Writing the Letters of the Alphabet!

Fun Ways to Teach Your Child How to Write the Letters of the Alphabet

By: Super Duper® Handy Handouts!®

 

One of the most exciting things preschoolers and kindergarteners learn is how to write the alphabet—and their own names! Correctly writing uppercase and lowercase letters requires visual skills, fine-motor skills such as hand grip, hand-eye coordination, good posture, focus…and practice! There are many fun ways to help a child learn to form the letters of the alphabet. Here are some “handy” tools and tips:

AbcChalk—Write a letter using chalk on the driveway or a chalkboard. Have the child trace your letter then try to write the letter by him/herself. To increase the difficulty, you can draw an outline of the letter by making small marks, such as dots, in the shape of the letter. Have the child connect the marks.

Sand AlphabetSand table or the beach—Write a letter in wet or dry sand using your finger/hand or a stick. Have the child trace your letter and try writing the letter without assistance.

Dry beans, cereal, or pasta—Give the child a piece of paper with a “bubble letter” written or traced on it. Put glue inside the lines of the letter. Have the child fill in the letter by placing dry beans, cereal, or pasta on the glue. You can hang these up when they dry to create a letter wall or put them on the refrigerator.

Sandpaper—Use a die-cut machine to cut out (or trace and cut out) the alphabet on pieces of sandpaper. The child can trace the cutouts with his/her fingers to feel the shape of each letter.

Glitter, cinnamon, or sugar—Put a generous amount of glitter, cinnamon, or sugar on a baking sheet. Have the child write a letter with his/her finger. Let him/her “shake out” the letter after he/she writes it.

Air—Use large motions to “draw” a letter in the air with your finger/arm. Ask the child to mimic you. You can use hand-over-hand assistance (putting your hand over the child’s ha
nd and moving together).

Dry-erase board—Have the child trace/write a letter on a dry-erase board. Use a different color for each letter.

Teacher writing on whiteboard, looking back at classPaint—Help the child paint a letter with finger paint or with a paintbrush. Use your foot as a fun alternative!

Alphabet biscuit in wooden trayCookies—Buy cookie cutters in the shapes of the letters of the alphabet. Make cookie dough, and then cut the dough with the cookie cutters. Help the child spell words such as “cat,” “Mom,” “Dad,” etc. with the baked cookies.

Highlighter—Use a highlighter to write the child’s name on a piece of paper. Have the child use a pencil to trace the letters. For a different approach, use black construction paper with light-colored chalk or with a marker or pen that writes on black paper.

Mirror Exercises to Help Articulation

Mirror Exercises

Many kids with articulation problems do not understand how to move their mouths to make sounds correctly. Speaking in front of a mirror can help a child to see how his/her mouth moves when he/she makes particular sounds. You can articulate each sound slowly and correctly to model proper positioning for your child and demonstrate the differences in the mirror.

At Christine Wilson’s speech clinic, she uses mirror exercises with many of her patients. Both Christine and patients who use this technique find it very helpful! This is an exercise parents can practice at home as well. Sit in front of a mirror with your child and practice saying some words and sounds that your child has difficulties with. The mirror will let your child see how the position of their mouth influences their pronunciation of sounds. They will also be able to see the correct position of the mouth (your presentation of the sound) and compare the correct model to their own.

Give it a try at home! And if you think your child needs help with his/her articulation, give Christine Wilson a call!

Aural Rehabilitation

What did you say?What is Aural Rehabilitation Intervention?

Intervention services are provided to improve the communication abilities of an individual with a hearing loss. Aural rehabilitation interventions are conducted by appropriately credentialed and trained speech-language pathologists, possibly supported by speech-language pathology assistants under appropriate supervision.

Speech-language pathologists may perform these interventions as members of collaborative teams that include an audiologist, the individual, family/caregivers, and other relevant persons (e.g., educators, medical personnel).

Intervention is designed to—

  • capitalize on strengths and address weaknesses related to hearing loss that affect communication;
  • facilitate the individual’s activities and participation by assisting the person to acquire new receptive and expressive communication skills and strategies;
  • modify contextual factors to reduce barriers and enhance facilitators of successful communication and participation, and to provide appropriate accommodations and other supports, as well as training in how to use them.

Depending on assessment results and age of the patient/client, intervention addresses the following: 

  • Early communication development, auditory training, and emergent literacy.
  • Comprehension, and production of language in oral, signed, or written modalities; speech and voice production; auditory training; speech reading; multimodal (e.g., visual, auditory-visual, and tactile) training; communication strategies; education; and counseling.
  • Performance in both clinical and natural (e.g., play, educational, vocational) environments.
  • Short- and long-term functional communication goals and specific objectives determined from assessment.

