March is National Reading Month, so to celebrate raising awareness of this crucial life skill we’ll discuss the links between speech and language development and early literacy skills. A number of skills that would fall under the speech and language umbrella are enormously important to the development of early literacy. What can parents can do to promote early literacy in their children, from 12 months (or even earlier!) through pre-adolescence? We’ll discuss that too. You may already actively do some or all of these things with your child(ren), but let’s explore some evidence-based lessons as you continue to stimulate your child’s reading development. Learning to read and to ♥ love reading ♥ is a childhood-long project for both children and parents and the work you do as a parent and this post aims to be another support for this noble endeavor.
Play Speech Games on Bitsboard!
If you haven’t come across Bitsboard yet, you’re really in for a treat! It’s a great free app, available on both iPad and Android tablets; used in conjunction with Speech Buddies Tools, it’s a fun and productive way to squeeze in some crucial follow-up work with your child.
Do you find that your preschool-aged child is lightning fast with those computer games and tablet apps? Amazing, huh? We sure didn’t know how to do that way back when… Why not take advantage of your little computer genius’ technology proficiency by offering educational apps and games for him to play? And he can improve his speech and communication skills at the same time. Parents and teachers both can utilize the educational games, activities, and videos that support learning goals for kids at all levels. There are many apps and online resources available for your preschooler and we’ve taken the guessing game out of which ones work well.
As we discussed in an earlier blog, Apraxia of speech in children, or Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder where the child has a problem saying sounds, syllables and words. She knows what she wants to say, but her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. Many children are able to hear the words, and are able to understand what they mean, but they can’t turn what they hear into the fine-motor skill of combining consonants and vowels to form words. Fortunately, apraxia of speech in children is usually treatable with appropriate techniques.
This week, Microsoft made a big announcement that it will soon be offering Office for the iPad! This is great news for those looking to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the iPad or mobile device. This latest announcement further demonstrates the prevalence of technology in our lives presently and in the future. Can technology help dedicate time to working on speech therapy at home? Absolutely! If you have access to mobile device such as an iPad, there are many free apps and online resources that can help your child improve his or her communication skills with speech therapy at home.
Review of Articulation Test Center, by Little Bee Speech
I had the opportunity to demo and review the speech therapy app Articulation Test Center, a recently published diagnostic app developed by Little Bee Speech, the makers of Articulation Station.
First, a little background: Articulation Test Center is intended to be the diagnostic corollary to Articulation Station, the company’s flagship app and a one-stop shop for all of your articulation-related treatment needs. Articulation Test Center is that one-stop shop for all your articulation-related diagnostic needs and includes two main assessment tools: Quick Test and Full Test, the former being a screening tool either to rule out a possible articulation delay or disorder, or to use an ongoing, dynamic assessment tool throughout therapy; the latter is a more comprehensive assessment instrument that would more definitively suggest the presence or absence of an articulation delay or disorder.
Apple, Samsung, Microsoft! Technology and tech companies top the headlines these days. How about that celeb-studded “selfie” that Ellen took last night on the Oscars??? Technology has a place in all facets of our lives, and in terms of speech therapy, we thought we’d cover some of our favorite types of technology in the form of apps. Apps for a mobile device or tablet are excellent tools to help develop a child’s speech, language and cognitive skills. Technology continues to take on an increasingly important part of our daily lives. While there are seemingly endless applications available, we’ve narrowed down a few of our favorites that can be used to improve and/or maintain vocabulary, articulation, speech and language skills. These are some of our favorite apps designed to help with speech impediments in children.
Our in-depth look at tools for speech therapy turns toward non-traditional speech therapy methods today. We have touched on terrific apps for families and children with articulation disorder and sites and resources for SLP’s looking to incorporate technology into their practice. Another piece of speech therapy worth discussing are hand-held, tactile tools. Hand-held items are often effective tools for speech therapy. Tactile tools target a range of skill sets from fine and gross motor, articulation, voice and stuttering, listening and sensory skills. Tactile tools allow kids to practice speech sounds, provide appropriate sensory options and can be used in any setting, whether it be home, at a speech therapist’s office or even at school.
More and more, speech and language therapists are turning to the Internet to provide high-quality speech therapy exercises for their therapy sessions. As children (and their parents) become more proficient in technology and in particular tablets and mobile devices, therapists are presenting innovative ways to keep their therapy services current with today’s technology standards.
Get your iPads ready! Games, puzzles, stories on the go? Speech Therapy is no longer one size fits all. Recent innovations in technology provide many valuable tools for speech therapy. Apps, iPad games and gadgets offer opportunities for learning at every level of speech therapy and often help make the therapy fun. Of course, apps should not be viewed as a replacement for a comprehensive speech therapy plan, and you should always seek to contact your SLP if you are planning to use applications, games and gadgets in conjunction with your therapy sessions.