School VS Clinic Treatment Setting

by FS&TS

Speech language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists work to to identify, evaluate and treat children in settings that meet their academic, family and social needs. We work in a variety of settings but most commonly children are receiving services through a “school setting” and/or a “clinic setting”. Parents looking for services for their child will sometimes ask which of the two service settings will be most beneficial. The answer really is, both. Here’s why:

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Qualifying:School and clinic settings hold different criteria to determine whether a child is appropriate and would be considered “qualifying” for services. Both settings use standardized tests, parent report and take into consideration the child’s strengths and weaknesses. School districts evaluate to determine the child’s areas of need to improve academic success. Depending on the school district, there can be a variety of screenings and teacher based interventions that will be attempted before a formal evaluation is completed. Clinic therapists evaluate and make treatment recommendations based on the needs in home, school and community settings.  Qualifying for clinic services is not only determined by performance on tests but take into consideration the child’s overall functioning. These services are often covered by their insurance company when scores indicate a significant need.

Expertise: Therapists recognized by their state and national organizations are qualified to work in either setting however therapists in the school district most often also hold a department of education licensure.  Both settings have access to equally qualified and trained professionals. Therapists in both settings have a wide array of experience, continuing education and resources.

Goal Focus: Services provided in the school setting are tailored to improve the skills of the student within the academic setting. This includes the child’s ability to use speech and language skills to communicate, improve literacy skills, develop fine motor skills for writing and navigating their school environment safely and to the best of their potential. The clinic setting allows the therapist to develop similar goals which may allow the child to be successful in any setting he or she may be involved including school, home, community, daycare, etc. Goals can be easily adjusted in the clinic setting to suit the child’s and family’s changing needs.

Documentation: Within the school, services are described and monitored via an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or an IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan), which is a legally binding document once signed and in place. This includes regular meetings and input from the student’s teachers and other academic providers. In the clinic, progress is reported to the family, the child’s physician and if appropriate, the insurance company.

Treatment: Within the school, services can be provided within the classroom setting, often referred to as the “push-in model”. This allows the service provider to facilitate learning within a setting that is most natural, in collaboration with his or her teacher while monitoring the student’s progress first hand. The student may also be pulled out of their classroom to develop their skills in a one-on-one setting or within a group. The duration of the visits can vary from 5 minutes to 60 minutes, and up to several times per week. The clinic setting allows a one-on-one interaction allowing for dynamic activities and custom treatment approaches; fresh ideas sent home with parents following each session. In the clinic, the therapist designs activities and learning opportunities specifically for the child’s interests and needs. Sessions can range from 30 minutes to a hour.

Taking a Team Approach: Both treatment settings offer a connection with a skilled professional with the child’s learning as top priority. Parents are able to seek and obtain services in both settings to determine the best fit for their child. Also, parents can request that their school and clinic therapists collaborate to bridge the gap between settings. Another strategy for success includes finding time to connect with your SLP/OT/PT on a regular basis either via phone call, email or during the first or last 5-10 minutes of your clinic visit. As always, ask your therapist or service provider if you have any questions about how to initiate services in either of these settings.

5 Halloween Apps for Speech and Language

by FS&TS

By Crystal O'Malley, SLP

Halloween is just a few weeks away! Here are 5 great Halloween Apps that you can use to work on a variety of speech and language goals.

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1. Halloween Games for Kids by Moo Moo Lab

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This app contains sticker and coloring pages. These activities are great to work on following 1-2 step directions and describing the pictures using attributes.

2. Monster Pet Salon By Ninjafish Studios

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This activity allows kids to give their monster pet an outfit and put them in different scenes. It provides natural opportunities for you to give them directions to follow and for them to describe the scene they are creating using grammatically correct sentences.

3. Halloween Kids Puzzles By Scott Adelman Apps

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This app is great for working on following directions containing positions (i.e. above, below, next to, under, etc). You can describe the pictures after you’ve completed the puzzle.

4. Carve-a-Pumpkin By Parents Magazine

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Instead of carving out an actual pumpkin, you can do it within an app. It’s wonderful for working on sequencing. Of course you can also work on following directions and describing during the activity.

