Dyslexia Awareness Month!

dyslexia-awareness-month

Dyslexia is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols. Dyslexics think in pictures, struggle with language and may even struggle with sequencing. Listed below are a few activities you can do at home to help your child improve their learning skills and gain confidence.

Activities for Children with Dyslexia

Clay models for non-picture words – Dyslexic kids are visual learners and need images to connect to the words they are reading. Using Play dough or modeling clay to form letters, words, correct reversals in numbers and in letters can provide the visual tactile connection they need.

Write note cards – Again, as visual and tactile students, note cards provide them something to look at while also giving them something to hold. Making and reading note cards aloud, helps cement the learning, while engaging employs their motor and auditory skills.

Make sand trays – Sand trays are simply tray-like containers that contain sand, beans or shaving cream. Like clay models, sand trays allow children to spell words or draw pictures in the sand, engaging their tactile and visual skills.

Audio books – Recorded stories are great for children who may struggle to read the words in a book. While they continue to develop their reading skills, they can enjoy reading while listening. Read and record a favorite book that they can follow along with, rent from the library or download some family favorites.

Hands-On Museum Visits – While we want all children to develop strong literacy skills, not all learning comes from the written word. Hands-on museums provide hands-on learning experiences and interactive activities that visual children thrive on.

iPad Apps: Along with hands-on activities, there are some iPad Apps that help children improve their reading abilities. These are two, of many, that work well for children with dyslexia:

Prizmo: When children struggle with reading it can affect all of their homework assignments. This app can help them keep up. Prizmo allows users to scan any type of text document and the program reads it back aloud.

The Writing Machine: Because dyslexic kids are highly visual, connecting images with words is highly beneficial. The Writing Machine App helps children develop literacy skills by correlating pictures and words, reading text and sounding out letters.

If you have any questions or concerns contact Speech-Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson.

Posted by Emily K. Hulse

How to Make Articulation Practice Fun at Home

Ways to Make Speech Homework FUN!

Does your child have a hard time focusing when practicing articulation skills at home? Here is a list of games and activities that will help make practicing articulation skills fun for your child!

1. Board games: This is a classic way of drilling with flashcards. This can be easily implemented by parents at home, as most children own some type of board game. The parents should also play the board game with the child so it is more motivating and special for the child. The parent should also draw an articulation flashcard and say the word to provide the child with auditory reinforcement of the correct production. The parent might want to say a word incorrectly on purpose once in a while so the child can catch him or her and correct the error – this teaches self-monitoring, and children love it when adults make mistakes and they can correct them.

2. Memory card game: This is another simple way of making speech homework more fun. The parents simply use the flashcards provided by a speech and language pathologist to play a memory game. The child uncovers the flashcard and tries to get a match while doing articulation drills.

3. Hopscotch: Parents can play this game in two different ways. One way is to actually draw a hopscotch court with a chalk outside or to draw one on the piece of paper. The child will throw a rock or a paper wad (when playing the paper hopscotch) then say the word multiple times from the flashcard determined by the number the rock or the paper ball ended on.

4. Bucket ball: Parents can play this game using multiple small buckets or cups. The targeted words are written on pieces of paper that are rolled into small balls. The child draws a paper ball, opens it and reads (or repeats) the targeted word. When produced correctly, the child can crumple the paper back into a ball and throw it into one of the buckets/cups.

5. Egg hunt: Parents can write targeted words on pieces of paper and put the pieces inside plastic eggs. The child is asked to find the hidden eggs. Upon opening an egg, the child reads (or repeats) the words inside the egg.

6. Lights out: Parents hide flashcards or written words on pieces of paper in a dark room and ask the child to find them using a flashlight. The child drills with the found words.

7. Make up silly stories: This can be played by the whole family. Each family member draws a few flashcards or written words and makes up his or her own story. (Older children can write them down.) The family meets after a few minutes to listen to all the stories. The stories can be audio or video recorded so the child then can retell each story for more practice.

8. Word challenge: This also can be played by the whole family. Each member is asked to come up with as many words as possible, starting or ending with given sound, within two minutes.

9. Make up silly songs: Similar to making up silly stories but this time the child and/or family are asked to make up songs.

10. Design your flashcards: This art project involves creating personalized flashcards with targeted words. The parents and children can draw, color in or cut out pictures from the magazines to create their own cool flashcards. Parents and children can then trade their cards to practice different phonemes (sounds) at the carrier phrase level (e.g., “ I will trade my rocket card with you,” etc).

