Blog for Parents

Phonemic Awareness: part 1 / MUST-KNOW information about phonemic awareness and speech sound disorders

Do you consider phonemic awareness abilities before beginning to work with students with speech sound disorders? If not, you really should! Read on to learn why & how you should think about and assess these skills.  What is phonemic awareness?  Phonemic awareness is the final step of a larger process called phonological awareness. It is the ability to notice, think about, and manipulate sounds within words.  Specific skills include: Phoneme isolation (initial, medial, and final positions) Blending sounds to form a syllable Segmenting sounds in a syllable Manipulating sounds (adding, deleting, substituting) Why is it important? According to ASHA (The

Read More »
therapist evaluating a child's language skills

What to expect from a speech and language evaluation

What can you expect from a speech and language evaluation with a toddler or preschooler? Whether you finally got the referral you’ve been asking for or received a referral you didn’t expect, let’s take a look at what you can expect for your late talker on evaluation day. Before you go You may receive paperwork ahead of time including a release of information form. This allows the speech-language pathologist to share findings with other family members, schools or professionals. It is always your choice as to who has access on your child’s development. If you aren’t sure you’re ready to

Read More »
Sample of a toy rotation

How to Increase Your Child’s Attention Through Toy Rotation 

Do your kids seem easily bored despite a million toy choices?  Does your little one drift from activity to activity, but doesn’t settle down with any of them? Are you constantly overwhelmed by stuff?  Try toy rotation!   Oftentimes, littles ones are overwhelmed by the number of toys at their disposable, rather than bored. By limiting the number of toys available to a child at one time, you will promote deeper, more creative play and help expand attention skills!  How does toy rotation work? Rotating toys involves presenting a limited number of toys to a child. The set of available toys

Read More »
How to teach body parts mr. potato head

Teaching body parts

Teaching children body parts develops vocabulary, but it also helps with confidence and positive self-image. Children start identifying basic body parts like “nose” around a year. More specific words like “wrist” and “knee” are mastered around age five. Let’s look at some activities we can use to work on this classic language goal. Activities may contain Amazon affiliate links. Bathing baby dolls A shallow bin of water, a baby doll and a washcloth are all you need for some splashing fun! (Oh, maybe add a towel beneath the bin.) Label all the parts of baby that you are cleaning, but

Read More »
Scissor Activities in Speech

Scissor Activities in Speech

Are you the type of SLP who is always up for a good craft, or does the idea of “art” make you sweat? Incorporating scissor activities in the speech room can be a way to bridge these two styles. Why work on scissor skills? Child development skills Scissor practice works on several childhood development skills, including bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination and develops hand strength. The two most important to me as an SLP are bilateral coordination and hand strength. Bilateral coordination Bilateral coordination is the ability for our brain to use both sides at once. This not only helps with

Read More »

Miniature Objects vs. Picture Cards in Articulation Therapy

Where do you fall in the debate over using miniature objects vs. picture cards in speech sessions? Most SLPs have a definite preference for one. There are a few (like me!) who tend to drift back and forth depending on the child or the target.  Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using each in articulation based speech therapy sessions. Using miniature objects in speech Speech miniatures are so cute! You see the IG posts, and they look fun and engaging. They really are! But there’s a lot more to it than that. Pros Participation Miniature objects

Read More »
Expecations for speech clarity

Expectations for Speech Clarity

Parents are often confused by speech clarity guidelines especially when it comes to late talkers. If you can’t understand what your child is trying to tell you, isn’t that a clarity issue? Not necessarily. Late talkers are limited with how much language they have which means they struggle to communicate their wants, needs, and feelings. But there are other children who have language skills within expected ranges that are hard to understand because of they way they form their speech sounds. How do speech sounds develop? Many children don’t develop all mature speech sounds in the English language until they’re

Read More »
young girl holding book in speech

Using Books in Speech Therapy

Speech-language pathologists know using books is one of the BEST ways to build language, but are often quick to assign that task to caregivers. Our graduate school classes are great at telling us the “why” we should do something but tend to be weaker in the “how.” If you don’t get experience working with another therapist who incorporates books into the therapy room, it’s easy to feel a little uncertain as to how to do it. The challenges of using books in speech therapy It takes a looong time. Most story books are long especially if they are designed for

Read More »
happy girl on slide action word

Why Action Words are Important

The role of verbs in language development The first words children say are almost always labels for common (to them) objects or people. Makes sense, right? It’s easier to attach meaning to a noun especially one that we have a lot of experience or interaction with. As little ones start building their vocabulary, you’ll find they move on to a wider variety of words. Social words/greetings: These are words like “hi” and “bye” and ones that go along with social games like “peek-a-boo” (even if it’s shortened to just the “boo”). Verbs: These begin as labels for actions like “jump”

Read More »
cute puppet for feed me game

Feed Me Games for Speech Therapy

“Feed Me” games for speech therapy are classics because they: are easy to set up engage kids for a long time While they are most often used for articulation trials, they can be used for a wide range of language goals too. Ready to add a “feed me” game to your speech therapy room? Let’s get started! What you need At it’s most basic, you’ll need something that “eats” and food to feed it, but that leaves space for a lot of creativity! As an Amazon affiliate, I may receive a small commission if you purchase products through my links.

