Category: blog

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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Expanding Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation have joined forces to create the Delivering Jobs campaign aimed at creating job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. This program will emphasize job preparation, support for employers, and advocacy for inclusion and equality. Additionally, this program utilizes an individual’s strengths, such as timeliness, creativity, loyalty, and motivation to increase their opportunities. Please visit deliveringjobs.org for more information on this incredible organization hoping to find a million people with autism and intellectual differences jobs by 2025!

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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