5. Halloween Secret Hidden Object By Detention Apps

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I use this one to talk about where objects are located with a focus on prepositional phrases (i.e. under the ___, next to ____, behind the ___.

Everyday Language Outside Activities

by FS&TS

By Rebecca Walton, MS/CCC-SLP

Being outside is one of the best things about Summertime. It’s also a great place to target your child’s receptive and expressive language skills. There are so many opportunities to label objects, actions, and describe things.  You can also practice following directions in a fun environment and your child probably won’t even realize that they’re “working”.

outside speech and language activities

 

Three Outside Speech & Language Therapy Activities

  1. Use the playground equipment to practice labeling all the activities that are there: “Swing, slide, steps, tire, sand”.  You can also label the actions that your child is doing: “climb, walk, run, jump, slide, swing, go up, go down”. Describing things is also an easy way to get some 2-word phrases: “red slide, big slide, soft sand, small swing, jump high, swing fast”.
  2. Practice following directions by telling your child, “first go on the slide, then get on the swing” or “Come scoop some sand, then blow some bubbles”. You can also play a game such as “I Spy” with a couple of changes to help your child learn to listen to details.  It’s very easy, and can be a fun game. Start describing something with 2-3 attributes and then have your child guess what you’re describing then they can go play on the describe item. Example: This activity is red. You have to use stairs to get to it. It’s made of metal.  Answer: “Slide”
  3. You can use these kind of activities for pretty much any outdoor fun that you’re having this Summer. Sidewalk chalk is also a fun activity to practice labeling items and describing items. It’s also a fun way to target following directions. If your child is old enough, you can tell them to “first draw a circle, then put a nose in the middle” or “pick up the green chalk and write the letter B”.

Benefits of Baby Sign Language

by FS&TS

By Sarah S. Anderson, MS CF-SLP

I have many parents ask me about additional things they can be doing with their kiddo to help support their language growth.  The first thing I usually ask is "do you use Baby Sign?" 

For many parents the idea of learning American Sign Language seems really overwhelming, but using just a handful of signs can be a very beneficial way to support your little one's language.  In addition, little one's who use Baby Sign before they are able to talk have been found to develop more expressive language and articulation skills when compared with same aged peers (Goodwyn, Acredolo, and Brown, 2000).   Researcher Goodwyn et al. (2000) proposed that, just as crawling serves as a critical stepping-stone to walking, gestures serve the same purpose for speaking.

What is Baby Sign?

Baby Sign is defined as a way of facilitating communication with typically developing hearing infants by early exposure to sign language (Mueller, Sepulveda, and Rodriquez, 2013). Usually, there is a use of functional everyday signs (i.e. help, water, more, all-done) that are used/signed by a primary caregiver during good exposure times (e.g. feeding time and play time). The parent models the sign with the expectation of not having their little one sign it immediately, but introduce it as a symbol for an action and/or word. Over time, and repeated use of the sign by the caregiver within interactions, the child then discovers that they to can use the sign to carry meaning (Anderson, 2016).  

How to use Baby Sign and What to Expect?

It's important to start small.  Maybe just two signs until you are comfortable (e.g. more, all-done).  The best time to use Baby Sign is when you are on your kiddo's level and have their attention.  Try introducing it during feeding or play.  These times are great because, usually your little one is motivated and watching you.  The first few times you use a sign be sure you have their attention, and that you not only sign the word, but say the word as well. Try assisting your child in producing the sign 1-2 times so they can get the feel for the movement.  Over time, your child will go through a series of stages as you start using Baby Sign:

  1. They may watch you with intent
  2. You may start to see some hand movements that are similar to the sign you are making, HONOR THEM!
  3. Your child may start using the sign regularly and with purpose
  4. Your child may sign and start to verbalize the word too
  5. Eventually, your child may just use the word verbally (this is the goal but their is no rush to drop the sign)

Helpful Tips

  1. Get down to your child's level so it's easy for them to watch you model the Baby Sign you are using
  2. Be sure you have your child's attention before attempting sign 
  3. Use the sign while talking in a short simple sentence.  For example "you want MORE?"
  4. Repeat the sentence at least 2 times so the child can learn it more easily (e.g. you want MORE?, you want MORE?)
  5. Pick a time of day when you are both interactive like during meal time or play
  6. BE PATIENT.  A child needs to see/hear something many times before they can learn that vocabulary, so they may not use the sign the first time you try, and that is ok

Each child is unique and learns at a different rate.  When parents ask me "how long will it take before I start seeing them sign," I usually let them know that it may take a week, or it may take a month, but if parents are consistent and using the sign several times during their child's day you will be surprised by what your child will pick up.

