8 Ways to Encourage Speech and Language in Young Children

1. Read, read, read! Find age appropriate books that have lots of pictures that your child can look at while you read, label objects and actions, etc.

2. Expose your child to new situations. This will provide you with an opportunity to introduce new vocabulary in novel situations such as, a trip to the zoo or a bike ride through a park.

3. Expand on what your child says, Ex. if your child says “doggie” then you could say “Yes, the dog is running,” or something within the context.

4. Provide choices in order to create opportunities for your child to vocalize their wants/needs. Ex. ” Do you want crackers or pretzels?”.

5. Put desired objects in out of reach places to encourage your child to request, and ask for help.

6. Use fill in the blanks statements. Set up a familiar phrase, and leave off the last word. Ex. “ready, set, …..”

7. Self talk. Talk about what you are doing, seeing, thinking, etc. “I’m washing my hands so I can make you a snack”.

8. Feign lack of understanding. Pretend like you aren’t sure what your child wants. Ex. If your child points to their juice on a high counter, but doesn’t vocalize the request, you can act like you don’t understand. I.e.  “I’m not sure what you want? Do you want your juice or this paper?” Wait till a vocalization is made even if it doesn’t sound perfect, then reward their efforts.

Blog By: Mary Williams-Anderson

For further information contact us 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

Personalized Books

Manasota BUDS recently hosted a workshop with guest speaker Natalie Hale, founder of Special Reads for Special Needs.  Manasota BUDS is a volunteer organization based in Bradenton Florida that provides networking and support for families and helps promote understanding and acceptance of Down syndrome.  Natalie was an excellent speaker, with so much information to share.  Her program Special Reads for Special Needs provides specialized reading materials for learners with Down Syndrome, Autism, and other developmental delays and Natalie has so many wonderful suggestions for making reading more fun and effective.  One of her recommendations for helping children learn to read is making personal books.  So, how do we do this?

Materials you will need:

A “hot topic” list of at least 9 of your child’s favorite people, family members, pets, foods, toys, activities, sports, character, etc.

5×8 index cards

110# card stock paper (for printing the book)

Red marker (for making flash cards)

Instructions

Choose a vocabulary list of 10-15 words.  Some of these will be your “hot topic” words, and some will be Dolch Sight words appropriate to your child’s current reading level.  A full list of Dolch words can be found here: http://www.dolchword.net/printables/All220DolchWordsByGradeAlpha.pdf

Write the text for your book.  Keep your sentences short and simple, each one will be on a page by itself.  After each sentence page, the next page will be the sentence plus a picture.  Be sure to end your story with “The End”.  I created a book about the Minions from Despicable me.  I kept it very simple and incorporated numerical words one to ten.  The entire book had 11 vocabulary words.

Create flash cards for all of the words in your story.  You can do this by writing them as large as possible using your red marker, or printing them on your computer in red ink (red has been known to help children learn).

 

Find photos online, cut out pictures from magazines, or take your own photos to go along with your text.

Write the text on your computer and print it, with these guidelines (directly from Natalie Hale’s website):

Use landscape mode

Set font to size 70-100 black, and choose one of the Sans Serif fonts (Arial, Calibri, Tahoma). Almost everything we read on a daily basis (newspapers, internet, books) is in a Sans Serif font.

Type one sentence per page, alternating sentence only and sentence with picture and print using the 110# index paper stock (or use plain paper in a pinch, and laminate to help your book hold up longer)

Assemble your book with the text ONLY on the right hand side.  You can take your book to an office supply store for binding.

Time to Read!

Using Fast Flash, a method of reviewing flashcards at a rapid pace, which helps maintain a child’s attention and helps with instant recall, review the vocabulary with your child.  You can find more detail about the Fast Flash method here: http://specialreads.com/blog/?p=165.  Once you have reviewed the flashcards, it’s time to read the book to your child and enjoy it together!  Finish up by showing/calling out the flash cards again, and you’re done!

You can continue to create new books with the same topic and new sight words, or create books with new topics.  In addition to the Minions book, I also created a book about a baby doll, to help teach some verb vocabulary (Baby Eats, Baby Sleeps, Baby Drinks, Etc).

Once we read the book and review the vocabulary, we get to play with the baby!

I hope you enjoy making your own personalized books!

Blog by: Rebekah Greer

For further information please contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit our website at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

 

For more information about Manasota BUDS, visit their website: http://www.manasotabuds.org/

For more information about Natalie Hale and Special Reads for Special Needs, visit her website at: http://specialreads.com/

Fun Articulation Activities

Does your child have difficulty correctly producing particular sounds in connected speech? If so then they may be struggling with an articulation disorder. Flashcards and drill activities can quickly become repetitive and boring for children. Here are several activities that will have your child asking you to practice their sounds:

1. Bowling-print out flashcards or words that contain their target sound (the sound that they are working on) and tape them to empty 2 liter bottles. When your child knocks down the “pin” they will produce the target word using correct articulation.

