Category: blog

Sensory Projects

Doing experiments or art projects in treatment sessions or at home can help target a variety of receptive and expressive language tasks. Using simple items such as glue, glitter, water, food coloring, or beads, your child can create a calming jar or a snow globe! Predicting/inferencing can be targeted by asking the child what the items could be used to make or have your child help locate items to use in the process to increase executive functioning skills! Creating a sensory project or experiment can encourage turn taking, commenting, word retrieval, and narrative language while allowing children to experience the craft with their senses.

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Virtual Learning and Executive Function Difficulties in Teens

Students have been virtually learning for about a year now and over this time an increase in students with executive functioning difficulties has been observed.  In the article, “Executive Function Difficulties an Issue for Teens Learning Virtually”, Kimberly Levin discusses specific areas she has observed difficulties in and the strategies she uses in order to help strengthen these skills. -Sustaining Attention: Since students are not always being required to turn on their camera during virtual learning, they are getting more distracted by their surroundings. This is resulting in directions or lesson concepts being missed. Keeping cameras on and actively taking notes during lessons can help a student maintain attention to the lesson. Additionally, placing all other electronics on “Do Not

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Speech Delays and Tantrums

For professionals who work with toddlers, it has been long assumed that toddlers with less expressive language show more instances of tantrums and problematic behaviors. Researchers at Northwestern University have recently found evidence to support this association. Their findings indicate that young children with decreased expressive language are prone to have more frequent and severe temper tantrums.  The participants of the study included 2,000 children from the ages of 12 months to 38 months of age. Children who had less than 50 words or did not combine words by the age of 2 were considered “late talkers.” It was identified that late talkers had more severe tantrums and they were almost twice as likely to have a tantrum than peers

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Mask Wearing and Children with Special Needs

Even as we all look forward to increased availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in the upcoming months, it is clear that we will continue to need to wear masks for some time to come. Kids with special needs, such as autism, can experience sensory issues that make it more difficult for them to tolerate wearing a mask.  Certain fabrics may be uncomfortable, or they may not like the feeling of the loops around their ears.  It may be helpful to have your child pick out their mask. They can touch it, and make sure they like the texture and color or pattern.  You can also experiment with a variety of mask alternatives, including those that tie behind the head or

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Speech Sound Practice with Music!

When working with children with a speech sound disorder, it is important to use target words that are meaningful, functional, and motivating. This can include working on family member names that include the target sound, using favorite books, and incorporating preferred activities. Now, Apple Music partnered with Warner Music and Speech-Language Pathologists to create a new feature called the “saylists.”  The “saylists” use an algorithm to find song lyrics that repeat challenging sounds, such as /sh/, /ch/, /l/, /r/, /s/, for listeners to sing along.  This includes songs by famous artists, such as Ed Sheehan, Madonna, Beyonce, and Adele.  It is so exciting to hear about new ways we can use technology for speech sound practice. Saylists provide a fun,

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Emotional Regulation

Research shows that the capacity for regulating emotion is first established in early childhood. Research also shows that children who have challenges regulating emotions early in life are more likely to have challenges making and sustaining friendships with peers. Strong emotional regulation is reported to positively impact children by serving as a strong predictor of academic achievement, specifically with testing performance. Children with better managed emotions are reported to demonstrate better sustained attention, problem solving skills, and integral executive function skills such as inhibition control. Children who learn to regulate emotions from an early age are shown to demonstrate better resiliency given experiences with trauma and adversity. Emotional dysregulation is also reported to be closely linked to clinical disorders such

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Free Texting Service Helps Track Your Child’s Speech and Language Development

Speech and language disorders are among the most common disorders that young children experience. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 11% of children ages 3–6 have a speech, language, voice or swallowing disorder. Most speech and language disorders are highly treatable, but the earlier parents and caregivers seek help for their child, the better. Now there is a free and convenient resource for parents and caregivers who have concerns about their child’s speech and language development. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Identify the Signs campaign and Bright by Text , have joined forces to provide a free resource for families of children ages 2–6.   Bright by Text, a national nonprofit that sends parents and caregivers

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Generalization of Speech Targets

Is your child trying to generalize their speech targets in their conversational speech? Try to incorporate movement activities to encourage your child to split their attention between the motor movement and their speech sounds simultaneously (e.g. playing catch while having a conversation using their sounds). Retelling their favorite show, video, or book can be another way to have your child practice their speech sounds in their spontaneous speech. Using music is another great way to encourage generalization of sounds! Have your child sing and record their favorite song while attempting to produce their targeted sounds correctly. See if they can hear or see a mistake that they made while singing!

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Building Communication Skills in Spring

With the warmer weather and melting snow, it is starting to feel and look like spring. Here are some ideas to help your child in building their speech and communication skills during a spring time activity. Introduce new vocabulary and describing words while planting a seed and taking care of a growing plant. New vocabulary may include: fertilizer, trowel, soil, etc. Be sure to utilize any new vocabulary words in sentences multiple times throughout the activity. Encourage your child to describe the texture of the soil and seeds, explain what they are doing, and discuss what they hope will happen as the plant grows. Describe the flow of the water as you water the seeds (e.g., slow, fast, dripping, etc.).

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Stuttering Questions

Stuttering issues have a new spotlight, as President Joe Biden has openly discussed his experience with stuttering. This not only normalizes stuttering in the culture, but also provides hope to children and adults across the world who stutter. It’s a great time to revisit what we know about this disorder. What causes stuttering? There is no single cause of stuttering, but ASHA has detailed several correlating factors:  Family history – Many people who stutter have a family member who also stutters. Children with family members who continued to stutter into adulthood are more likely to continue stuttering. Brain differences – People who stutter may have slight differences in the way their brain functions while speaking. New research has highlighted important

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