Read More »

Phonemic Awareness: part 1 / MUST-KNOW information about phonemic awareness and speech sound disorders

Do you consider phonemic awareness abilities before beginning to work with students with speech sound disorders? If not, you really should! Read on to learn why & how you should think about and assess these skills.  What is phonemic awareness?  Phonemic awareness is the final step of a larger process called phonological awareness. It is the ability to notice, think about, and manipulate sounds within words.  Specific skills include: Phoneme isolation (initial, medial, and final positions) Blending sounds to form a syllable Segmenting sounds in a syllable Manipulating sounds (adding, deleting, substituting) Why is it important? According to ASHA (The

Read More »
therapist evaluating a child's language skills

What to expect from a speech and language evaluation

What can you expect from a speech and language evaluation with a toddler or preschooler? Whether you finally got the referral you’ve been asking for or received a referral you didn’t expect, let’s take a look at what you can expect for your late talker on evaluation day. Before you go You may receive paperwork ahead of time including a release of information form. This allows the speech-language pathologist to share findings with other family members, schools or professionals. It is always your choice as to who has access on your child’s development. If you aren’t sure you’re ready to

Read More »
Sample of a toy rotation

How to Increase Your Child’s Attention Through Toy Rotation 

Do your kids seem easily bored despite a million toy choices?  Does your little one drift from activity to activity, but doesn’t settle down with any of them? Are you constantly overwhelmed by stuff?  Try toy rotation!   Oftentimes, littles ones are overwhelmed by the number of toys at their disposable, rather than bored. By limiting the number of toys available to a child at one time, you will promote deeper, more creative play and help expand attention skills!  How does toy rotation work? Rotating toys involves presenting a limited number of toys to a child. The set of available toys

Read More »
How to teach body parts mr. potato head

Teaching body parts

Teaching children body parts develops vocabulary, but it also helps with confidence and positive self-image. Children start identifying basic body parts like “nose” around a year. More specific words like “wrist” and “knee” are mastered around age five. Let’s look at some activities we can use to work on this classic language goal. Activities may contain Amazon affiliate links. Bathing baby dolls A shallow bin of water, a baby doll and a washcloth are all you need for some splashing fun! (Oh, maybe add a towel beneath the bin.) Label all the parts of baby that you are cleaning, but

Read More »
Scissor Activities in Speech

Scissor Activities in Speech

Are you the type of SLP who is always up for a good craft, or does the idea of “art” make you sweat? Incorporating scissor activities in the speech room can be a way to bridge these two styles. Why work on scissor skills? Child development skills Scissor practice works on several childhood development skills, including bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination and develops hand strength. The two most important to me as an SLP are bilateral coordination and hand strength. Bilateral coordination Bilateral coordination is the ability for our brain to use both sides at once. This not only helps with

Read More »

Miniature Objects vs. Picture Cards in Articulation Therapy

Where do you fall in the debate over using miniature objects vs. picture cards in speech sessions? Most SLPs have a definite preference for one. There are a few (like me!) who tend to drift back and forth depending on the child or the target.  Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using each in articulation based speech therapy sessions. Using miniature objects in speech Speech miniatures are so cute! You see the IG posts, and they look fun and engaging. They really are! But there’s a lot more to it than that. Pros Participation Miniature objects

Read More »
Expecations for speech clarity

Expectations for Speech Clarity

Parents are often confused by speech clarity guidelines especially when it comes to late talkers. If you can’t understand what your child is trying to tell you, isn’t that a clarity issue? Not necessarily. Late talkers are limited with how much language they have which means they struggle to communicate their wants, needs, and feelings. But there are other children who have language skills within expected ranges that are hard to understand because of they way they form their speech sounds. How do speech sounds develop? Many children don’t develop all mature speech sounds in the English language until they’re

Read More »
young girl holding book in speech

Using Books in Speech Therapy

Speech-language pathologists know using books is one of the BEST ways to build language, but are often quick to assign that task to caregivers. Our graduate school classes are great at telling us the “why” we should do something but tend to be weaker in the “how.” If you don’t get experience working with another therapist who incorporates books into the therapy room, it’s easy to feel a little uncertain as to how to do it. The challenges of using books in speech therapy It takes a looong time. Most story books are long especially if they are designed for

Read More »
happy girl on slide action word

Why Action Words are Important

The role of verbs in language development The first words children say are almost always labels for common (to them) objects or people. Makes sense, right? It’s easier to attach meaning to a noun especially one that we have a lot of experience or interaction with. As little ones start building their vocabulary, you’ll find they move on to a wider variety of words. Social words/greetings: These are words like “hi” and “bye” and ones that go along with social games like “peek-a-boo” (even if it’s shortened to just the “boo”). Verbs: These begin as labels for actions like “jump”

Read More »
cute puppet for feed me game

Feed Me Games for Speech Therapy

“Feed Me” games for speech therapy are classics because they: are easy to set up engage kids for a long time While they are most often used for articulation trials, they can be used for a wide range of language goals too. Ready to add a “feed me” game to your speech therapy room? Let’s get started! What you need At it’s most basic, you’ll need something that “eats” and food to feed it, but that leaves space for a lot of creativity! As an Amazon affiliate, I may receive a small commission if you purchase products through my links.

Read More »