Good Places to Reference for signs:

  • www.aslpro.com has a great dictionary online with videos of many signs
  • www.lifeprint.com has a clear picture dictionary online for people to access
  • Baby Sign Time is available for purchase or can be found on YouTube

10 Ways That Speech Therapy Can Help Your Child

by FS&TS

By Kelly Hungaski, MS/CCC-SLP

When I tell people that I am a speech language pathologist, I receive a blank stare.  They sometimes ask if I am working with dead people.  I’m not.  I explain that I work with children providing speech therapy.  Most people smile, nod or share a story of someone they know who needed to get speech therapy to produce “s” or the elusive “r” sound.  

Speech language pathologists are experts at teaching children how to produce speech sounds.  We know how to work with children who are missing a few sounds or children who are not producing hardly any sounds.  Speech therapists can teach the child how to use more mature patterns of speech, the placement for consonant and vowel sounds and how to speak more clearly.  But that’s not all we do.  Read on for my top ten ways that speech language therapists help children of ages.

1. Teach children how to follow directions or how to answer questions.

Speech language pathologists assess a child’s ability to understand language.  We can figure out which parts of the direction a child is having difficulty with.  Are longer directions harder or does the child not hear the smaller location words in a direction (in vs on)?  We can help children understand question words (who, what, where, when, why) and how to answer these questions.

2. Teach correct grammar.

We call it syntax.  These children may have difficulty producing pronouns like he or she (him is sitting down) or they may have a hard time using the correct verb tense forms.  They might say “he runned” instead of “he ran.”  Difficulties with understanding pronouns and verb tense forms make it difficult for children to understand what is happening at school.  

3. Help children learn how to tell about a personal experience.  

Some children jump into the middle of a story or forget to tell you who was there.  They may have a difficulty organzing their story into a logical manner.  We can help them learn how to provide all of the relevant information (but not too much information) and how to sequence a story so that you can understand what they are talking about.

4. Teach children how to chew and swallow foods safely.

Speech language pathologists have extensive training on the anatomy of the mouth and respiration system.  We can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination for children who are unable to chew and swallow foods, who choke or gag on foods, who take a long time to eat or who have difficulty drinking liquids.  

5. Decrease stuttering or dysfluent behaviors .

Speech therapists can help teach breath support and fluency enhancing strategies for children who stutter.  We love to educate parents and teachers about stuttering and how to respond to someone who stutters.

6. Teach children how to participate in conversations

Some children always answer I don’t know or like to dominate a conversation with their interests.  Speech language pathologists can teach turn taking and understanding the parts of the conversation.  We can teach how to start and end a conversation and how to ask questions and comment.

7. Teach social skills and problem solving skills.

Speech language pathologists help children developing perspective taking skills (how to understand that other people have different thoughts from us.)  We can teach strategies for how to make friends.  We can teach them the steps for identifying and solving problems.  

8. Teach first words.

When toddlers are delayed in talking, you can turn to your speech language pathologist for help.  We are experts in teaching children how to request and comment using toys, games and books.  

9. Teach other methods of communication.

Some children have a really difficult time developing speech-or speech that other people understand.  Speech language pathologists can provide recommendations for communication books or computer programs that will allow these children to communicate.  Once the device or book is received, we use routines and typical activities to teach the child and family how to communicate using their new system.

10. Improve vocal quality and hygiene.

Speech language pathologists can work with doctors to assist children who have vocal nodules or voice disorders.  We can help children develop healthy voice habits, improve breath support and teach strategies for relaxing the muscles when speaking.  

5 Fun Books for Spring

by FS&TS

By Emily Jung, M.S.CCC-SLP

Here are 5 great books to celebrate leaving the cold winter behind and celebrating the arrival of spring! All of these books contain great imagery and descriptive words to help expand your child’s language skills.

