Blog for Parents

Teaching Prepositions

Prepositions are little words with an important responsibility. These are what we use to indicate the location or position of things. They’re words like “in,” “under,” “behind” and “next to.” Some of these develop early, during the toddler years, like “in” and “on.” Others will still be tricky up until our kids enter school; words like “through” and “between.” Because understanding a preposition means understanding the position of one thing in relation to another, I find it particularly helpful to teach these words by moving around, and, to start, I have the child move their own body into different relative

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Do Kids Need Playdates?

We’ve been “safe at home” for nearly two months now. The mandated time apart from friends, extended family, and social activities have been a gift to some and a nearly unbearable burden to others. Some of us will continue to shelter in place. Others are looking at loosening restrictions and wondering if it’s ok to venture out. For those with little ones at home, there are concerns about Covid19 exposure, but also whether the lack of peer interaction is having a detrimental impact on development. Let’s explore. People are social creatures. Numerous studies have shown that strong emotional bonds with

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Communication Skills Boys vs. Girls

Have you ever walked into a preschool classroom and had a little girl walk up to you and start chatting in a way that seems well beyond her years? Certainly, way beyond the skills of your own little one? This precocious behavior is both adorable and a bit disconcerting. Is it normal? Grandma would say, “girls develop faster.” They’re right. The average age for a first word is 7-12 mos. and girls are more likely than boys to fall on the earlier side. At 16 mos. girls are likely to have vocabularies that are more than 2x the size of

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Social Skills Projects for Home

Don’t get me wrong, I love nearly everything within my field that comes my way, but my true sweet spot is early language skills and social skills for children of any age. When it comes to working on social skills, I do a lot of super targeted lessons and explicit learning, but I also include long(er)-term or group projects whenever I can. Not only does this give us lots of real world practice in negotiating social skills in real-time, but they also address executive function skills—an area that many children, especially those struggling with social skills need help with. Social

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mom imitating child

Why you should imitate your child

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  (Oscar Wilde) This is what we were told, but in everyday life it rankled. The sister that copied your fashion choices. The annoying kid that repeated what you said. The smothering friend who wanted to do everything you did. Yet there is tremendous power in being the leader. How often does your little one get to call the shots? Toddlers and preschoolers don’t usually get to give a lot of input in their day—and aside from strategic choices (more on this later), they need the structure we provide them. Which is why “no”

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Teaching Secret Keeping

This is the time of year I’m likely to suggest families work on secret-keeping. Does this sound a little inappropriate? Then think of it as keeping “surprises.” The idea behind secrets is pretty sophisticated and kids who struggle with perspective taking are going to have a particularly hard time (and need some specific instruction) in learning this skill. But it’s important! We keep secrets all the time. Sometimes it’s for really fun stuff like birthday presents, an unexpected note and surprise parties. Sometimes it’s for a harmless joke like putting a plastic spider in the fruit bowl. Sometimes it’s to

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.

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