Halloween Special: Overcoming Speech & Language Problems Through the Art of Reading

Halloween Special: Overcoming Speech & Language Problems Through the Art of Reading

At Home Ideas Games and Activities Language Building Skills Language Development Reading

Childhood is the best time to take preventive measures to reduce the chance of speech and language problems, along with of course, carving out a love for reading and absorbing knowledge. Reading is crucial for speech development and more importantly, developing a love for words and speech. 

It is an understatement to say that introducing your child to books as early as possible will help with speech and language development. It can also help children overcome speech delay or other speech challenges. 

Let’s explore some effective strategies to make reading time fun, along with some amazing Halloween books for the spooky season:

Colorful Visuals 

Kids ranging between the ages of 8 months to 2 years are attracted to colorful visuals and dynamic cartoons of mystical creatures, and these are essential to hook their attention. A consistent habit of reading will not only stimulate their visual creativity, but it will also introduce them to new words and sounds to help with speech construction. 

Dramatic Readings

If you really want to put an effort into making reading time fun for your child, focus on being as dramatic as you possibly can. Create dramatic sounds, the appropriate oomphs and aahs to keep their attention hooked. It’s also best to pick out books that have rhyming words to add a poetic effect. 

Encourage Repetition

Experts believe that repeating the same stories over and over again is a great exercise to overcome speech and language problems as it will sharpen sentence construction and vocabulary learning skills of the child. Allow the child to pick out a favorite story that they love repeating. 

Top 5 Halloween Books to Read to your Child 

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney

Great for older kids, the 11th book in the widely popular Wimpy Kid Series, Double Down introduces a spooky and thrilling Halloween theme. It narrates the common fears of a little boy, for instance, ghosts in the closet, monsters under the bed, and sharks chasing through the night. 

  1. Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting

One of the best Halloween books of all time, it introduces little children to a spooky tale of trick and treating with colorful and attention-grabbing illustrations. 

  1. The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson

Another great read for the older ones! The mayor decides to cancel Halloween because of the disturbingly mischievous Halloween escapades of the Herdman kids, forcing them to make some exciting plans of their own! 

  1. Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas

A fun and excitingly horrific journey of a witch who undertakes all kinds of amazing adventurers and concocts fascinating spells with her pet cat, Wilbur, by her side. The book is filled with amazing illustrations. 

  1. Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

An incredibly engrossing read about a witch who struggles to release a pumpkin in her garden, inspired by Russian folklore, the book comes with amazing illustrations that will keep your child hooked. 

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Tips for Speech Delay in Children

Tips for Speech Delay in Children

At Home Ideas Games and Activities Language Building Skills Language Development Parents' Corner Reading Speech delay

How can you tell if your child has a speech delay? And what can you do about it? We get a lot of questions from parents and caregivers about identifying and treating speech delay in children. First, we want to commend you for taking the time to research this important topic! The more you understand about speech and language development, the sooner you will be able to recognize any sort of speech delay and get back on track.

First, it’s important to understand that a child’s speech and language development is continually evolving. Professional speech-language pathologists use age-based developmental milestones to assess whether or not a child is at a developmentally appropriate level. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with these milestones as they relate to your child’s age and stage. If you do believe that your child may have a speech delay – or even if you just want to work on developing communication skills at home – here are our top tips:

1. Reading Helps Speech Delay

Children are so inquisitive and love to explore ideas in books. Around the age of 18 months, you can begin letting your child pick the books that he or she wants to “read.” Don’t worry if it’s the same book over and over again. While this might get boring and repetitive for you, your child benefits from reinforcing the same concepts. Read and read often! Your child will benefit from hearing new words and listening to the cadence of how stories are told.

These are our favorite books for speech delay in children:

 Talk With Me – Designed for children with speech delay or early talkers. This book uses popular nursery rhymes to encourage first words. Helpful hints guide parents along the way.

By Kimberly McCollister & Adrienne Penake. Reviewed by Kelsey Bailey, M.S. CCC-SLP.



speech delay in children

Easy-To-Say First Words – by Cara Tambellini Danielson, CCC-SLP

Designed for parents concerned with speech delay. This books exposes your child to final consonants and encourages first words. Helpful to encourage talking through easy words, cute photos and repetition.



2. It’s not enough to “just read”

Ok, here’s a good one that seems to directly contradict #1. In addition to reading, you also want to make your child an active participant in the story. Sit with your child’s favorite book, point to the pictures, and ask your child what they see happening in the story. It doesn’t matter at all what they respond, or whether or not you can understand them. You want them to inquire and wonder and begin trying to communicate with you. Don’t try and use these times as a chance to “correct” or refine your child’s interpretation. You just want to get them talking.

3. Sing! Songs for Speech Delay

Even if children can’t speak fluently, they might be able to express themselves through music and singing. Sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, or “Rain, Rain Go Away.” Pause at the end of the line and see if your child can fill in the next word. See if they will sing with you. And then celebrate! Any utterance is great progress.


