Blog for Parents

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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Expectations for Preschool Attention Spans

There’s so much talk about “attention deficits” even in daycares and early childhood programs. When your preschool child flits from toy to toy, have you wondered if their attention span is something you need to worry about? How long should they be able to focus anyway? EXPECTATIONS FOR PRESCHOOL ATTENTION SPANS At a 12 months, a child will only attend for about a minute at a time. At 18 months, they will have worked up to 2-3 minutes. After that, a rough estimate is that a child will have an attention span that is 2-4 times their chronological age. 2

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What is the price of speech therapy?

One of the first questions families have when a recommendation for an evaluation is made is “what’s the price of speech therapy?” I get it. When you are juggling all the expenses of a young family the idea of adding on a weekly service is a big concern. Here’s how it works. Speech Evaluation vs. Therapy Services Receiving a referral for a speech and language evaluation means your child will be assessed to see their current speech and language level. Once the assessment is complete, then the speech-language pathologist will make recommendations. Your child’s skills might fall within the typical

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Bubbles for Early Language Development

Bubbles and early language are a perfect match. It’s cheap and easy to carry. If you can overlook the periodic spill, it’s nearly perfect. Bubbles lend themselves easily to early language development—i.e. requests/demands (depends on your perspective), joint attention, turn-taking, size concepts, etc. plus early developing speech sounds like “b,” “p,” and “m.” Using bubbles for lip sounds (bilabials) When it comes to speech sounds, let’s talk about what bubbles are (and aren’t) good for: Lip sounds, like b, p and m, are some of the earliest to develop because the movement is a bit more broad and it’s very

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