Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!! Here at Christine Wilson’s Speech Clinic we LOVE our clients, they truly make our jobs enjoyable and exciting every day. Checkout these fun therapy activities that are centered around today!!

Valentine Heart Challenge:

Take the Valentine Heart Challenge!! This activity is designed to be used with real valentine “conversation heart” candies. You can choose to use the black and white version and have the kids color in the hearts instead of using real candy.
Here is how it works:
(1) Challenge your child to say their target speech sound 100 TIMES.
(2) Give your child a copy of the Valentine Heart Challenge.
(3) Place a bowl of candies in the middle of the table.
(4) Each time they say an accurate production of their speech sound, they get a candy to place over one of the candy pictures on their sheet.
(5) Their goal is to have 100 accurate productions!!
(6) At the end of the session, enjoy your candy treats!!

Action Articulation:

This black and white printable has a Valentine’s Day theme that children can practice their articulation skills in a fun way: speech drill paired with gross motor exercises. Two different sets of activities are included. Kids love getting up and moving around while practicing their speech sounds with the various gross motor challenges!!

Words From My Heart:

February is the perfect month to remind ourselves of the importance of speaking kindly and giving positive feedback to those around us. As teachers/educators/and parents, we are role models that need to set the example for our students through our words and actions. Use this activity to share a positive message with your student/child about the qualities that make them special and unique. This activity also serves as a great way to address social skills and perspective taking—viewing how we see others as well as ourselves through the descriptions and word choices we make.

Heart Train:

How to play:
(1) Place all cards face down.
(2) Child take turns choosing cards and state at least two meanings for each word the on the chosen card.
(3) If two or more meanings are given, the child roll a dice and move the appropriate spaces.
(4) If chosen, follow the directions on the included wild cards.
(5) The first person to the end of the “heart train” is the winner!!

Valentine Game Board:

Cut out and laminate the Valentine Game Board and Game Cards. This game board can be used with any speech and language goals. Watch out!! If you land on half-eaten cupcake you have to draw a game card. The game card will give you directions on how many spaces you need to move backwards. Have fun playing a Valentine’s Game!!

 

We hope you enjoy these awesome Valentine’s Day freebies!! Remember, if you or a loved one are looking for speech therapy, contact Christine Wilson’s office today!! We are open Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

Practicing Language Skills in the Car!

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You’re about to set off on a road trip. While you’re eagerly anticipating that perfect vacation getaway, you have hours in a crowded car standing between you and your destination. The car is a great place to practice speech/language skills and strategies. Whether it’s a long or short car ride, take advantage of time spent in the car by playing some fun, language-based games!

Here are some ideas:

Categories: To play this game, one player chooses a category, such as “animals.” Every player takes a turn naming an item in the category. If a player repeats a word or is unable to name a word in the category, he/she is out. Play continues until one player remains and wins the game. To make this task more complex, have the child add more descriptive words to the category (e.g., animals with tails, animals that live in the zoo) or name animals alphabetically (eg., aardvark, bear, cat, dog, etc.).

Rhyme Time: To practice phonological awareness skills, children can practice creating rhymes for things they see from the car window or in the environment around them. For example, if a child chooses the word “tree,” other players must name some rhyming words (e.g., knee, see, me). The player who gives the most rhymes is the winner! As an added bonus, players can create rhymes using nonsense words (e.g., slee, dree). Other players take turns identifying whether the rhyming word is a real word or a nonsense word.

Cities and Syllables: As you pass through different towns, cities, or states, children can practice counting the number of syllables in that city or state’s name. For example, when passing through Idaho, the child counts or claps out three syllables. When passing through Tallahassee, the child counts/claps out four syllables. In a variation of this game, a parent chooses a particular number of syllables. Players look for words in the environment (e.g., road signs, billboards) that contain the specified number of syllables. Each player earns a point for finding a word. The player with the most points wins!

Guess It: Players take turns describing familiar items or objects (e.g., car, apple, baby). The first player chooses an object and gives three clues to describe it. All of the other players take turns guessing what the first player is describing (e.g., It is a fruit; it can be red or green; it grows on a tree). If no players guess correctly, the first player provides another clue about the object. The player who correctly identifies the mystery object earns a point and chooses the next word to describe.

Showtime: Choose age-appropriate DVDs to show children in the car. As the movie or program plays, pause the film to ask questions, such as:

Who is that character?

What do you think is going to happen next?

Where does this story take place?

When does this story take place?

How does this character feel? Why? How can you tell? When was a time that you felt that way?

Who is your favorite character? Why?

What was your favorite part of the movie? Why?

