It’s that time of year again: “Jingle Bell Rock” is more ubiquitous than dust, and my kids’ screams as they watch TV ads get more shrill with the expectation that this time might be different — they just might get the bauble they are nagging about. Despite that, I do really enjoy this time of year. It’s kind of like a mini-summer vacation: lots of time for travel, family, and special activities. And the kids get much-needed time to just veg out. But just because this is a jam-packed winter vacation, don’t slip off track with your speech and language goals. These wintertime speech therapy holiday activities will keep your speech student on track, and generate some fun in the meantime.
There is plenty of frenetic activity during the holidays—baking, wrapping, picking up in-laws at far-flung airports—but the holiday season is also a time when our regular routines grind to a halt. Kids stay home from school, appointments are put off until after the New Year, and cold weather drives even the most driven among us to hunker down inside.
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?
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.
Treat your little ghouls and goblins to some not-so-tricky Halloween speech therapy activities with these books, videos, craft projects, puppet show ideas, and more! Continue reading