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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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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This SLP Life

Who else uses December to take stock and plan for the upcoming year? How many times have you vowed to bring more balance into this SLP life? Educators are at such high risk for burnout normally and this year has pushed everyone to the edge. For me, it’s been an opportunity to reflect on what I really want to be doing, especially now that the kids are both in college, and what I want this next chapter of my speech career to look like. I knew I’d need some help. This SLP Life I’d met Melissa Page online several years

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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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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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Using Survey Monkey for Voting in Speech Therapy

Ever take a vote in speech? I’m pretty nerdy when it comes to the privilege of voting and I’m thrilled that my entire family will (for the first time) be able to vote in the presidential election. In our family, we vote on lots of stuff—how to carve the pumpkin, what to serve at Thanksgiving, how a family vacation went…the list goes on. When the kids were really little we did a show of hands. Later it became paper ballots that you’d slide into the top drawer in the pantry. Now I send out surveys via Survey Monkey. Not only

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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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Teaching Classroom Routines at Home

It’s the procedures at school that often indicate early success—even more than the actual academic skills. Practicing and teaching classroom routines at home can go a long way in classroom success and your child’s confidence since it’s the procedures at school that often indicate early success—even more than the actual academic skills. While these skills are particularly important for our PreK and Kindergarten students who are just starting “real school” a review for little ones in first and even second grade can be beneficial given how long most have been (or will be) out of a formal school setting. Circle

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