Ahhh summer. The time of year when your child’s speech plan is interrupted because of camp and family vacations. As much as our kids deserve a break from their academic routine, pausing can affect your child’s momentum toward his/her speech goals.
Speech Buddies® can maintain and progress speech skills over the summer, regardless of the learning phase or service provider.
Phases of speech development:
1. The Establishment Phase – With the help of his/her therapist the child is learning to unlearn previous patterns of speech production. If your child is in this phase, it’s crucial to include frequent practice sessions with the Speech Buddies tools. By feeling the correct placement of the tongue in a variety of speech contexts, summer practice with Speech Buddies can be directed, effective and very efficient. Just five to ten minutes per day is beneficial.
2. The Generalization Phase – In this phase, the sound has already been established, but your child still requires these new speech skills to become a habit in everyday speech.
Our tools help orient your child’s entire sound system to the proper placement and movement of the challenge sound (s). We offer carefully developed supplementary materials to support your home-based programming. Find our free lesson plans here.
Applying a framework like Speech Buddies can provide structure and direction to your home-based work with your child; just getting going and sticking with a program is half the battle.
Kids deserve their summers to explore, to experiment, and unwind. Yet, with Speech Buddies, summers can also be a time of growth through practice without it feeling like work.
The Covid pandemic brought an unprecedented staffing challenge across the entire American healthcare system. From hospitals, to outpatient private practices to schools, there aren’t enough speech pathologists to serve the demand for services that further exploded because of lockdowns.
We are seeing research studies come out now that confirm how lockdowns and remote learning set children back in their speech development.
While this might explain why your child hasn’t been receiving the school-based or clinic-based services, it does nothing to allay your concerns as a parent.
But with the help of Speech Buddies®, you can take your child’s speech development into your own hands.
Let me explain.
Speech Buddies are a set of patented, clinically proven hand-held devices that help a child feel correct tongue placement for those most difficult speech sounds that typically develop in late pre-school and early school years.
Since 2007? thousands of speech pathologists and tens of thousands of parents and children have successfully used them. See our testimonials here. Speech Buddies takes the guesswork out of eliciting speech sounds and speed up a child’s acquisitions of these often difficult-to-learn speech sounds.
The elegance of Speech Buddies as a speech therapy solution lies both in its efficacy and flexibility.
We always recommend having your child evaluated and treated by a licensed speech pathologist for a diagnosed speech challenge, especially if you believe your child’s speech challenge may be more than just of mild severity.
But, Speech Buddies may provide a critical bridge to expedited care amid this staffing situation. You may have an “ah ha moment” within the first few minutes of using the device and our extensive library of training videos and lesson plans will give you a head start on your child’s treatment regimen.
Because we specifically designed Speech Buddies tools for each speech sound (please see descriptions of each device: R, S, SH, L, CH), you only need to purchase the device(s) that apply to your child’s situation. So, when you’re finally moved off the waiting list for services, you could be farther along in the therapy process.
Depending on the speech therapy staffing predicament in your local area, Speech Buddies may also offer a fantastic option for those who would opt for out-of-network services, resources permitting, while potentially reducing the overall cost of those services.
Out-of-network providers almost never have extensive waiting lists given very limited or unavailable funding coverage.
You should be able to get in for an evaluation and services without being placed on a waiting list. If Speech Buddies work for your child’s speech treatment regimen, our tools are proven to reduce the time in therapy for certain speech sound disorders. By accessing a key sensory modality in learning, the sense of touch, Speech Buddies can help achieve a quicker learning breakthrough.
Speech Buddies hand-held tool empowers both the parent and child to recreate the speech therapy session in your own home while building confidence and enabling critical parent involvement in therapy. We also offer a free directory, Speech Buddies Connect, of SLP’s on our website.
Parents are powerless over staffing challenges across healthcare services but, you have access the clinically proven options.
Your child’s speech development is important and can be complex. If you ever have questions about Speech Buddies as a specific solution for your child’s situation, please contact us today!
We’re happy to hear your child’s situation and point you toward actionable solutions.
Literacy (reading) skills are important for a child’s early language development, social communication, and academic success. Before a child can pick up a book and decode the words on a page into something meaningful, they must first develop an understanding of what written language is and how it is used throughout their environment. Logos, signs, and labels may be teaching your child how to read without you even realizing it. Preschoolers also learn early concepts of literacy by watching their caregivers interact with written language. These first steps in learning to read are called emergent literacy skills. While you may already be teaching these skills in your day to day life, here are some other ways we can support literacy.
One important skill for early language development literacy is understanding that sounds can be manipulated in order to become words, which is known as phonological awareness. You can support your preschooler’s phonological awareness by talking about and teaching different speech sounds during shared reading activities.
Another skill that helps support reading is print awareness. When children demonstrate they understand the logos, signs, and labels in their environment have meaning, they are showing they have print awareness. Print awareness also involves holding a book upright and knowing that the words on the page tell a story. Even before they are able to read the words, encouraging your child to follow the words with their finger from left to right while reading to them will support print awareness. It is also beneficial to discuss the physical parts of the book, who is the author and who is the illustrator.
Alphabet knowledge, or the understanding that letters represent sounds and letters can be grouped together to become words, is another skill that we can teach while reading together. There are many children’s books about the alphabet, but you can identify individual letters anywhere and talk about the sound that it makes.
Finally, oral language skills are needed for early language development and reading comprehension. Everytime you engage in conversation with your little ones, you are modeling oral language skills. Teaching new vocabulary is essential for oral language and early reading because while reading teaches vocabulary, some word knowledge is needed in the earliest stages of literacy.
Reading is a valuable skill to have throughout a child’s life that encourages children academically, socially, and creatively. Children who learn to read early on are often more successful than their peers, and reading is also a source of knowledge. Reading also exposes children to new words and language uses. Books teach children about emotions and individual points of view. Appreciation of others thoughts and feelings will help children communicate and build relationships with peers. Of course, reading is also enjoyable and amplifies creativity.
A recent language development research study sought to understand whether children who were identified as having language challenges in preschool tended to have longer term academic difficulties. As you can see, from the very nature of what they were trying to investigate, this longitudinal study—spanning two decades—was the way to go. Research in the field of speech-language pathology deals with human behavior, which is extraordinarily complex. It can take years to be able to draw solid conclusions about the clinical effects of the work we do. What these authors found was surprising and has important implications for how we approach language challenges in preschool children. This study was just published by the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, and can be accessed in its entirety on their site. But I wanted to make sure that parents would have access to such important work, by describing it’s implications.
You, as a parent, know that your young child could use a boost in his or her language development, but your local Early Intervention (EI) program has deemed your child not sufficiently delayed to warrant funded therapy services. So what do you do now that you’ve been denied Early Intervention Services? This is an agonizing question to have to face. Unfortunately, as a consequence of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, many states sharply cut back on available funds for EI. I thought this was a terrible decision. What better investment in society is there than in the very young? And the research is strong and clear: intervening early in a child’s development can have an outsized impact on their overall development.