Perhaps you’ve already determined that you’d like to have your child seen by a speech pathologist and have had some of your initial questions answered. Many times your child’s speech therapy services can be delivered in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Especially for younger children (i.e. up to age 5), being “on their own turf” can really help foster rapport between your child and the clinician and make your child feel maximally comfortable as he or she works on something that may be somewhat challenging. This brief post is dedicated to providing parents with a few tips for maximizing the effectiveness of speech therapy home visits. The better prepared and knowledgeable you can be as you start the process of your home-based speech therapy, the more likely it is that your child will achieve his or her speech or language learning goals.
It can take up to about second grade for a child to acquire fluent speech that is free of articulation errors. However, certain patterns of errors can make a child less understandable to his or her communication partners. This also applies to younger children. Today I wanted to highlight some of these patterns and give you, the parent, some suggestions for improving toddler speech clarity.
The phenomenon of tongue thrust is a rather murky one. As the name implies, tongue thrust is observed when the tongue protrudes through the child’s front teeth and is mostly caused by an imbalance in the oral muscles. However, there are other causes that I will address below. Our “What is Tongue Thrust?” Speech Buddies blog post is a great place to start for understanding the basics of tongue thrust. Among speech pathologists, there exists some controversy as to its impact on speech. Some therapists insist that any open-mouth posture, including tongue thrust, is an extremely significant clinical matter and that it will have a wide-ranging on a child’s speech development and even social development. Others will contend that a true tongue thrust that can impact speech clarity is quite rare and that, in fact, almost all children exhibit some form of tongue thrust which most will grow out of; the vast majority of these children will exhibit no speech challenge whatsoever. So what is the “truth” of the matter? Like many things, it can be somewhat nuanced. This blog post is dedicated to providing some actionable advice to parents as well as some tips for either intervening to correct a tongue thrust or “watchful waiting” so that in the event that tongue thrust treatment needs to be addressed, you will be maximally empowered, as a parent, to do so.
Of all the speech sounds that Speech Buddies Tools target (namely R, S, CH, SH and L), the L sound is considered to be the earliest developing sound; in other words, of these trickier sounds that many children find difficult to accurately produce, the L sound is the one we expect them to master first. It is probably the simplest of these sounds to produce correctly from a standpoint of what the tongue and mouth has to do in order to say the sound correctly. But this sound can nonetheless present problems and this blog post is dedicated to providing parents with some crucial tips to maximizing the effectiveness of home practice, to ultimately, reduce the time it takes to see and hear your child say this sound correctly. I recommend starting with a quick look at the Speech Buddies video on L as it is a great way to first visualize for yourself what the tongue needs to do to hit the Speech Buddies Tool for L’s target and to say this sound correctly.
“Dess what Mommy?” “Where is the dod?, “When are we donna be there?” Are these familiar questions around your house? Is your son or daughter making a “d” sound in place of a “g”? Or, leaving the “g” sound out all together? If so, don’t fret. Most children under the age of five have some trouble correctly pronouncing certain sounds and words. While most children will usually mispronounce words at some point in her growth, the majority of children outgrow these mispronunciations and master correct sounds by certain ages. And, to make things even more complicated for your young child, there are two distinct sounds of “g” that he or she must perfect: a hard g and a soft g. Is there a way to help guide your child? YES! Here are some tips and tricks for teaching your child the sound of letter g.
Shark Week is here! Shark Week is here!! Sure, it’s fun to watch on TV, but what does it have to do with speech and language therapy? Actually, quite a bit. Sure, there is our good friend the Shark Buddy, but what about swimming with dolphins, riding horses or even petting a dog? Animal-assisted therapy has been gaining strength in popularity and recognition as an effective part of a therapy regime for children who have a wide range of social, language and communication disorders.
It’s time to start thinking Back to School! As parents and teachers, we want to give our kids everything they need to succeed, and at this time of year it seems easy: pencils, paper, notebooks, a backpack, maybe a lunchbox — all the tools of their trade. But it’s easy to overlook the most important things: excitement, self-esteem, self-confidence. Are there tools for that? Just like the physical tools our kids use to start their new year, emotional needs should be a priority; we want our children to step through the classroom doors with ease. Speech Buddies has been busy building an easy way to make back to school speech therapy, or anytime speech therapy, as accessible as possible…
A few weeks ago, we covered methods to help your child correctly pronounce the sound of “TH”. While the most commonly mispronounced sounds are r, l, s, ch, and sh, the sound of “F” as in “Fish” is particularly difficult for a number of people, especially young children. Are you hearing a “p” instead of an “f”? Do your fish live in a “pishbowl” instead of a “fishbowl”? While we don’t have a Speech Buddy Tool designed to treat the mispronunciation of “f,” we do have suggestions to help your child with “f” sound practice. Here are five fabulous facts and features to fix the sound of “f”.
Sometimes with younger kids, speech therapy doesn’t need to look like a traditional speech therapy classroom regimen. Instead, speech therapy can take on a more creative approach using Art. Yes — Art can be a useful tool to enhance a child’s speech and language development. Whether or not you have a child who needs help with verbal expression or auditory comprehension, there are excellent art-based activities that your child can do to engage all of his senses. And the best part — art therapy can be done at home! I know for some, even the phrase “art project” evokes a fear of mess and chaos! But, for a child in speech therapy, an art experience may be just what he needs to explore his creative side and improve his verbal and comprehension skills at the same time.