At the end of the film, have the child retell the story to another person in the car. The story should include characters, settings, chronological events, and a conclusion. Encourage the child to produce a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Apps: Educational apps that help children practice language skills are available for tablets or smartphones. Apps like Super Duper’s StoryMaker are interactive and engaging. Apps can address several domains of language: grammar, vocabulary, and social skills.

The suggested games above are great for turning a long car ride into a fun and learning experience! Playing games during long trips is a great way to expand and reinforce language skills.

What Is Aspiration?

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What Happens When You Aspirate?

Aspiration means you’re breathing foreign objects into your airways. Usually, it’s food, saliva, or stomach contents when you swallow, vomit, or experience heartburn. This is common in older adults, infants, and people who have trouble swallowing or controlling their tongue.

Most of the time aspiration won’t cause symptoms. You may experience a sudden cough as your lungs try to clear out the substance. Some people may wheeze, have trouble breathing, or have a hoarse voice after they eat, drink, vomit, or experience heartburn. You may have chronic aspiration if this occurs frequently.

What Causes Aspiration?

Some people refer to this as food “going down the wrong way.” This can happen due to reduced tongue control or poor swallowing reflexes. The average person can usually cough out a foreign object before it enters the lungs. People who experience aspiration tend to have problems with swallowing due to:

Cause Result
reduced tongue control This can fail to trigger the swallowing reflex. It tends to cause aspiration of liquids.
abnormal swallow reflex Without a swallow reflex, the food can roll and fall into the airway.
neurological disorders Some neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, cause reduced tongue control.
esophageal disorders These conditions affect the throat and swallowing abilities. They include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), dysphagia, and throat cancer.
throat surgery People who’ve had surgery or a condition that affects their larynx may have trouble swallowing. If the larynx doesn’t close tightly, food or liquids can enter the windpipe.
dental problems This can interfere with chewing or swallowing reflexes.

Silent vs. Overt Aspiration

Symptoms of aspiration usually appear after eating, drinking, vomiting, or an episode of heartburn. They can be silent or overt.

Silent aspiration usually has no symptoms and people aren’t aware that fluids or stomach contents have entered their lungs. Overt aspiration will usually cause sudden, noticeable symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or a hoarse voice.

Silent aspiration tends to occur in people with impaired senses. In these cases, drooling or changes in the sound of their breathing and talking may be clues of swallowing difficulties.

Make an appointment with the doctor if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms after eating, drinking, vomiting, or an episode of heartburn, especially if they:

  • have a neurological condition
  • recently had throat surgery
  • have throat cancer
  • problems with chewing or swallowing

What Are the Complications of Aspiration?

Aspiration increases your risk for aspiration pneumonia. This is a condition where pneumonia develops after you’ve inhaled bacteria (through food, drink, saliva, or vomit) into your lungs. Too much liquid in your lungs can also result in a pulmonary edema, which puts a strain on your lungs.

In most cases, you won’t know you’ve developed pneumonia or pulmonary edema until you experience other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing with mucus, and more.

What Increases Your Risk?

People with health problems that affect swallowing are at a higher risk for aspirating. These health conditions include:

  • impaired consciousness
  • lung disease
  • seizure
  • stroke
  • dental problems
  • dementia
  • swallowing dysfunction
  • impaired mental status
  • certain neurologic diseases
  • radiation therapy to the head and neck
  • heartburn
  • GERD

 

If you or a loved one is experiencing aspiration, consult with your healthcare provider and see if feeding therapy is right for you. If so, contact Christine Wilson today to schedule an appointment!

This information and more can be found on healthline.

Tampa Bay’s Autism 5k and Mile Fun Run!

To start off February, Tampa Bay is having their first annual 5k and one mile fun run benefitting autism awareness! This event is presented by Diversity Action Coalition (DAC), a local non-profit. All proceeds for this event will support inclusion efforts for individuals with autism and their families throughout the Tampa Bay Area. If you or you family are interested checkout the link below! Paige, our office manager, will be participating in the 5k. Good luck Paige!

https://5kforautism.racehawk.com

 

 

If you or a loved one has autism and would like speech therapy, look no further! Contact Christine Wilson‘s office today to schedule an appointment.

JSLHR Article – Premature Infants and Their Language Abilities

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Article Alert!!

Have you ever wondered how much a premature baby is effected by being born prematurely? This article from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research examined the extent to which children born prematurely catch up to their full-term peers. Did the results surprise you, or not?

 

If you are looking for speech therapy for your child, contact Christine Wilson today!

Ahoy Mateys!!

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‘Tis the week of Gasparilla here in Tampa, Florida. This Saturday the 101st Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. Following a successful invasion by the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the focus shifts to downtown Tampa. After successfully capturing the Key to the City, the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla celebrate with a victory parade. The 4.5 mile Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates has been presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla annually since 1904.