2. Bean Bag Toss: line up flashcards or words, that contain the child’s target sound and and take turns throwing bean bags at cards. When they land a bean bag on a card they can produce the target word using correct articulation.

3. Simple card games: such as Memory or Go Fish, buy or print out and laminate flashcards containing your child’s target sound.

4. Treasure hunt: Involve other family members if possible and see who can find the most things that begin with the target sound. Make up your own “house rules” to make it more fun.

5. Magnet Fishing: attach a string with a magnet to a stick. Make small picture or word cards with the target sound. These can be fish-shaped, but they don’t have to be. Put a paper clip or staple at the top of each card. Take turns “catching fish” and naming the pictures or reading the words.

Blog written by: Mary Williams-Anderson

 For further information please contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

 

Receptive and Expressive Language Developmental Motor Milestones

Have you ever wondered if your child is on target with their speech and language development?  We have come up with an easy to read checklist to track his or her developmental progress:

Birth to 3 months

  • Smiles at the sound of your voice
  • Makes cooing, gurgling sounds
  • Turns head toward direction of sound
  • Communicates hunger, fear, discomfort (through crying or facial expression)

3 months to 6 months

  • Begins to respond to the word “no”
  • Responsive to changes in your tone of voice and to sounds other than speech
  • Babbles in a speech-like way and uses many different sounds, including sounds that begin with p, b, and m

6 months to 12 months

  • Responds to own name
  • Begins to respond to “no”
  • Turns and looks in the direction of sounds
  • Responds to sound by making sounds
  • Uses voice to express joy and displeasure
  • Knows familiar faces
  • Understands words for common items such as “cup,” “shoe,” or “juice”
  • Responds to requests (“Come here” or “Want more?”)
  • Communicates using gestures such as waving or holding up arms

12 months to 18 months

  • Tries to “talk” with you through babbling
  • Tries to imitate words
  • Says “dada” and “mama”
  • Uses exclamations, such as “oh-oh!”
  • Recognizes family members’ names
  • Follows simple commands (“roll the ball”)
  • Responds to “no”
  • Uses simple gestures, such as shaking head for “no”

18 months to 24 months

  • Knows a few parts of the body and can point to them when asked
  • Understands simple questions (“Where’s your shoe?”)
  • Enjoys simple stories, songs, and rhymes
  • Points to pictures, when named, in books
  • Acquires new words on a regular basis
  • Uses some one- or two-word questions (“Where kitty?” or “Go bye-bye?”)
  • Puts two words together (“More cookie” or “No juice”)
  • Asks specifically for his/her mother or father
  • Uses “hi,” “bye,” and “please,” with reminders
  • Requests items or actions by pointing or by using one word
  • Directs another’s attention to an object or action
  • Laughs at silly actions (ex. wearing a bowl as a hat)

24 months to 36 months

  • Points to 5-6 parts of a doll when asked
  • Uses 2-3 word sentences to verbalize desires and feelings
  • Asks for information about an object (ex. “shoe?” while pointing to shoe box)
  • Hum or tries to sing
  • Listens to short rhymes
  • Likes to imitate parents
  • Takes turns in play with other children
  • Treats a doll or stuffed animal as though it were alive
  • Refers to self by name and use “me” and “mine”
  • Knows some spatial concepts such as “in”, “on”
  • Knows descriptive words such as “big”, “happy”
  • Begins to use plurals such as “shoes” or “socks” and regular past tense verbs such as “jumped”
  • Follows two step directions

36 months to 48 months

  • Groups objects such as foods, clothes, etc.
  • Identifies colors
  • Able to describe the use of objects such as “fork,” “car,” etc.
  • Uses verbs that end in “ing,” such as “walking” and “talking”
  • Answers simple questions such as “What do you do when you are hungry?”
  • Match objects that have same function (as in putting a cup and plate together)
  • Speaks in sentences of five to six words
  • Understands the concepts of “same” and “different”
  • Tells stories
  • Follows three-part commands (ex. “Put the toys away, wash your hands, and come eat.”)
  • Recalls parts of a story

48 months to 60 months

  • Understands the concepts of  “big,” “little,” “tall,” “short”
  • Able to identify situations that would lead to happiness, sadness, or anger
  • Uses “a,” “an,” and “the” when speaking
  • Asks direct questions (“May I?” “Would you?”)
  • Wants explanations of “why” and “how”
  • Relates a simple experience she has had recently
  • Often prefer playing with other children to playing alone, unless deeply involved in a solitary task
  • Speaks sentences of more than five words
  • Uses future tense

For further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

References

http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/growth/aaslm.html

http://www.speech-language-therapy.com/devel2.htm

http://giftedkids.about.com/od/gifted101/p/milestones.htm