As we embark on summer vacation, many children are taking a break from their normal school routines, and that may include speech therapy! So I wanted to provide some great ways to practice speech and language skills at home, so kids don’t loose the skills they’ve gained!
There are SO many great ways you can practice your child’s articulation skills at home. First find out from your child’s therapist what sounds they are working on, word position (initial, middle, or final), and at what level (words, phrases, and sentences).
- Coloring pages- You can find pictures of different objects, animals or places that have your child’s target words in them!
- Pair it with a game! – Find a list of the sounds that your child is targeting. And play a game while practicing. Before your child takes a turn have theem say a target word
- Make your own board game- there are many different templates for
- Go on a treasure hunt!- Utilize pictures or objects that target your child’s sounds, hide them around the house and have your child go on a hunt to find them! When they find each word have them say it 3 times to practice. This is also a great idea to do outside to get some fresh air!
There are some great lists for target sounds on: mommyspeechtherapy.com
There are also great ways to facilitate language skills! Anything in your
- Utilize your surroundings- Go on walks around your neighborhood and ask your child about different things in order to build up their vocabulary skills.
- Reading- Reading books is a great way to target language. You can use books that are attractive to your child. Ask them questions about what your reading, work on their sentence structure and review vocabulary!
- Cooking activities- Make a meal or snack with your child. This is a great way to target following directions and sequencing.
- Language games- Scategories, Outburst, Headbandz, and Guess Who are all great games to target different language skills.
Hope you these activities help to make practicing speech and language skills fun!
Stuttering episodes in children are very common. I wanted to give you some information about normal dysfluencies vs. dysfluencies of a child who stutters, risk factors and some tips for how to deal with a child who stutters.
If your child has some difficulty speaking and “hesitates” or repeats sounds, syllables or words he or she may have a stutter. However, your child may be going through a period of developmental dysfluencies. Children going through periodic stuttering often experience this between 1 and 5 years of age. Often they repeat syllable or words one or two times (th-th-this) and utilize filler words (um, uh). Children who have a stutter that may persist repeat sounds more than two times (th-th-th- th-this). They also may have periods where they are attempting to speak however, no words are coming out, this is referred to as a “block”. Children who have a stutter may go through periods of fluent and non-fluent speech, however take note if it begins to become more present then absent.
Some risk factors for stuttering are
• Family history of stuttering
• Stuttering after the age of 5 years
• Stuttering for 6-12 months or longer
• Gender (more common in males)
• Speech sound errors present
• Delay in language skills
AND here are some ways to speak to your child to promote fluent speech!
• Speak to your child in steady, relaxed manor
• Give your child ample time to speak and make sure you listen to them
• Ask questions one at a time
• Make sure to participate in turn taking
• Build up your child’s confidence
• Set aside special time to listen to your child and give them your full attention
• Treat your child just as you would any other, regardless of their stutter!
Try not to:
• Correct their speech
• Constantly to tell them to “Take their time”, “ Relax”, or “Slow Down”
• Interrupt your child when they are speaking
• Look alarmed, embarrassed or look away when he or she is speaking
• Associate any negative words or actions with their speech!
And if you have a child who stutters have them evaluated by an SLP!
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). I would like to give you some quick information about what CAPD is, how it is treated, and some signs that your child may have an auditory processing deficit.
What is Auditory Processing Disorder?
Auditory Processing Disorder is a defect in the way the brain processes spoken language. Specifically, it inhibits an individual’s ability to attend, understand and remember. This involves difficulty in perceiving, recalling, understanding and utilizing auditory information presented. It is important to note, that this is NOT a hearing deficit. Typically, Children who have auditory processing disorders have normal hearing.
How is Auditory Processing Disorder treated?
There is no one way to treat APD, as we no every child is different and deficits may present themselves in different ways. Often treatment involves three components:
- Changing the environment– utilizing electronic listening devices, teacher changes to improve delivery of information, decreasing proximity from a child and listener.
- Compensatory Strategies -utilizing other cognitive, language, or memory skills in order to help improve their performance.
- Remediation via Therapy-. one-on-one therapy that directly targets improving processing skills (i.e identifying and manipulating sounds and improving listening and conversation skills).
What are the signs/symptoms of APD?
Children may present with some of the following:
- Difficulty following directions
- Inability to attend for long periods of time
- Difficulty with rhymes or songs
- Difficulty following a conversation
- Difficulty remembering details
- Struggle with math word problems
- Easily distracted by noise or things around them
- Difficulty with reading and/or spelling
- Difficulty telling stories
- May drop ends of sounds when speaking
- Say “what” or “ huh” often
Most often APD is diagnosed after age 6. If you suspect that your child may have a deficit in auditory processing, contact a speech-language pathologist to determine if services are warranted. As with all speech, language and hearing deficits early detection and intervention is key!