In light of this event, check out these fun pirate themed speech therapy activities!!

Pirate Articulation R-Blends: This articulation/speech sound FREEBIE comes with 5 activity coloring pages to practice the following r-blend sounds; tr, br, gr, fr, and cr.

Pirate Talk: 24 Questions or Conversation Topics focused around Pirates. Great for working with voice, fluency, or artic kids at the conversation level.

Pirate Bingo: Pirate Bingo targets listening and language skills. Product contains; 8 different BINGO boards, 20 calling cards, and a list of different ways to play the game in order to target listening & language skills.

Shiver Me Timbers: Practice short words with a CVC game, practice reading sight words, respond to pirate prompts, and sort “ch”/”sh” words in this pirate themed activity page.

 

For our friends in Tampa, if you are attending the event we hope you have a fun and safe time!!

Know the Difference Between Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy

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Introduction:

Often times, those who have suffered from an injury, accident, or a chronic condition will need weeks or months of care to recover and adapt to their new circumstances. The medical professionals who specialize in providing that long-term care are therapists. With the latest equipment and training, therapists can help guarantee the fastest possible recovery time, the lowest chance of additional complications, and the highest quality of life possible for those in their care. But what are the differences between the most common types of therapists, and who can benefit from their use?

Occupational Therapy:

Anytime you’re afflicted by an injury, disability, illness, or another condition that may affect your ability to complete day-to-day activities, an occupational therapist can help you adapt to those circumstances in order to maintain your quality of life. This often involves redesigning tasks that may have become difficult, including homemaking skills, cooking, grooming, dressing, and a variety of other common activities. Occupational therapists can also provide the therapy necessary to help alleviate the stress and emotional trauma of adjusting to these changes in lifestyle.

The types of people who can use occupational therapy vary widely. Occupational therapy for the elderly is used to help them face the challenges of aging. It’s also used to help children who may suffer developmental difficulties, or even to help a spouse cope with a progressive disease. Essentially, anytime someone can’t do the things they want or need to do in life, an occupational therapist is there to help.

Physical Therapist:

The main difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy is that a physical therapist is principally concerned with treating the source of an injury, as opposed to managing the fallout resulting from that injury. They’re specifically trained to evaluate and treat ailments affecting the muscular, skeletal, and nervous system.

Using a variety of techniques, including ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and hands-on treatment, they work to help patients recover from their condition while simultaneously working to prevent re-injury during rehabilitation. For example, when a physical therapist works with someone who has broken their leg, their primary goal is to recover their mobility and range of motion, while also ensuring a rapid recovery. By contrast, an occupational therapist would be more concerned with helping that individual learn to adapt to living with a broken bone for an extended period of time.

Physical therapy is used in a wide variety of settings. Injured athletes use physical therapists to rehabilitate their performance. Those suffering from neurological conditions like Parkinson’s may use physical therapy to help maintain their motor function. Orthopedic doctors often use them to help people recover from skeletal injuries. Applied to geriatrics, physical therapists are often employed to help improve balance and prevent falls.

Speech Therapist:

Like the name suggests, a speech therapist provides support for a variety of speech and language issues. Natural aging can result in a variety of illnesses, neurological difficulties, and many problems with the body’s most basic processes, including swallowing.  A speech therapist’s is trained to help their patients improve their ability to communicate and eat.

Because the ability to communicate with your loved ones and swallow food safely is essential to maintaining a high quality of life, speech therapists are among the most important specialists available to the elderly. They’re often used following a stroke, infection, brain injury, lung disease, or similar condition.

This type of therapist also can provide treatment for a variety of cognitive-linguistic impairments. Where physical therapists would help an individual learn to walk again after suffering leg trauma, a speech language therapist might help someone overcome a cognitive impairment by helping them break down a task to make it more manageable, re-learn how to use speech muscles, and ultimately overcome a speech deficit. To that end, speech therapy is used by adults who may have been afflicted by conditions like motor neuron diseases, Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, a brain injury, stroke, and many others.

Therapy for Everyone

Medical rehabilitation has become a highly individualized process. Just as there are doctors specifically for the foot, eye, bones, and so on, there are therapists who train to become specialists for incredibly specific areas of medicine. Very often, speech and occupational therapy, or occupational and physical therapy, can be used in combination to provide the best possible care. Thankfully, with the right specialists on the job, you can treat nearly every aspect of an ailment, from the underlying physical cause to the difficulty of coping with changes in lifestyle.

 

If you are looking for a speech therapist, give Christine Wilson‘s office a call today to schedule an appointment!

Article from Griswold Home Care.