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

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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”

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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 »
cute child saying first word

What counts as a first word?

Parents are often surprised (and relieved) at our first meeting when I let them know that a lot of the communication their child is attempting does count as a first word. What counts as a first word? A word is any consistent, and generally unique label, for a specific object, person, action, etc. Here are a few things that count: Exclamations Environmental and animal sounds Signs Vocal approximations Exclamations: These are some of the first words little ones pick up because they are usually said with a lot of emphasis and intonation. These include “uh-oh” and “ow!” Environmental and animal

Read More »
ice cream cones

The BEST ways to use ice cream in language therapy! 

Keep children engaged in therapy with ice cream themed activities Yum! Let’s bring some ice cream themed activities into our speech room!  Whether you are seeing summer students, tying it in with field day or school spirit days, or using it for birthday celebrations, ice cream is a fun, child-approved theme. It can target all your speech and language goals too! Win, win! Use toys Let’s be honest. Kids love toys. When we pull them out for sessions we have instant excitement and engagement! Here are a few of my favorites to use with ice cream themed therapy sessions: *As

Read More »
healthy lunch is a habit

How to Avoid SLP Burnout

6 happy habits to make next year easier (& they’re not what you think!) Most school based SLPs will have ten glorious weeks to enjoy the summer. Hmmm…maybe a bit less when we consider the first couple of weeks are needed to recuperate from the past year.  And maybe the last week is more about prep for going back…Still, seven weeks to recover, refresh, and indulge is a wonderful opportunity!  How will you use yours? Most importantly, how can you avoid SLP burnout in the first place? If you are one of those SLPs always on the brink of burnout

Read More »
keep momentum in SLP career

Avoid SLP Burnout

How to maintain your momentum as an SLP for over 20 years If you are in any of the SLP Facebook groups, you’ll notice an inordinate number of posts about SLP burnout. For those new to the field, or looking to get into the field, it can be discouraging. Who wants to spend a few grueling years in graduate school, acquiring school debt, only to feel defeated within the first several years of employment? Or maybe you’re watching the end of the summer approach faster than you can believe and wonder if this school year will be as bad as

Read More »
sandcastle with ocean themes in speech therapy label

Ocean Themes in Speech Therapy

When you think ocean themes in speech therapy are you assuming it’s for those of us who see students in the summer? It’s time to reconsider! Ocean themes cover a wide range of activities which means an even wider range of speech and language goals to target. Related themes or titles: Sea creatures Under the Sea Speech on the Beach Sharks Pirates A visit to the Aquarium Speech rooms love pirate themes in September to tie in with Talk Like a Pirate Day! Books with an Ocean Theme Links to purchase books may contain Amazon affiliate links. I receive a

Read More »

Conversation Starters in Language Therapy

Use conversation starters in language therapy as a must have Back-to-School activity for your speech room. Conversation starters are a great way to work on articulation, vocabulary, language skills and fluency with a controlled topic. They’re also a way to kick off the school year when you need a low-prep activity to covertly assess skills in natural conversation. How to use conversation starters in language therapy Draw a card and answer the question: This is the typical format for these kinds of language activities, but consider all the possible subtlties! You can read the question aloud and see who struggles

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 »
cute child saying first word

What counts as a first word?

Parents are often surprised (and relieved) at our first meeting when I let them know that a lot of the communication their child is attempting does count as a first word. What counts as a first word? A word is any consistent, and generally unique label, for a specific object, person, action, etc. Here are a few things that count: Exclamations Environmental and animal sounds Signs Vocal approximations Exclamations: These are some of the first words little ones pick up because they are usually said with a lot of emphasis and intonation. These include “uh-oh” and “ow!” Environmental and animal

Read More »
ice cream cones

The BEST ways to use ice cream in language therapy! 

Keep children engaged in therapy with ice cream themed activities Yum! Let’s bring some ice cream themed activities into our speech room!  Whether you are seeing summer students, tying it in with field day or school spirit days, or using it for birthday celebrations, ice cream is a fun, child-approved theme. It can target all your speech and language goals too! Win, win! Use toys Let’s be honest. Kids love toys. When we pull them out for sessions we have instant excitement and engagement! Here are a few of my favorites to use with ice cream themed therapy sessions: *As

Read More »
healthy lunch is a habit

How to Avoid SLP Burnout

6 happy habits to make next year easier (& they’re not what you think!) Most school based SLPs will have ten glorious weeks to enjoy the summer. Hmmm…maybe a bit less when we consider the first couple of weeks are needed to recuperate from the past year.  And maybe the last week is more about prep for going back…Still, seven weeks to recover, refresh, and indulge is a wonderful opportunity!  How will you use yours? Most importantly, how can you avoid SLP burnout in the first place? If you are one of those SLPs always on the brink of burnout

Read More »
keep momentum in SLP career

Avoid SLP Burnout

How to maintain your momentum as an SLP for over 20 years If you are in any of the SLP Facebook groups, you’ll notice an inordinate number of posts about SLP burnout. For those new to the field, or looking to get into the field, it can be discouraging. Who wants to spend a few grueling years in graduate school, acquiring school debt, only to feel defeated within the first several years of employment? Or maybe you’re watching the end of the summer approach faster than you can believe and wonder if this school year will be as bad as

Read More »
sandcastle with ocean themes in speech therapy label

Ocean Themes in Speech Therapy

When you think ocean themes in speech therapy are you assuming it’s for those of us who see students in the summer? It’s time to reconsider! Ocean themes cover a wide range of activities which means an even wider range of speech and language goals to target. Related themes or titles: Sea creatures Under the Sea Speech on the Beach Sharks Pirates A visit to the Aquarium Speech rooms love pirate themes in September to tie in with Talk Like a Pirate Day! Books with an Ocean Theme Links to purchase books may contain Amazon affiliate links. I receive a

Read More »

Conversation Starters in Language Therapy

Use conversation starters in language therapy as a must have Back-to-School activity for your speech room. Conversation starters are a great way to work on articulation, vocabulary, language skills and fluency with a controlled topic. They’re also a way to kick off the school year when you need a low-prep activity to covertly assess skills in natural conversation. How to use conversation starters in language therapy Draw a card and answer the question: This is the typical format for these kinds of language activities, but consider all the possible subtlties! You can read the question aloud and see who struggles

Read More »