Hurray For Spring
Hurray for Spring is a whimsical welcome to a child's favorite season. Delightful, rhyming text with lots of fun words make this a wonderfully cadenced anthem to spring. Adorable illustrations with larger-than-life details spring off the page. 

And Then It’s Spring
Following a snow-filled winter, a young boy and his dog decide that they've had enough of all that brown and resolve to plant a garden. They dig, they plant, they play, they wait . . . and wait . . . until at last, the brown becomes a more hopeful shade of brown, a sign that spring may finally be on its way.

Mouse’s First Spring
One bright day, Mouse and Momma head outside to play. The wind blows in something feathery and plump (a bird), something wiggly and pink (a worm), and something green that hops and leaps (a frog). But before it’s time to go back inside, Mouse finds something with petals that’s soft and new...the prettiest flower he’s ever seen! Could it mean spring is finally here?

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog
Spring is in the air, and everyone's favorite old lady is ready to celebrate!
That zany old lady is back--and with a serious case of spring fever! This time she's swallowing items to make the most of the season...with a beautiful garden!
With rhyming text and funny illustrations, this lively version of the classic song will appeal to young readers with every turn of the page--a wacky story for the first day of spring

My Spring Robin
When spring arrives, a young girl looks everywhere for the robin who sang for her last year. She sees all the sights and sounds of the new season: a blooming crocus, a buzzing bee, a colorful magnolia tree, a brief rain shower…but where is the robin?
 

Building Language Outside

by FS&TS

As the weather turns warm and the grass starts to green, outdoor play is upon us! Here are some fun and effective ways to improve your child’s language skills while enjoying the outdoors. 

Categories

Have your child practice naming categories or listing items from a category. For example, have your child name 3-5 different animals that you can find outside. Have your child name 3-5 items that are at a playground. Have your child name 3-5 items in a garden. You could also list 3-5 items from a category and ask your child what category the items belong to.

Questions

Playing ‘I spy’ can work on your child’s ability to ask and answer questions. Pick an object you see and have your child ask you questions to figure out what your object is. Then have your child pick an object and you can answer questions so that you can figure out what his/her object is.

Following Directions

Have your child help you prepare something and break the tasks into 1-2 steps at a time. For example, ‘Carry the sandwich buns outside and open the bag.’ ‘Place a bun on each plate.’

Sequential Concepts

Have your child tell you about an event or activity he/she did using sequential concepts (ex. ‘first’, ‘second’, ‘then’, ‘last’). You could tell him/her about an event or story using sequential concepts and then have him/her re-tell it. For example, ‘First you were playing on the swings, next you went to the sandbox, and then you came into the house’ and have your child re-tell what you told them.

Categories, questions, directions, and sequential concepts are just a few ways to help your child build their language while being outside. Working on these skills can be fun and the change of weather presents many opportunities to do so!

Building a snowman (and language) at the same time

by FS&TS

by Emily Jung, MS/CCC-SLP

A fun winter activity for children is building a snowman.  Building a snowman can also be a great activity to work on expressive and receptive language.  There are a variety of concepts that can be targeted while making the snowman.  Here are a few ideas!

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Snowman Language: Following Directions:

  • Roll the ball
  • Put the ball on top
  • Find two stick
  • Put the hat on
  • Put the carrot in the middle

 

Snowman Language: Sequencing:

  • First roll the ball
  • Next put the ball on top
  • Last put the hat on

Snowman Language: Size Concepts:

  • Small, medium, large
  • Big, bigger, biggest

Snowman Language: Prepositions:

  • On top
  • Middle
  • Under/Bottom
  • In
  • On

Snowman Language: Other Concepts:

  • Body Parts (head, arms, eyes, nose, mouth)
  • Clothing Items (hat, scarf)
  • Shapes (snowball is a circle, carrot is a triangle)
  • Colors (snow is white, carrot is orange)
  • Temperature (snow is cold, snow melts when it’s hot)

 

What to do if you can’t make a snowman outside:

 

Bring a small amount of snow inside to make a mini snowman

Make a Play doh snowman

Make a snowman using paper, scissors, and glue

Use shaving cream or whipped cream

Make a snowman snack with marshmallows

 

Popular Toys for Children with Developmental Delays

by FS&TS

By Jolene Law, MS/CCC-SLP

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. While many children easily engage in functional and appropriate play skills with a variety of toys, others require assistance in physically engaging with toys. Below is a list of our favorite interactive, cause-effect toys that target several language skills.

