathing patterns should engage our diaphragm, but many people actually don’t breathe properly. When you breathe in, your belly should expand. When you breathe out, your belly should contract, or move inward. Belly breathing has been shown to be highly effective both as a calming strategy and for a variety of health reasons. Breathing is one of the most sensitive indicators or warning signs of stress, because it is such a vital link between our minds and bodies. By increasing our awareness about breathing and by […]

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Quarantine Routines

Trying to implement a steady routine during quarantine can be extremely difficult, especially with transitions to working from home and e-learning. Consider making your child a visual schedule to help facilitate some structure in their everyday routines. Including your child in this process can give them some autonomy over their schedule as well! Try to outline their scheduled activities (e-learning, therapies, etc.) and fill in dedicated break times that they can choose from (consider varying screen time with physical activity and imaginative play!). You can also consider having your child increase their responsibilities around the house and including those responsibilities on the schedule. Helping your child to consistently follow their schedule can help them feel successful during this difficult time! […]

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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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Self Regulation and Literacy

Children’s ability to self-regulate is a crucial component in the development of their language and literacy skills. In young children, self-regulation refers to their ability to manage their thoughts and emotions in order to be calm and alert enough to pay attention to tasks, absorb new information and to inhibit behaviors that might interfere with accomplishing tasks. Michigan State University researchers have found that children who demonstrate self-regulation at an earlier age have higher language and literacy skills throughout preschool to at least the second grade.  Specifically, those children showed earlier and higher development of decoding and reading comprehension and higher levels of vocabulary development. Parents can help children develop better self-regulation by structuring their home environment to include adequate […]

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Link Between Speech Delays and Tantrums

Does your child exhibit frequent “temper tantrums”? A recent study conducted by Northwestern University found that toddlers with reduced expressive language skills may be prone to more severe, frequent temper tantrums. “Late talkers” (children with less than 50 words by age 2) were found to have 1.96 times greater risk for severe tantrums compared to typical peers. If your child exhibits behavioral challenges, consider participating in a speech-language evaluation to assess their overall ability to express themselves during instances of heightened emotion. Please visit bit.ly/j-dev-psych for more information.

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Soft Skills: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Soft skills are personal attributes that influence how well you can work or interact with others. These are the “people skills” that can affect our relationships and interpersonal interactions. The term covers a wide range of skills and includes communication, a positive attitude and politeness, professionalism, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and time management. As we prepare middle and high school students for the workplace, the traditional focus is on academic and technical/hard skills. But soft skills are also critical to students’ future success at work.  Developing soft skills can be especially difficult for students with social-pragmatic and communication challenges. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are in a position to help by targeting what will eventually become workplace soft skills. We can […]

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The Link Between Protein and ADHD

L Children need to be able to attend, focus and control their impulses throughout the day in order to learn. Studies have shown that children with ADHD are at higher risk for deficits in expressive, receptive, and social language as a result of ADHD-related symptoms. For parents and professionals working with children with ADHD, it is important to understand how diet could affect those symptoms. A study of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has identified a deficiency in levels of protein within the brain. The study looked at 14 boys, ages 6-12, and found almost 50 percent lower levels of an amino acid called tryptophan, a protein which aids in the production of dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. This protein is […]

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Do you attempt to engage your child in conversation by asking questions?

Does your child answer you with one word or symbol answers?   If this is the case, then this blog post is for you! Let’s talk about a different approach you can try that does not require asking a lot of questions.   Have you ever heard of non-directive communication? Non-directive language is a treatment approach that is naturalistic, pressure-free, and parent-friendly. Non-directive language consists of comments, descriptions, and observations made by us (parents, teachers, speech-language pathologists, nannies).   Examples of non-directive language:   I see a ….. Wow you made a …. I like your….. I’m going to….. Yummy ice cream….. I feel….. It is….. You are silly   Directive language is the opposite of non-directive language. Directives put […]

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