Category: blog

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 […]

Read More

CDC Report Shows 1 in 6 Children Has a Developmental Disability

Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) found that about 1 in 6 children aged 3–17 years were diagnosed with a developmental disability, and that this percentage increased from 16.2% in 2009–2011 to 17.8% in 2015–2017. Investigators examined data collected from 2009 to 2017 by the National Health Interview Survey, which surveyed parents of more than 88,000 children.  Specifically, data showed an increase in the prevalence of autism, intellectual disability, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The reasons for these increases were not investigated in this study, but previous research has shown that improved awareness, screening, and diagnosis may contribute to the increased incidence. These findings can be used […]

Read More

Speech and Language Benefits of Creative Writing

Writing is an important part of later speech and language development. For educators, parents, and SLPS, creative writing is a wonderful tool to impact widespread speech and language development. Jim Cartwright, MS, CCC-SLP, makes an excellent argument for why creative writing activities help students with a variety of goals, both related to speech and language and beyond. This more open-ended approach to written expression can also promote a positive attitude about writing and help to bridge the gap between oral and written language. Creative writing can be used in the following ways to address speech and language goals: Speech: Have the child write their own books or poems with their target sounds featured in the initial, medial, and final position […]

Read More

Traditional vs. Electronic Toys 

T It’s the holiday season! That means many parents are taking notes on what toys might make their child light up. There are plenty of electronic toys that excite kids with sounds, music, buttons and flashing lights. From a speech and language perspective, these toys may not be the top choice for increasing verbal output and facilitating language and play development. A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which compared traditional toys to electronic toys found that traditional toys result in better child-caregiver interactions and thus lead to increased communication-learning opportunities. Traditional toys provide opportunities for imagination. Children are able to create play schemes which they can change the next time they play. The buttons, sounds and switches […]

Read More

Masking Behaviors of Autism may affect Mental Health and Delay Autism Diagnosis

Researchers have studied the effects of masking behaviors in adults with autism spectrum disorder.  ‘Masking behaviors’ include compensatory strategies that individuals with autism utilize to ‘conform’ to societal expectations. These compensatory strategies include: holding back their true thoughts, suppressing atypical behaviors, rehearsing conversation, or memorizing rules of interaction. A recent study published in The Lancet Psychiatry found a link between ‘masking behaviors’ and poor mental health. Additionally, individuals who utilize masking behaviors often have a delayed diagnosis (diagnosis of autism late in adulthood). Please visit bit.ly/Lancet-ASD for more information about this study and its implication on individuals with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.

Read More

Warning Signs of Childhood Stuttering

As a parent, when you first notice your child stuttering it can be very worrisome. The first signs of stuttering can appear when a child is between 18-24 months old. This is the age when there is typically a language explosion and children are putting words together and formulating longer sentences. Let’s look at what is considered typical versus atypical stuttering in children: Typical: · Children will repeat words one to two times. For example: “I, I want a cookie.” · Children will repeat phrases “I go, I go.” · Children may hesitate when speaking and use fillers such as “um, “like”, or “uh.” Atypical · Syllables, words, or sounds are repeated more than twice. For example, “I, I, I, […]

Read More

NATIONAL SAFE TOYS AND GIFTS MONTH

December is the biggest gift-giving month in the world! It is also Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Here are some tips to help you to keep safety in mind as you’re shopping for the little people in your life: Make sure the age and skill level marked on the toy matches the age and skill level of the child you’re buying for; even a child who seems advanced for their age should not use toys meant for older children; the recommended age levels are determined by safety factors, not intelligence or maturity Check labels! Toys should have a label for ATSM (American Society for Testing and Materials) to show they have passed safety standards. Use the following guidelines for choosing […]

Read More

Tips for Promoting Healthy Eating/Chewing Habits to Decrease Risk for Choking

Do you have concerns about your child’s eating behaviors? Are you worried about your child’s ability to chew food effectively? Lack of chewing or insufficient chewing can contribute to swallowing challenges. Ask your child’s SLP to evaluate their tongue lateralization, chewing pattern, and rate of chewing to determine if your child is at risk for choking. Consider the following tips to promote safe eating: Cut food into small, length wise pieces (avoid circle shaped food) Limit distractions while eating to increase your child’s attention to their chewing Model appropriate bite size/rate Avoid movement while eating (jumping, dancing, running, laughing) Be mindful of the following toys that can cause choking if inappropriately ingested: balloons, coins, buttons, marbles/pebbles, small toy parts, pills, […]

Read More

The Dyslexia-Stress-Anxiety Connection

It is not uncommon for children who have difficulties in school to experience stress and anxiety.  While stress and anxiety might cause some of the same physical reactions in the brain and body, they are not the same thing.  Generally, stress is a response to external factors that we’re having difficulty coping with, such as a big test or an argument with a friend.  Symptoms of stress will  typically disappear once the situation is over. Anxiety is a reaction to stress. Anxiety focuses on worries or fears about things that might happen, as well as anxiety about the anxiety itself. It is a feeling that is often out of proportion to the real or imagined “threat”. Children with dyslexia can […]

Read More

Use of Pain Relievers During Pregnancy Linked to Autism, ADHD

A recent study at Johns Hopkins University examined the effects of taking pain medication containing acetaminophen during pregnancy. Results indicate that exposure to acetaminophen in the womb may increase the child’s risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Researchers examined data from the Boston Birth Cohort and found that children whose umbilical cord blood samples contained the highest levels of acetaminophen were approximately 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD or ASD later in childhood, compared to children with the lowest levels of acetaminophen in their umbilical cord blood. Although additional research is needed to support this finding, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urges careful consideration before using any pain-relieving medication during […]

Read More