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Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity-Pop Musical Dino

Description: Poppity Pop Musical Dino helps encourage and reward child, includes an adorable Dinosaur character and 6 brightly colored balls. Child is rewarded with over 8 fun tunes and silly sound effects while helping child to understand cause and effect of actions.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color identification, requesting (ball, more, go) or specific colors, concepts of on/off, in/out.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Description: 40+ sing-along songs, tunes & phrases. Two levels of play offer fresh songs, phrases & sounds for your child’s age & stage. Drop coins into the piggy's back or belly.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color identification, requesting (money, more, mine, me) or specific colors, concepts of on/off.

Tolo Toys Roller Ball Run

Description: A visually stimulating cause and effect toy. Balls roll down the ramp.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color matching and identification, requesting (more, ball, hammer, mine) or specific colors.

Playskool Explore N' Grow Busy Ball Popper

Description: Lively air-powered, ball-poppin’ toy features fun, upbeat music and comes complete with five balls.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color identification, requesting (ball, more. go) or specific colors, concepts of on/off, in/out.  

Wiggly Giggly Ball By ToySmith

Description: Wiggle and giggle activity ball for kids, designed to make noises when its turned and rolled which is powered by the child, not batteries and is soft and squeezable for little hands.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, practice turn taking by rolling/tossing the ball back and forth, concepts of on/off, target a variety of actions such as throw, catch, roll, kick.

Melissa & Doug Nesting Blocks - Numbers, Shapes, Colors

Description: A set of 10 colorful nesting and stacking blocks with illustrations featuring animals, numbers, shapes, and colors. Made of durable cardboard construction.

Targets: Great for hand-eye coordination, number recognition, problem solving, and construction play. Stack the blocks and practice knocking them over while practicing exclamatory reactions such as “Kaboom!” or “Oh no!”

Melissa & Doug Farm Animals Sound Puzzle

Description: An 8-piece wooden peg puzzle with sturdy wooden puzzle board with a full-color matching picture under each piece

Targets: Eye- and ear-catching puzzle enhances matching and listening skills while aural reinforcement helps children play independently, reinforces animal noises while targeting fine motor skills.

Jelly BeadZ Water Bead Gel
 

Description: Orbeez are wet and wacky, soft and squishy, fun and funky, bouncy and beautiful. They start off hard and tiny. Add water and watch them grow to more than 100 times their volume.

Targets: Fill a bin with these water based beads and hide toys in the bin. Target sensory skills while digging into the bin and find and label the items.

Playskool Explore 'N Grow Busy Gears

Description: Colorful, captivating set of gears that spin as twinkling lights flash while fun music plays.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, color identification, requesting (more, go) or specific colors, concepts of on/off.

Magnetic Yoyo Gyro Wheel Light-Up Rail Twirler Musical Rainbow Spinning Toy, Blue

Description: A musical rainbow spinning toy.

Targets: Fill-in-the-blank “Ready, set (go)!”, requesting (more. go), concepts of on/off, up/down.

Adaptive Tech Solutions

  1. Select a switch that is easy for your child to use.

Switch: The Jelly Bean twist offers Ablenet's original Jelly Bean's 2.5-inch activation surface with tactile and auditory feedback, but with a twist. The switch tops can be removed and replaced with the color of your choice (included): Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green.

2. Select an adaptable toy that is interchangable with switches.

Clip Fan: This awesome switch adapted clip fan has soft blades with 64 exciting light show effects. Fan has a flexible gooseneck that lets it bend easily in any direction. The jumbo clip allows it to attach to a wide variety of surfaces, including wheelchair trays & table tops edges. Perfect for teaching cause-effect, visual stimulation, or just plain fun! For seizure-prone individuals, lights can be switched off without affecting the fan operation

Helping a child with strong emotions and few words

by FS&TS

By Christianna Mullins, MA/CCC-SLP

What happens when a child has difficult expressing his or her thoughts, ideas, wants, and needs with language? Frustration. Children with speech and language disorders may not be able to express their feelings with words, but they will find a way to let those around them know how they are doing. This may look like tantrums in young children. It may look like withdrawal in older children. No matter what the behavior is, the underlying issue is important to identify in order to help the child and those around the child.

