3… 2…1… Action! Using Videos to Develop Speech and Language Skills

3… 2…1… Action!

Using Videos to Develop Speech and Language Skills

Handy Handouts®

Try making a video! Cameras are everywhere, including smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices. Kids can create videos to address their articulation, fluency, voice, and language goals.

Ways to Incorporate Videos into Speech Therapy:


  • Write and produce a play! Make sure the dialogue includes words that contain your child’s targeted sound(s). Children will love to watch themselves on screen!
  • Film your child practicing their targeted sounds at the word, phrase, sentence, or conversational level. They may read from decks of articulation cards, stories, or textbooks. Review the video with him/her, and provide feedback regarding his or her productions (e.g.,”You did a good job putting your tongue between your teeth to make the /th/ sound”).
  • If your child is able, let him/her take data! Allow them to review his or her video recording and take data on his or her own productions. The parent and child should record data, marking whether each production of the sound was correct or incorrect. The parent can then compare the two data sets, and discuss any differences in data. Save and review previously recorded speech samples with your child. It can be rewarding for your kids to see and hear their own progress over time.


  • Help your child create a video that informs his or her classmates/siblings/friends about stuttering. Topics could include types of dysfluency, myths regarding stuttering, or famous people who stutter.
  • Create a video of your child engaging in a conversation. Review the video with him/her, and discuss the types and frequency of his/her dysfluency.


  • Children can create videos to educate their classmates/siblings/friends about good vocal hygiene.
  • Make a video of yourchild producing connected speech (e.g., conversing with classmate or retelling a story). Review the video with your child and discuss whether or not he/she used appropriate pitch and volume.


  • Create videos to model good social skills, such as maintaining eye contact, staying on topic, and taking turns in conversation. Children may also make a video to demonstrate appropriate paralinguistic features, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and volume.
  • If your child is struggling with a particular social situation, record and review a video of your child role-playing that situation.
  • Using a graphic organizer, allow children to develop a narrative (including setting, character, problem, events, solution, and closing). Create a video of your child retelling/acting out the narrative. Review the video, discussing all of the story elements.

There are many fun ways for parents to practice Speech Therapy at home! 

Speech-language Pathologist, Christine Wilson, requires her patients to practice home programming, on top of attending speech therapy sessions weekly. We see the most progress in the patient’s who come to speech therapy at least twice a week and those who practice home programming. A home program does not need to be a major time commitment on the parents part, but it IS important. Try to practice with your child for 15 to 30 minutes a day. Even five or ten minutes every day will benefit your child. We work as a team at Christine Wilson’s Speech Clinic! Practicing language skills at home will bring your child closer to their speech goal/s!

If you would like to schedule a speech and language evaluation today, CLICK HERE!

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, which is a national campaign to increase public education around the language disorder and to recognize the numerous people who are living with or caring for people with aphasia.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke can have various communication effects, one of which is aphasia. Stroke is the most common cause of aphasia, which is a language disorder that affects the ability to communicate.

Three types of aphasia

    • Global aphasia – All parts of vocal and written interaction are affected. Both writing and reading is impaired, as well as speech and listening.
    • Fluent aphasia – Speech is hard to understand. The ability to speak is not impaired, but the words spoken make no sense. Writing ability is usually effected in the same way, the writing is flowing but what is actually written is nonsense. The person suffering from fluent aphasia may become annoyed and irritated if someone has trouble understanding them as they don’t always realize they have a language disorder. As for understanding, people with fluent aphasia more commonly have problems with speech than writing.
    • Non-fluent aphasia – With this type, speech is slower and hesitant, the patient also struggles to get their words out. Sentences are rarely completed, and even though some words are missing, what they are saying can be made sense of. Again writing ability is usually the same as speech. Someone with non-fluent aphasia has more problems with grammar than words alone. People with this kind of aphasia are more aware of their disorder and may get annoyed when they struggle with words.

The visible signs that can be noticed on someone with aphasia are weakness or paralysis on one side of the face or body.

What Causes Aphasia?

The part of the brain that controls speech and language recognition is referred to as the language center. It is normally in the part of the brain opposite to side of the hand you write with (e.g. left side of brain for the right handed). These parts of the brain are known as Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Aphasia is caused when any of these parts of the brain or the neural pathways connecting them are damaged. This can be a result of the following:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraine
  • Brain tumor
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s

How is Aphasia Diagnosed?

As the number of people that have aphasia after suffering a stroke is high, a test for aphasia is usually carried out soon after the stroke.  The test is normally carried out by a language therapist and would include some basic exercises to help them assess the patient’s language skills, such as:

  • Naming objects that begin with a certain letter
  • Reading or writing
  • Holding a conversation
  • Understanding directions and commands

What are the Treatment Options for Aphasia?

The only way to really treat aphasia is with SLT (Speech and Language Therapy). It is not usually viable for someone with aphasia to completely regain the level of communication they had before the disorder, nevertheless SLT can lead to a massive improvement, even with global aphasia.

The results aimed to be achieved from SLT are:

  • Better use of the residual language abilities.
  • Improved language skills, by relearning them
  • Ability to communicate in a different way, making up for missing words in speech

How do you communicate with someone that has Aphasia?

  • Try to keep sentences short and simple and avoid questions that require a complicated answer.
  • Do not change the subject of conversation too quickly.
  • Minimise distracting background noises.
  • When the person with aphasia is replying, try not to pressure them for a response and give them plenty of time to answer.
  • Try not to correct their language as they may find this frustrating.
  • Remember that their disorder is affecting the way they communicate, their tone may not necessarily reflect their mood.
  • Try to keep a notepad/some paper and a pen to hand, this may help you or them to communicate.