If you do suspect a speech delay:

By the age of two, children who are not meeting developmental milestones very well may have a speech delay. At this point, seeking professional help from a certified speech-language pathologist in your area is warranted. You’ll want to ask about screening for any medical conditions that may be interrupting speech development and get professional help in treating your child’s speech delay.

Parent's Guide to Speech & Communication Challenges


5 Fast Fixes for “F” Sound Practice

At Home Ideas Language Development Parents' Corner Pronunciation & Lisps Speech Therapy Techniques

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”.
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5 Ideas to Help Kids Learning to Follow Directions

5 Ideas to Help Kids Learning to Follow Directions

At Home Ideas Parents' Corner
Help Your Kids Follow Directions

Help Your Kids Follow Directions. Image courtesy of http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-follow-directions-8/

Please put your toys away. Please put your toys away. Please put your toys away now! Sound like a broken record? Sometimes it does around my house. It can be very frustrating and hard to keep calm when your child does not follow instructions or completely ignores your requests. Often kids view these instructions as commands or even punishments, when they are simply ways to make their lives (and ours) easier. Following directions is a crucial life skill, and if it’s not cultivated properly at home can be a problem once school arrives. What are some ways you can help your child follow your directions? We’ve got a few ideas.

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Free Summer Speech Therapy Activity Calendar!

At Home Ideas Parents' Corner Speech Therapy Techniques

Speech Therapy Activity CalendarActivity Calendars!  We’ve all heard of them!  Perhaps your kids even came home with some in their backpacks on the last day of school. Have you checked out our Summer Fun Speech Therapy Activity Calendar? Our team of Speech Buddies SLPs, artists, and creative writers put their heads together to develop an excellent and creative way to practice speech therapy at home during the summer and avoid that “summer slip!”

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Protect Your Hearing on the Fourth!

Protect Your Hearing on the Fourth!

At Home Ideas Parents' Corner
Fourth of July Fireworks

Protect Your Hearing on Fourth of July. Image courtesy of photocupcake.wordpress.com

BOOM, POP, SIZZLE!  The sounds of July! Even before the celebration on the Fourth, popping firework sounds are up and down the street. And, we all love a great fireworks show on the Fourth of July! Did you know that fireworks and other loud noises can cause permanent hearing damage? According to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders,

approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss from overexposure to loud noises at work or during leisure activities. Children may be particularly vulnerable to this risk.

Of course you want to watch the fireworks and enjoy the day, but here are a few precautions you can take to make sure you protect your hearing or your child’s hearing.

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4 Easy Articulation Activities at Home

4 Easy Articulation Activities at Home

At Home Ideas Parents' Corner Pronunciation & Lisps Speech Therapy Techniques
Articulation Therapy Cartoon

Articulation Activities at Home Image source: Pinterest.com

Articulation. What exactly does that mean? Articulation is the movement of the tongue, lips, jaw, and other speech organs (the articulators) in order to make speech sounds. It is considered an articulation disorder when there are problems making the sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added, or even changed. Often, it is young children who make speech sound errors. They may say “wabbit” instead of “rabbit”, or leave out certain parts of a word such as “nana” for banana. If these errors continue past a certain age without improvement, your child may have an articulation disorder. Are articulation disorders treatable? Absolutely. And you can work on improving articulation skills at home. Here are four easy articulation activities that you can do at home.
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Fabulous Father’s Day Crafts!

Fabulous Father’s Day Crafts!

Arts and Crafts

In celebration of Father’s Day on June 15th, we share with you some ideas for easy gifts and crafts for the father in your family! Of course, Dad will still love a tie, mug or framed photo, but if you have a few extra minutes – why don’t you try some of these crafts? Your child can personalize each one in his own special way and create a gift that dad will never forget.

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5 Ways to Encourage the Love of Reading

5 Ways to Encourage the Love of Reading

At Home Ideas Language Development Parents' Corner School
Encourage the Love of Reading

How to Encourage the Love of Reading. Image source: besteducationpossible.blogspot.com

Reading is essential. It is the backbone of education. In order for your child to become successful in all subjects of school such as math, science, history and language, he must be able to read. How can we as parents encourage our kids to enjoy reading? Are there ways to improve a child’s reading ability? Yes to both questions. Begin by being a good reading role model, and allowing your children to choose the books they would like to read.  As the late, great Maya Angelou said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Parents and children both can work together to help make reading a rewarding experience.

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Tips For Teaching the “th” Sound

At Home Ideas Parents' Corner Pronunciation & Lisps Speech Disorders Speech Therapy Techniques
The "th" Sound

Tips for Teaching the “th” Sound

Often, we are asked for suggestions on how to teach the sound of “th.” While Speech Buddies offers tools to help overcome many speech difficulties and articulation disorders, we do not have a tool for the sound of “th.”  This is what we offer parents who are looking for help teaching their children to correctly pronounce the “th” sound. Continue reading