Whenever I come across a website that I think could have a meaningful positive impact on the work we, as speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and educators do, I feel I immediately have to share such a resource on the Speech Buddies blog. Today, that site is Teachers Pay Teachers, an ingenious market, for educational resources developed by teachers, that anyone—teachers, SLPs, homeschoolers, grandparents—may access a la carte for a nominal fee.
From my office in downtown Brooklyn, I can hear the not-entirely-rhythmic jingling of the Salvation Army workers and it got me thinking: this really is a season of charity. Since I and my wife tend to send a donation to a charity whose mission we strongly support, wouldn’t it make sense to share some information about a handful of really great speech and language charities that I have come across in my career? Here are five great speech and language-focused charitable organizations that are changing the lives of the thousands of children they support. They are, in no particular order: Small Steps in Speech, Smile Train, donorschoose.org, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, and CASANA (Childhood Apraxia of Speech of Association of North America). Each of these charities has a noble mission and a track record of getting your charity dollars to their stated beneficiaries. As you consider who to give a holiday (or otherwise) charitable donation to, keep these charities in mind; they are helping children and adults all over the world improve their capacities to communicate. What better gift is there that the gift of communication?
It’s that time of year again! Everywhere you look is another advertisement for yet another toy that your child MUST have! Barbie, Play Dough, Nintendo Wii, Lego sets…these are always great gifts that most children will love. But, what about toys that are fun for kids and can help build language skills and increase vocabulary at the same time? Is that even possible? The answer is yes. But will the kids enjoy these toys? Again, the answer is YES, and you may be surprised that some very famous toys are actually excellent language building blocks.