All of this information can be found on the ASHA website at asha.org!

Valentines Speech Games

Here are some fun Valentine-themed games to play on February 14th!

Try playing a game of BINGO which requires matching, naming, and articulation.

https://livespeaklove.com/2012/02/11/valentines-day-activities/

Play a game of Mad Libs for older kids which requires them to think of parts of speech. Have them read the story at the end to practice sentence formation and storytelling.

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-10-00-11-am

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/sites/default/files/field_file/valentines-day-mad-lib.pdf

This game could be customized in many ways. Play a game of counting or matching with the candy hearts. Let your child put a candy on the board when they say a sound or word correctly and see who can fill up the entire board the fastest!

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-11-39-06-am

http://erin-specialeducation.blogspot.jp/2013/02/valentines-day-candy-heart-graph.html?m=1

Cerebral Palsy and How Speech Therapy Can Help

What is Cerebral Palsy?
ce·re·bral pal·syCollege Student with Disability
ˌserəbrəl ˈpôlzē/ (IPA transcription)
is a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.
There are three types of Cerebral Palsy:
  • Spastic– Children with spastic cerebral palsy usually struggle with slow, imprecise oral movements that require a lot of effort. Their speech often sounds slurred and their voice sounds tight or hoarse.
  • Athetoid– Those who have athetoid cerebral palsy often have a hard time controlling their face and tongue muscles. They also have difficulty controlling their breathing and vocal chords and have problems with eating and drooling.
  • Ataxic– “Scanning” speech, which is speaking in a monotone voice with breathy sounds, is common among children with ataxic cerebral palsy. Their speech is often marked by pauses and accelerations and they also have difficulty swallowing.
How Does This Affect Speech?
Cerebral Palsy often has damage to language centers in the brain that are responsible for controlling speech. The severity of damage will depend on the child’s language development, ranging anywhere from mild to severe
How Can Speech Therapy Help?
Speech therapy is advised immediately after your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This means, therapy may begin when the child is an infant. The sooner therapy begins, the brain starts to make crucial connections that cannot be made later in life. The benefit of speech therapy is that the child will learn adaptive and compensatory strategies to communicate. Children with Cerebral Palsy often face other developmental delays, but many have talents and abilities they cannot properly express because of speech and communication issues.
 Eating and Swallowing.
Children with cerebral palsy who have difficulty eating, chewing and swallowing may also have a problem with normal growth and maintaining a healthy weight. Speech therapy can help with these issues, making it easier for the child to get the proper nutrition and hydration they need. This can improve their overall quality of life and increase their independence.
For all of this and more information visit these websites:

Help Your Child Focus

reading-and-writing

Is your child having trouble staying focused on speech homework or general tasks? Try these suggestions to help your child stay focused!

Keep It Short

Try breaking a 30-minute task into three 10-minute tasks. This will help your child not get too tired or discouraged. Young children typically concentrate for somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the difficulty level of the task. Keeping tasks short will help your kids be more alert and have better accuracy!

Get Moving

Get your kids moving before they tackle some brainwork. Let them play outside for 30 minutes or do some jumping jacks at the table before they start their homework. Have them take regular breaks to stretch as well.

Use A Timer

Set a timer so that your child will not be constantly checking the clock. Knowing that they only have to work for a short time will also help your kids stay on track. Let them take a short break or move around when the timer goes off.

Remove Distractions

Instead of letting your child eat a snack while doing homework, try giving it to them before! This way, the will have energy to finish that homework. Another option is to give them a snack as a treat after the task/time is up. Don’t let them sit in front on the tv or computer as this can be a huge distraction as well.

Make a List

Making a list can help your kids feel more productive. Let them cross off the list or check off the box once they complete the activity. The key is to not make the list too long or it can get overwhelming.

Kept It Positive

Once your kids have worked for a specific amount of time or have crossed something off their list, provide some positive verbal reinforcement. Offer specific praise that focuses on their progress, not just their results. Use “I’m proud of you for working hard and not giving up on your worksheet” instead of a general “Good job.”

 Work Together

If your child is having trouble staying on task, try working on the activity with them. Once they are focused, try sitting and reading your own book at the table with them. Then try simply being in the same room. Set a good example and gradually decrease your attention and your child will learn to focus by themselves!