How can Aphasia be prevented?

With the main cause of aphasia being a stroke, taking measures to avoid having one would lower the risk of aphasia. Precautions that can be taken to reduce stroke risk are:

  • regular exercise
  • eating healthily
  • monitoring and controlling blood pressure
  • avoiding tobacco use
  • keeping alcohol consumption low
  • managing stress

If you would like to schedule a Speech-Language Evaluation today, click here!

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), or the former but still acceptable term “Sensory Integration” (SI), is a term referring to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are eating pancakes, riding a skateboard, or reading a book, your successful completion of any activity requires processing many different sensations.

A Sensory Processing Disorder exists when sensory signals cannot organize themselves into appropriate responses. Pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist, A. Jean Ayres, PhD, compares SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” which prevents parts of the brain from receiving the information it needs to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses which, in turn, can create severe challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, and school failure are a few ways SPD can affect someone that does not receive effective treatment.

Sensory Processing Disorder can affect people in only one sense–just touch, sight, or movement–or in multiple senses. One person with SPD may over-respond to the touch sensation and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, food, or other sensory input as unbearable. Another might under-respond in reaction to stimulation – even pain or extreme hot and cold. Other children might exhibit appetites that are in perpetual overdrive for certain sensations.

Children receiving impaired messages of sensory processing from their muscles and joints might experience poor posture
and motor skills and, as a result, may have low self-esteem, experience social/emotional issues, and struggle academically.
This disability is not an obvious one. People unaware of this disorder, including parents and educators, may label SPD children as clumsy, uncooperative, belligerent, disruptive, or “out of control”. Without an appropriate diagnosis and therapy, anxiety, depression, aggression, or other behavior problems can follow.

However, most children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) are as intelligent as their peers and are sometimes intellectually gifted; the wiring of their brain is just different. Those with SPD must learn alternate ways (through therapy) to help them adapt to how they process information, and they must acquire leisure activities that suit their own sensory processing needs.

Children with SPD often receive a misdiagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and begin a regiment of medication that is not addressing their needs. Examine the symptoms of ADHD and SPD side by side, and you will see some striking parallels, as well as several disparities. The two conditions do not always go hand in hand, but they can and often do. Consult physicians and therapists who are knowledgeable about both.

Preliminary research suggests that SPD is something we inherit. If so, the causes of SPD are in our genetic material. Prenatal and birth complications have also been implicated, and environmental factors may be involved. As with any developmental and/or behavioral disorder, the causes of SPD are likely to be the result of factors that are both genetic and environmental. Only with more research will it be possible to identify the role of each.

http://www.handyhandouts.com • © 2013 Super Duper® Publications

Guidelines for the Development of Self-Feeding Skills

Guidelines for the Development of Self-Feeding Skills


Self-care skills are the basic tasks we perform every day. Self-care skills are also known as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). The self-care skills children learn early on are self-feeding, dressing, bathing, and grooming. This handout will give a basic guideline for the development of self-feeding skills.

Self-feeding provides a fun and easy way for a child to explore different sensory experiences and feels. This is a great opportunity for the child to play with and feel crumbly, rough, wet, squishy, spongy, and slippery textures. Foods also provide different sounds, smells, and tastes. Self-feeding can be messy, but being allowed to be messy will help a child gain confidence, become comfortable with different textures, and develop strength and coordination in the hands and fingers.

In addition, using forks, spoons, and cups are some of the earliest opportunities for a child to learn how to use tools. Learning to use tools is important as the child grows and starts to draw with crayons, write with pencils, and cut with scissors.

A child who is practicing and learning self-feeding skills is also improving:

  • Strength in his/her back, arms, and hands.
  • Using both arms and hands together.
  • Coordination in his/her arms and hands.
  • Eye-hand coordination.

    Drinking from a Bottle/Cup



2 to 4 months

Moves hand/hands up to the bottle/breast while feeding

6 to 9 months

Holds a bottle with both hands Uses a cup with help

12 to 15 months

Holds a cup with both hands Takes a few sips without help

15 to 18 months

Uses a straw

2 to 3 years

Drinks from a cup (no lid) without spilling




6 to 9 months

Wants to help with feeding
Starts holding and mouthing large crackers/cookies
Plays with spoon; grabs/bangs spoon; puts both ends in mouth

9 to 13 months

Finger feeds soft foods and foods that melt quickly Enjoys finger feeding

12 to 14 months

Dips spoon in food
Moves spoon to mouth but is messy and spills

15 to 18 months

Scoops food with a spoon and feeds self

18 to 24 months

Wants to feed himself/herself

2 to 3 years

Stabs food with fork
Uses spoon without spilling

3 to 5 years

Eats by himself/herself

Children with impaired motor skills and/or developmental disabilities may have a harder time learning these skills. Let the child’s abilities guide the speed they acquire self-feeding skills and gradually progress from the simpler skills to more complex ones.


Imitation and play can also help children develop self-feeding skills. Include the following games/activities into your child’s day to help your child learn to feed himself/herself.

  • Scoop and pour water in the bathtub using stacking or measuring cups.
  • Use a spoon to scoop marshmallows.
  • Use scoops and shovels in a sandbox.
  • Put small objects through holes into containers.
  • Play with play dough—scooping, stabbing, cutting, and pinching pieces.
  • Pretend to feed a baby doll.
  • Have imaginary tea parties, picnics, or meals

© 2008 Super Duper® Publications • http://www.superduperinc.com

Speech Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson specializes in Pediatric Feeding/Swallowing/Oral Motor Impairments.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an evaluation today, contact Christine Wilson Speech Language Pathology.