Every September, I can’t help but chuckle at that classic commercial from Staples, the office supply retailer. The father in the spot is jubilant and the kids are anything but. We all experience this to a certain extent; when you work with or have your own children (or both!) summer is a time to chill, to vege, to eschew routine and schedules. It’s healthy, even essential to take a break. I love the work I do, but I do admit to feeling a little like the kids in this commercial. Everything these first couple of weeks can seem a little more challenging: from motivating our kids and getting back into the swing of the school routine, to managing schedule sessions and home-based exercises, to tracking down great new educational games and materials. Here are some tips and apps to help with speech therapy, they’ll make this transition back to school and the “work mentality” a little bit easier for everyone.
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.
Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder, affecting the ability of children to produce the oral movements and vocal sounds needed for speech that others can clearly understand. There is a coordination required of the lips, tongue, facial muscles, and vocal folds in order for the intended sounds to be produced. Think of it like one of the most intricate, behind the scenes performances you can imagine. And now think of a child with apraxia who struggles because all of those aspects that must work together behind the scenes have lost their communication links.
It is the goal of speech therapy to create those links to be strong enough to reach the goal – clarity of speech. A child with apraxia usually requires targeted and sometimes intense speech therapy in order to reach these goals. But what can parents do at home to support these goals, and make it fun in the process? The first step is to work with the SLP to support those efforts, but there are also some easy ways to incorporate effective games for kids with apraxia. Continue reading
There’s an app for that – or at least it seems that there is an app for almost everything. Whether it is learning new skills, following directions, or just having good old fashioned fun, kids are using apps for everything from homework to video games. There is also increased attention paid to kids and technology, especially regarding concerns that the combination results in inactivity far too often. So are there really apps that can get kids away from the monitors and get moving for healthier lifestyles? Yes – there are even apps for that. Continue reading
I have never met a parent who claims that his or her young child always listens. A combination of attention span, concentration, and interest all contribute to the energy kids put towards listening – and sometimes it seems like all of these things fly out the window. However, listening skills are not only important for family harmony, but they are integral to communication every day. Help to improve listening skills in your young child by making him or her a Listening Detective – and let the fun begin! Continue reading
A child who is diagnosed with a language-based learning disability can face a variety of challenges, especially in school. There are countless types of therapies used and directions taken by SLPs, in special education classrooms, and by teachers who adjust curriculum to meet these children’s needs. Help keep some of the fun in therapy and learning new skills by trying some of these games and activities.
One of the wonderful things about the World Wide Web is accessibility to resources. When it comes to online deals for speech and communication resources, parents, teachers, and SLPs alike can all find inspiration and activities to use with kids without spending a fortune. The key is knowing where to look – and these next 10 bargains can be your first stops for resources on everything from literature activities to articulation exercises. Continue reading
Meet them where they are – and help them use technology to make the most of their abilities and build their futures. This attitude is what many special education teachers are finding to be successful with their students. Over the last decade a positive change has been occurring that teachers and students are seeing firsthand and research is supporting – that technology benefits special education classrooms in many ways for students who have various challenges. Continue reading
There is a lot of talk about limiting children’s screen time and the dangers of too much technology. However, did you ever stop to think about how much your family needs technology? Sure, some of it is out of pure convenience, but there are many reasons why incorporating those gadgets and learning some new technology skills can greatly benefit you and your kids. Here are just 10 reasons to get you started thinking about the technology in your life. Continue reading
In a world where parents are cautioned to limit screen time, there is also new research showing that technology can actually enhance communication for nonverbal kids. Many of the technology success stories come from parents and teachers of kids with autism who are either nonverbal or limited in verbal skills, although children who struggle with other disorders and disabilities are also finding the benefits of technology. Continue reading