11. Design your own board game: This is another family art project. Children can create their own board games by drawing a board game inside a folder and decorating it with stickers, etc. The child plays his or her own game while drawing flashcards.

12. Guess what?: The parent describes the targeted words and the child guesses the word (for example, “It is a yellow animal that quacks”).

13. Draw or act out words: Same as above, but the targeted words are acted out or drawn.

14. Design your own magazine: The child and parents can use the articulation flashcards provided by a speech and language pathologist or their own materials to create a magazine. The child is asked to come up with different short “articles” containing the targeted words.

15. Create your own newsroom: Similar to the above, except the child is video recorded telling news stories involving targeted words. For example, the child could be asked to come up with news stories using the words “raccoons,” “rake” and “rain.”

If you have any questions, click here to contact Speech-Language Pathologist Christine Wilson.

Important Milestones: Your Child at Four Years

 

How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.

Check the milestones your child has reached by his or her 4th birthday. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional

  • Enjoys doing new things
  • Plays “Mom” and “Dad”
  • Is more and more creative with make-believe play
  • Would rather play with other children than by himself/herself
  • Cooperates with other children
  • Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in

Language and Communication

  • Knows some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she”
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “Wheels on the Bus”
  • Tells stories
  • Can say first and last name
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
  • Names some colors and some numbers
  • Understands the idea of counting
  • Starts to understand time
  • Remembers parts of a story
  • Understands the idea of “same” and “different”
  • Draws a person with 2 to 4 body parts
  • Uses scissors
  • Starts to copy some capital letters
  • Plays board or card games
  • Tells you what he thinks is going to happen next in a book

Movement and Physical Development

  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds
  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time
  • Pours, cuts with supervision, and mashes own food

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Can’t jump in place
  • Has trouble scribbling
  • Shows no interest in interactive games or make-believe
  • Ignores other children or doesn’t respond to people outside the family
  • Resists dressing, sleeping, and using the toilet
  • Can’t retell a favorite story
  • Doesn’t follow 3-part commands
  • Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
  • Doesn’t use “me” and “you” correctly
  • Speaks unclearly
  • Loses skills he once had

If you have any questions or concerns, click here to contact Speech-language Pathologist Christine Wilson.

Tips for Practicing Articulation Sounds

 

Reading is one of the best ways for your child to improve language, grammar and vocabulary. The following books are great for helping children practice their articulation sounds. These books are not intended to replace therapy with a speech-language pathologist. This blog is simply a valuable tip for home programming. We have included two book suggestions under each articulation sound. If your child is having difficulties with certain sounds, look for the sound or sounds below and check out the suggested reading!

Overall Favorite Books to Help With Articulation Skills: 

  • Charlie Who Couldn’t Say His Name by: Davene Fahy
  • Silent Letters Loud and Clear by: Robin Pulver
  • Wodney Wat’s Wobot by: Helen Lester
  • Speech Class Rules: An Introduction to Speech Therapy for Children by: Ronda Wojcicki
  • The War Between the Vowels and the Consonants by: Pricilla Turner
  • Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by: Shel Silverstein
  • Pacifiers Are Not Forever by: Elizabeth Verdick
  • Taking Speech Disorders to School by: John E. Bryant
  • Willow’s Whispers by: Lana Button

Vowels/Word Families/Phonics:

  • The Vowel Family: A Tale of Lost Vowels by: Sally Walker
  • Uh-Oh! by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon

/p/:

  • Pop Up! by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • Caps For Sale by: Esphyr Slobodkina

/b/: 

  • Oh! A Bubble… by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • Boom Bah! By: Phil Cummings
  • More Bugs in Boxes by: David Carter
  • Down by the Bay by: Raffi
  • Baby Beluga by: Raffi

/w/:

  • Wishy-Washy Day by: Joy Cowley
  • Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Christmas by: Joy Cowley

/m/: 

  • Mama More… by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • Goodnight Moon by: Margaret Wise Brown

/n/: 

  • Bunny Needs a Nap by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • Know Your Noses by: June English

/ng/ 

  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by: Eileen Christelow
  • Ding Dong Pizza by: Frances Ann Ladd

/t/: 

  • Tom’s Toes Can… by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • The Foot Book by: Dr. Seuss

/d/: 