What may be reasons that the child is unable to express his or her emotions appropriately?

Articulation difficulty

The child's speech may be so hard to understand that other people cannot clearly comprehend what he or she is saying. When asked "what" 2 or 3 times, the child may shut down or begin crying.

Expressive language

The child may not have the grammatical structure to put together a phrase or sentence to adequately express feelings. A limited vocabulary may not include emotion words yet, such as "sad," "hungry," or "sleepy."

Some children have difficulty communicating verbally.  They may have even more difficulty communicating when they are stressed or emotionally upset.

Receptive Language

The child may not comprehend the question "How are you feeling?"

Pragmatic Language

The child may not have the social abilities to appropriately explain his or her thoughts and feelings in an expected way, and may simply scream when ramped up, rather than calmly explaining the need.

Teaching Emotion Vocabulary

So, what are some solutions to these issues? Being assessed by a speech and language pathologist is essential for a child who is unable to effectively communicate at an expected level for his or her age. Speech-language therapy can help with these communication difficulties.

Some things to try at home, however, include written choices, pictures, and drawing.

Written choices of feeling words, including the basics: "happy, sad, mad, hungry, sleepy, scared," along with parent education of situations in which the child may be feeling these, can be very helpful. The child can then point to the feeling chart when experiencing a strong emotion, to help the adult and child form a plan together.

Pictures of children displaying different emotions (aided with words if developmentally appropriate) can be a comforting choice for a child who needs a peer to "understand" him or her. These picture charts can easily be found in google images. 

A feeling chart with colors listed can help, too. Blue may mean sad, red could mean angry, yellow could equate to happy, etc. Families can create their own color chart. Once again, this can aid the child in identifying feelings in a non-confrontational, safe way. 

Along with the help of a speech-language pathologist, children who do not have very many words, but do have strong feelings may be assisted with these strategies. Along with their parent's modeling feeling words for them, the child will be well on his or her way to effectively communicating emotions.

Language Assessment in Play: Bubbles

by FS&TS

By Sue Jaeger, MS/CCC-SLP

It can be difficult to get an accurate assessment of a little one's communication abilities through standardized measures.  Young children learn and use communication most naturally within play contexts.  And what child doesn't love bubbles!?!?  This informal checklist uses bubbles to elicit a child's speech-language skills. This tool organizes the communication typically exhibited within bubble play in the areas social language development, early receptive/expressive language skills, oral-facial movements, and speech sound development.    

Everyday Language: In the Bathtub

by FS&TS

By Emily Jung

 

Bath time is a great way to incorporate language activities into your daily routines.  This one-on-one time with your child is a great opportunity to target a variety of language concepts including; nouns, verbs, concepts, body parts, following directions, sound and action imitation, and answering questions.  Here are some ways to build language and make bath time even more fun for children!

Words/Language to use:

  • Water         
  • Towel          
  • Take off socks (clothing items)
  • Bubbles          
  • Toys             
  • Time for a bath
  • Bathtub            
  • Wash            
  • Water onSoap                  
  • Dry                
  • Get in
  • Shampoo            
  • Pour                
  • Pop bubbles
  • Swimming            
  • Dump                
  • Bye water

Concepts:

  • In/out                

  • Wet/dry            

  • Hot/cold

  • On/off                
  • Full/empty            
  • Up/down
  • Under/on top            
  • Dirty/clean            

Asking Questions:

  • Is it full?                            

  • Do you want bubbles?

  • Where are your toes? (Identify body parts)            

  • Where is the fish? (Identify objects)

  • Do you want the duck or boat? (Provide choice of toys)

Following Directions:

  • Wash your arms (other body parts).                
  • Give me the towel.
  • Put the toys in.                        
  • Close your eyes.
  • Dry your feet.                            
  • Pop the bubbles.

