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 Uncategorized

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. Read with your child and read often!

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!

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

 

Speech Buddies Parents’ Corner – Thanksgiving Crafts to Make with the Kids

Speech Buddies Parents’ Corner – Thanksgiving Crafts to Make with the Kids

Games and Activities Parents' Corner
Thanksgiving Crafts

These cute little turkeys make great appetizers at the kids’ table and you can add names for place cards at the dinner table. Image source: www.chattingoverchocolate.com

Somewhere along the way it became November and Thanksgiving is almost here. These Thanksgiving crafts not only help your little ones get into the holiday spirit, but they are easy ways to help prepare for the holiday, too, even producing appetizers, table setting options, and decorations. Continue reading

Earth Day Activities for Children – Reading and Craft Ideas

Earth Day Activities for Children – Reading and Craft Ideas

Games and Activities Parents' Corner

Earth Day is almost here! Teaching your child to be eco-friendly can help them become aware of their environment and how they can make a difference in the world. Below are some fun suggestions for Earth Day activities for children for you to consider at home or at school. There are many children’s books that help children understand what it means to be eco-friendly and what Earth Day is all about. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a great children’s book that address environmental issues in a creative way. Other books to consider are The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Earth Book by Todd Parr. PBS Kids has several other “green” reading ideas to share with your kids.

If you do end up reading The Lorax with your kids, follow it up with an art activity about planting a new tree! You can make your own tree, either through cutting out then gluing the pieces together, or drawing all the parts of the tree, from root to trunk to leaves & fruit or flowers. It’s a fun activity both you and your little one can do together and let your imagination run.

Reading list for Earth Day

Another fun craft idea from Powerful Mothering is making a feather and pom pom tree. This activity is good for fine motor skill development in youngsters. Using piper cleaners and pom poms, your child can make their own truffula trees! The steps are simple and easy to follow.

And if your child is interested in getting down and dirty and planting a real tree, check out MillionTrees NYC. Here you can sign up to plant trees all over NYC or request a tree to be panted in your neighborhood. This is great way to get the whole family involved and discuss how trees are important to our environment, both locally and globally.

Additional Earth Day theme activities your child may enjoy include:

Super Simple Nature Prints: For this next activity, taking a nature walk or short hike with your child will be very helpful. While walking through the park, have your child gather and collect flowers, acorns, twigs, leaves, tree bark etc. Once you have gather all those things, you and your child can make nature prints using clay or play-doh.

Another eco-friendly activity that your child will love is building with recyclables. The possibilities are endless in what your little one can make by using egg cartons, plastic bottles, etc. Let your child build robots out of paper towel rolls or spaceships out of milk cartons. Want to be more creative try doing this activity- Fine Motor Play from Recyclables.

Local Earth Day activities for children in NYC:

Earth Day in Prospect Park (April 17) – There will be lots of fun interactive activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Earth Day New York 2016 at Union Square (April 17) – An annual event held at Union Square where you can enjoy live performances and interactive displays.

Arbor Fest (April 24) – Visit Queens Botanical Garden and enjoy various activities which include live music, face-painting and much more!

Parents' Guide to Reinforcing Speech Therapy at Home
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Games and Activities

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Kid-friendly Museums in New York City and How to Make Them Awesome

Kid-friendly Museums in New York City and How to Make Them Awesome

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New York City is home to a wide variety of museums—from science museums to art museums to history museums, NYC has it all. Throughout the five boroughs you can find museums where your family can explore and learn something new. Museums are fun to visit and it’s a great way to enjoy quality time together with your family. For children, visiting museums have educational benefits that go beyond the lessons they learn in school. Visiting museums with your child can help develop his language skills and build awareness of the world around him. Many kid-friendly museums in New York City offer workshops/activities and educational events where you and your child can explore and learn something new together.

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Speech Fun at Home with the Time 4 Speech Box

Speech Fun at Home with the Time 4 Speech Box

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Having Fun with Special Needs Music Therapy in NYC

Having Fun with Special Needs Music Therapy in NYC

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Looking for ways to help your child with special needs accomplish their speech and language goals? Why not try music therapy? “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidenced-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program,” according to the American Music Therapy Association. Music therapy can effect changes in a child’s behavior and facilitate development in communication, social/emotional, sensory-motor, and/or cognitive skills. We got out to have some fun with special needs music therapy in NYC!

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Sensory Play Activities to Get Started

Sensory Play Activities to Get Started

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Sensory play is important for all children—not just individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Sensory play helps build language skills as well as fine motor and gross motor skills. Children with ASD often experience an inability to respond “appropriately” to sensory input, which is why they tend to have challenging behaviors or obsessions (i.e. arm flapping, avoiding eye contact, etc). Furthermore, children with ASD can have problems with social skills and speech and language skills. Most treatment options for children with ASD or with sensory dysfunction include sensory integration.

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Let’s Learn the ABCs

Let’s Learn the ABCs

Language Building Games

Exposure to the alphabet early on is important for young children. Knowing the alphabet and the sounds they make—letter-sound correspondence—is a step closer to learning to read and write. The letters in the alphabet are the building blocks for literacy. Children who have difficulties recognizing letters from the alphabet and/or the sounds that corresponds with the letter are likely to struggle with reading and spelling. This is one reason why children with speech and language delays tend to be at risk for reading and writing challenges. Learning all 26 letters at once can be a daunting task, especially for a young toddler; however, you don’t need to learn the ABCs all at once. Start by having them recognize the letters in their names first. There are various activities that you and your toddler can do together in order to begin helping them recognize the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make.

Photo: Pencils by Bernard Goldbach

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