  • Daddy Do by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • Digging Up Dinosaurs by: Aliki

/k/: 

  • Cow Cake by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • Fox in Socks by: Dr. Seuss by: Patricia Thomas

/g/: 

  • Too Big! by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • My Gum is Gone by: Richard P. Yurcheshen

/h/: 

  • Hannah Sighs by: Lavina Pereira and Michelle Solomon
  • Hop on Pop by: Dr. Seuss

/f/: 

  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by: Dr. Seuss
  • Flip and Flop by: Dawn Apperley

/v/: 

  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake by: Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • If You Take A Mouse to the Movies by: Laura Joffe Numeroff

/th/: 

  • Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose by: Dr. Seuss
  • And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street by: Dr. Seuss

/sh/:

  • Shhhh by: Kevin Henkes
  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by: Dr. Seuss

/ch/: 

  • Chicky Chicky Chook Chook by: Cathy MacLennan
  • Chicken Cheeks by: Michael Ian Black

/dg/: 

  • The Giant Jam Sandwich by: John Vernon Lord
  • The Animal Hedge by: Paul Fleischman

/s/&/s/ blends

  • She Sells Seashells: A Tongue Twister Story by: Grace Kim
  • The Singing Birds’ Show by: J. Elizabeth Mills

/z/: 

  • If I Ran the Zoo by: Dr. Seuss
  • Whose Nose and Toes? by: John Butler

/l/: 

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By: Bill Martin and Eric Carle
  • Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by: Bernard Waber

/r/: 

  • Harriet’s Horrible Hair Day by: Dawn Lesley Stewart
  • The Pirate Who Couldn’t Say Arrr! by: Angie Neal

/j/:

  • See the Yak Yak by: Charles Ghigna

If you have any questions or concerns, please click here to contact Christine Wilson.

Important Milestones: Your Child at 3 Years

 

Posted by Emily K. Hulse

Check the milestones your child has reached by his or her 3rd birthday. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

What most children do at this age:

Social and Emotional:
  • Copies adults and friends
  • Shows affection for friends without prompting
  • Takes turns in games
  • Shows concern for crying friend
  • Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”
  • Shows a wide range of emotions
  • Separates easily from mom and dad
  • May get upset with major changes in routine
  • Dresses and undresses self
Language/Communication:
  • Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps
  • Can name most familiar things
  • Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
  • Says first name, age, and sex
  • Names a friend
  • Says words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
  • Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time
  • Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving):
  • Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
  • Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces
  • Understands what “two” means
  • Copies a circle with pencil or crayon
  • Turns book pages one at a time
  • Builds towers of more than 6 blocks
  • Screws and unscrews jar lids or turns door handle
Movement/Physical Development:
  • Climbs well
  • Runs easily
  • Pedals a tricycle (3-wheel bike)
  • Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step
Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
  • Falls down a lot or has trouble with stairs
  • Drools or has very unclear speech
  • Can’t work simple toys (such as peg boards, simple puzzles, turning handle)
  • Doesn’t speak in sentences
  • Doesn’t understand simple instructions
  • Doesn’t play pretend or make-believe
  • Doesn’t want to play with other children or with toys
  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Loses skills he once had

It’s important to notify your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay for this age.

If you have any questions contact Speech Therapist, Christine Wilson.

Important Milestones: Your Child at 2 Years

 

Posted by Emily K. Hulse

How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by his or her 2nd birthday. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

What most children do at this age:

Social and Emotional

  • Copies others, especially adults and older children
  • Gets excited when with other children
  • Shows more and more independence
  • Shows defiant behavior (doing what he/she has been told not to)
  • Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games

Language/Communication

  • Points to things or pictures when they are named
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts
  • Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation
  • Points to things in a book

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort shapes and colors
  • Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
  • Plays simple make-believe games
  • Builds towers of 4 or more blocks
  • Might use one hand more than the other
  • Follows two-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
  • Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog

Movement/Physical Development

  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Begins to run
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on
  • Throws ball overhand
  • Makes or copies straight lines and circles

Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Doesn’t use 2-word phrases (for example, “drink milk”)
  • Doesn’t know what to do with common things, like a brush, phone, fork, spoon
  • Doesn’t copy actions and words
  • Doesn’t follow simple instructions
  • Doesn’t walk steadily
  • Loses skills she once had

It’s important to notify your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay for this age.

If you have any questions contact Speech Therapist, Christine Wilson.