Other Suggestions:

  • Describe what you are doing
  • Repeat actions several times    
  • Say the word each time you do the action
  • Make the routine repetitive and predictable
  • Make up songs about washing, bubbles, drying off, etc.

Books about Bath Time:

Bath Time! By Sandra Boynton

Get Out of My Bath by Nosy Crow

Tubby by Leslie Patricelli

Peekaboo Bathtime by DK Publishing

The Bath Time Book by Michael Yu

 

Every Day Language with Mr. Potato Head

by FS&TS

By: Jenna Steinbach

As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I love Mr. Potato Head for many reasons! It can be used to target body parts of course, but it can also be used to work on a variety of other language skills. Take a look below at some unique ways to facilitate language using this versatile toy.

 

Labeling body parts: Model (say) the name of the different body parts as you play with them. It seems simple, but is often times forgotten. Say “eye” as you pick up an eye, and “teeth” as your child puts the teeth on. Do this many times and soon your child will start doing the same.  

Identifying body parts: Hold up two items and tell your child, “Take the ear, take teeth, “ etc. This will work on their understanding of vocabulary.

Matching: Hold one body part up and ask you child to find the one that matches. Start by placing only two body parts in front of your child (one that matches, one that doesn’t), and build from there.

Choice making: Hold up two body parts and label them. When your child points to or reaches towards one of them, label it again and given them the piece.

Requesting more: Because there are many pieces involved in Mr. Potato Head, this is a great toy to work on requesting. Give your child one piece at a time. They then have to use words, signs, or gestures to request more pieces.

Requesting assistance: Children do not always have the fine motor skills required to push the body parts in to Mr. Potato Head. This lends itself nicely to work on asking for help. Let your child struggle for a bit, and if they don’t ask for help spontaneously, prompt them by asking, “Do you need help?” You can then model the sign for help, or again verbally model “help” and request them to imitate.

Concepts: The concepts on and off are early developing concepts that can easily be targeted as you put the pieces on, or take them off Mr. Potato Head.

Target verbs: After you have built your Potato Heads, you can make them walk, jump, dance, sleep, etc.

Pretend play: After your Potato Heads are built, you can also work on your child’s pretend play skills by having them go to the store, visit the zoo, or go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Have fun with the things you make up and your child will too!

Conversation Uno

by FS&TS

By Kayla Braun, MS/CCC-SLP

A fun way to teach conversation skill, including taking turns, making on topic comments and not interrupting is to use UNO.  In conversations and UNO players need to take turns. In UNO, you have to pay attention to your partner so you can play a card that is similar to the card showing, which is like paying attention to what is said during conversations so that you can make an on-topic and related comment.  

teaching conversation

Rules:

This game is played the same way as UNO, but has you make comments or ask questions each time you play a card. Before starting the game, decide on a conversation topic. The first player initiates the conversation and each time a card is played, that player needs to make a comment or ask a question related to the conversation topic.

WILDs: If a WILD card is played that person introduces a new conversation topic.

REVERSE: If a Reverse card is played, that person has to make 2 on-topic comments. This can be making a comment and then asking a question (i.e. “ I like to go skiing. Have you ever gone skiing?” or sharing 2 new ideas/comments about the topic (i.e. “I got a new puppy this weekend. His name is Max).

SKIP:  The conversation will skip to the next person.

Targeting Language with Chutes and Ladders

by FS&TS

By Crystal Kieckhofer, M.S.E., CCC-SLP


Do you remember playing Chutes and Ladders as a child?  Here are 5 language areas that you can target with your child while playing Chutes and Ladders at home.

1. Pronouns

2. Regular/Irregular Past Tense Verbs 

3. Present Progressive Verbs

4. Making Inferences/Understanding Cause and Effect

5. Turn-taking

Pronouns, regular and irregular past tense verbs, and present progressive verbs can be modeled and practiced when describing pictures you land on throughout the game.  A therapist or parent can also ask questions about what happened or why it happened to encourage the patient to make basic inferences. The cause and effect of actions in the pictures can also be discussed while playing the game. Nonverbal and verbal turn-taking can be modeled and taught when playing a structured game.