Category: blog

Back To School

It’s back to school season! Start talking with your child about what to expect with the summer ending and the school year approaching. Social Stories are a great way to discuss the first day of school with your child. Use “I” statements (e.g. “I will meet my new teacher”, “I will have a new cubby”, “I will find my new desk”, etc.) with visuals to help with the transition. Reviewing this individualized social story with your child in advance can help your child feel prepared for their first day back to school! Ask your child’s treating therapist for support if you are interested in creating a social story.

Read More

Basic Concepts and Language

When young children are learning adults often focus solely on teaching numbers, the alphabet, shapes, and colors. There are a number of other basic concepts that are integral for early learning. These basic concepts include spatial directions, quantities, sequential order, size, adjective forms, and time concepts. Basic concepts are said to be the foundation for education. They impact the level to which children can successfully complete tasks, follow instructions, and engage in conversation. Academic achievement is based upon mastery of several prerequisite skills many of which are rooted in basic concept knowledge. Basic concepts are said to occur in groups or pairs. A survey from preschool and kindergarten teachers reveals there to be a number of early-learned basic concept pairs […]

Read More

Healthy Hearing Habits

H It’s a very noisy world, and children are at risk for developing hearing damage due to loud and repeated sound exposure. Dr. Frank Wartinger, Audiologist at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, outlines several tips in his article (link below) for parents to help protect their children’s hearing: Teach children to respect their hearing: Talk to your kids about how important hearing is to everyday life. They will be more likely to protect their hearing if they understand and appreciate it. Dr. Wartinger suggested having your child identify his or her favorite sound and share how they would feel if they could no longer hear it. Know when a sound is dangerously loud: When your child is listening to music or […]

Read More

Conversation and Brain Development

By now, you may have seen the viral video of comedian D.J. Pryor and his 18-month old son sitting on their couch having a little chat.  If not, check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY35eXTKVLY While the father-son duo is adorable and the video is good for a laugh, it is also an example of parent-child interaction that is beneficial to a child’s brain development.  Really!  A recent study from York University showed that infants who are exposed to adult conversation have greater cognitive abilities.  The study found a link between children who heard higher quantities of adult speech and their nonverbal reasoning and linguistic development.  The researchers also found that children who interacted with adults who used a diverse vocabulary knew […]

Read More

Use of “Think Time” to increase Speech and Language Outcomes

Children with communication impairments may significantly benefit from the use of “wait time” to allow for time to process. Try waiting 3-5 seconds after asking your child a question, giving a direction, or wanting them to elaborate on an idea. Recent research shows that wait time decreased “I don’t know” responses from children with longer responses recorded following this wait time. Think time may also be extremely effective for children with word finding difficulties to allow time to formulate their idea and retrieve their words. Using a visual picture to represent think time can be a good reminder to both you and your child to slow down! https://blog.asha.org/2019/05/22/3-steps-for-using-wait-time-to-improve-treatment- outcomes/

Read More

Word Study Tips While Reading

Reading with your child is an excellent time to point out spelling patterns by talking about your observations! For example, try pointing out patterns such as ‘ss’ at the end of the word as in “press” and have your child look for other words containing that spelling pattern. Also, take the time to look at base/root words while reading. For example, “I hear the word ‘cycle’ in the word ‘bicycle’”. Additionally, children may frequently ask how to spell an unfamiliar word. Encourage your child to sound out the word and address it in smaller chunks (e.g. syllables, prefixes, root words, rhyming words, etc.). Check out the article below for more helpful tips and examples! https://www.spell-links.com/download/10ThingsSpellingEnglish.pdf

Read More

Bilingual Language Development

Some parents who speak multiple languages wonder whether teaching more than one language to their child will confuse their child or delay speech and language development. The fact is that children can learn two languages with practice, and learning another language will not cause or worsen speech or language problems. The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) states that children who are bilingual follow a similar language development trajectory as monolingual children, but there are some normal deviations during bilingual language development: The child may not talk as much, or go through a “silent period,” when they start using a second language. This can last several months. The child may mix grammar rules of both languages in the same utterance. […]

Read More

Print Books vs. E-Books

The ASHA Leader highlighted recent evidence that suggests an advantage of traditional books over electronic books. A study conducted at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Munzer TG, et al. Pediatrics. March 25, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-2012) found that parents and toddlers verbalized and interacted more while reading traditional print books as opposed to e-books. The interactions noted included commenting on the illustrations, asking and answering questions, and discussing life experiences that related to the story. While families also interacted when reading enhanced e-books (with sound effects and animation), it was significantly less collaborative than with traditional print books. In fact, the conversation while reading e-books often revolved around the device itself and the associated effects as opposed to the […]

Read More

Summer Language Learning

With summer comes barbecues, beaches and family road trips!  You’ll be surprised at how many ways you can incorporate language learning into your vacation. Ask your child to help you make a packing list.  Brainstorm the items you will need along the way, and at your destination; you can group items together, to work on word retrieval and categorization skills. Help your child use the internet to find out more about the places you will visit; you can even print out pictures and help them make an itinerary. Take a break from electronic devices and play some old-fashioned car games.  Some classics include: “I Spy”, “20 Questions”, “I’m Going on a Picnic”, and “Car Bingo”. Your child will be working […]

Read More

Play Schemes

Play Schemes Play combines prerequisites of joint attention and imitation and encourages problem solving, creativity, risk-taking, and flexibility in thinking. Play is said to greatly facilitate the sensory, motor, social, and emotional development of children. In addition, strong play skills are said to correlate with the language skills. Play develops early in the first months of life and is said to emerge in complexity as children develop. The foundations for play are established early in development as children learn from others in their environment through back and forth interaction (e.g. peek a boo, patty cake, singing.) Early play develops in infancy when babies learn to use their bodies and objects purposefully for movement, activation of sound, and cause-effect. Before 1 […]

Read More