Blog for Parents

toddlers playing near each other

5 Types of Communication Intents

Early language is more about communication intents than vocabulary. Let’s take a look at 5 types we see in early language. Requests When little ones need support with language skills, we tend to focus on requests. This is because: They’re usually very motivating They’re naturally reinforcing It’s easier to set up situations that encourage these interactions They make our days more manageable “Late talkers” have more frequent and bigger tantrums because they’re frustrated by their lack of language (aka their ability to tell you what they want). Helping them learn to express their wants and needs can decrease these outbursts.

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collage of moms playing with their children

What is your parenting play style?

We all have different interests and different ways of learning. We can use these to find our parenting play style so we enjoy the activities we do with our kids as much as they do! For a quick, free quiz with suggestions for activities you’ll love, click here. Activities based on parenting style: Creative types love messy, hands-on projects. Try arts and crafts, cooking with kids, and sensory bins! You might also like dramatic play like dress-up and creating performances. Active types are ready to go when it comes to sports and other physical activities. You can try children’s sports

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two young children playing

Language and Stages of Play

What are the stages of play? We often say the goal of talking is that we want our children to be able to communicate their wants and needs to make their lives, and our lives, easier, but that just covers the basics! What we’re really moving towards is their ability to use language to communicate ideas and feelings and develop relationships with others. For children, this happens through play. “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious learning.” Fred Rogers There are many stages of play beginning in

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How to Raise Compassionate Kids

Empathy is the ability to take another person’s perspective and imagine how they feel even if we haven’t experienced the same circumstance. It’s a sophisticated skill that needs to be modeled and taught if we’re hoping to raise kind and compassionate kids. These suggestions are designed for children 4-10 years old and can be adapted to accommodate the whole family. Laying a foundation To start raising kind kids, we need to help our children develop a robust vocabulary of emotion words so they can label their own feelings as well as identify those of others. Here are a few words

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Dealing with Meddlesome Family Members

The holidays will look different this year which may make it easier to avoid meddlesome family members or a small group might make it more difficult to hide. In my practice, it wasn’t unusual to receive several phone calls around the holidays from frantic parents who’d been accosted by an extended family member with a negative comment. When you have a little one that’s behind in their development, it’s understandable you’d be anxious and more sensitive to the opinions of others. After all, we want to protect our children and see them thriving and happy. Why is Grandma butting in?

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The Case for Expanding Early Language

Hooray! Your child is beginning to communicate with 1-2 words! Now, how can we start expanding their early language attempts? As exciting as those first words and word combinations are, they have limitations. As parents, we make assumptions about the meaning of what our children are saying, often based on the situation. For example, moms know it’s more likely that “doggy eat” is a comment, but grammatically it sounds more like a command. By using the technique of expanding, we can demonstrate a more mature language structure. “Doggy eat.” “Yes, the doggy is eating.” Key characteristics of expanding are: the

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Skills Needed Before They Start Talking

Skills Needed Before They Start Talking

Babies and toddlers don’t just start talking one day. That first year is filled with critical learning of skills needed before they start talking. For “late talkers,” it’s very likely the delay is a result of a delay in one of these areas. Giving them support here will start them on the path towards developing their first words. Building a Foundation Each of these areas both builds on and overlaps with the other. For these skills to appear, we will assume the child is responsive to their environment and the people within it. Joint attention is when both individuals are

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boy in early intervention

Why is early intervention important?

We’ve heard family, friends, maybe even pediatricians, say that early intervention is important. But why? Is it that big of a deal to wait six months? When it comes to speech and language skills, waiting six months is not a life or death decision, but it can have a big impact on how big of a mountain you need to scale once you start. Let me explain. We talk a lot about milestones and we should because milestones are exciting! Those are what we add to FB feeds or text to family. It’s what we read in parenting books and

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Halloween books in speech

3 Halloween Books and How to Use Them to Build Language Skills

Halloween is one of my favorite seasons. Once the fall air hits, it means apple and pumpkin picking, pumpkin-flavored everything, leaves changing and getting ready for all things Halloween. As a speech pathologist and mom, I’m always looking for fun and creative ways to incorporate the holidays into my therapy sessions and with my kids. The more fun they are having, the less likely they are to get bored or realize that they are actually engaging in educational activities. Halloween books are one of my go-tos! These seasonal choices can be books about Halloween specifically or it can be about

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Learn to Build Children’s Attention Spans

Did you know you can start building attention span even in preschool?  The ability to attend is a critical foundational skill. If a child is unable to attend for a sustained period to a toy or activities, they’ll struggle to build their language or concept understanding. Down the line, lack of attention causes academic and behavior issues in the classroom. And if we are aware that they are behind in developing their attention span, how do we go about building it? 9 Tips for Building Improving Attention Spans Sleep and nutrition Both of these have a huge impact on sustaining

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