TOTS START FIGURING OUT WRITING EVEN BEFORE ABCS

An  article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of 1/10/16 says that an experiment finds youngsters grasp that words have different meaning than their drawing. Some of the highlights indicate that scribbling is a vehicle for language and a precursor to reading. It is an additional way to consider reading readiness, beyond the emphasis on phonetics or being able to point out an “A” in the alphabet chart. A child calls it a family portrait when it may look like a bunch of grapes. It is a great open door into the world of symbolic thought, according to the researcher, Hirsh-Pasek.

Strategies to help young kids read and write are:
1) Run a finger under the text when reading to youngsters, otherwise, they will pay more attention to the pictures according to Brett Miller of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.
2) Show children how you write their names well before they can attempt it said Temple University psychology professor athy Kirs-Pasek.
3) Encourage youngsters to invent their own spellings of other words after their name to spur them to write more according to developmental psychologist, Rebecca Treiman of Washington University in St. Louis.
4) When youngsters scribble, don’t guess what they produced-ask, Hirsh-Pasek said. It’s discouraging if a tot is about to announce he wrote a story and mom thinks he drew a house.
5) Post a scribble they are proud of on the refrigerator and they will figure out patterns with their scribbles. That’s more instructive than merely pasting copies of apples onto a page to make a recognizable picture according to Hirsh-Pasek.
6) Give tots a pencil or pen instead of a crayon if they say they want to “write” instead of “draw” so it will look more like text, Treiman said.

Remember to read to your children.  That is the foundation to learn to read.

If you want to make a speech therapy  appointment,  please contact my website at  www.interactivetherapy.net.  I also have a facebook page and twitter page where you can a plethora of information.

Pam Hass, Speech Language Pathologist

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES TO DO AT HOME: PART 3

HAPPY NEW YEAR from  Interactive Therapy Inc.

This is a continuation of Part 2 of language activities to do at home to facilitate communication and interaction at home and in the community.

21.  Take your child on field trips.  There are many places in the St. Louis area which can provide your child with an enjoyable and enriching experience.

22.  Talk about the days of the week, the month and what will be happening that day, week, or month.

23.   Talk about the weather and how it looks today.  Discuss what type of clothes you need to wear  on the particular day.

24.  As each holiday approaches, discuss what it involves and what will be happening in your home.

25.  Talk about each season as it happens during the year.  Show and discuss the physical changes you see.

26.  Have your child say the word that finishes a riddle.  “Who delivers the mail?” (mail carrier).  “I bounce the  ________.”

25.  Read a story to your child, pausing at certain places, leaving out words; the child is to supply the missing word.

27.  To teach a child to ask questions, have him ask questions, have him ask questions concerning the location of a hidden object until it is found.

28.  Play descriptive games, e.g. “I Spy”.  Describe an object and have the child guess what it is, e.g. I have fur, a tail, four legs, and bark.”  “What am I?” (dog).  Also let your child try to describe something and you guess what it is he is describing.

29.  A deck of playing cards provides excellent teaching materials for matching and naming suits, pictures, numbers, and sets.

30.  Listening for sounds.  Have your child close his eyes and listen to the sounds going on around him.  Have him verbally identify what he hears.  Talk abut whether the sound is loud or soft, near or far away, high or low.

31.  Play Simon Says.  This gets the child to listen to commands auditorily and transfer commands to movements of body parts.

If you want more information or to schedule an appointment, please go to www.interactivetherapy.net.

 

Pam Hass, Speech Language Pathologist

 

 

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES TO DO AT HOME

This is a continuation of last week’s language activities to increase vocabulary and to facilitate interaction and communication.

11. Play a game of following commands such as, “Bring me the spoon and the glass.” or “Close the door and turn on the light.” This teaches your child to listen and follow directions.

12. Use prepositions to play listening games. “Put the spoon in the glass.” Put the car behind the chair.” Where is the car?” “Put the cup between the forks.”

13. Hide objects in the room and have your child tell where he/she found them.

14. Help your child learn colors, shapes, and sizes by talking about objects in his/her everyday world. “This is a big, red, ball.” “It is round and it bounces.”

15. Take turns talking about things as you do them: “I am stirring.” “You are washing.” “I am dancing.” “We are shopping.”

16. Talk about how foods taste, look, feel, smell and sound as you eat them.

17. Count things as you do them, like buttoning, climbing steps, and setting the table.

18. Collect a box of junk. Take turns guessing what is in the box by the way it feels (close your eyes of course) or by the way it sounds when it is shaken or banged on the side.

19. Using measuring spoons, measuring cups, bowls and cans, put them in order from small to large and talk about which one is the smallest, biggest, and in the middle.

20. Play songs. Sing with your child. Nursery rhymes and simple songs build vocabulary and grammar.

If you want more information or to schedule an appointment with Interactive Therapy, go to www.interactivetherapy.net.

Pamela Hass
Speech Language Pathologist

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES TO DO AT HOME

1. Show your child pictures of animals and vehicles and talk about what sounds they make.
2. Use your child’s name when talking to him and teach him/her his/her full name.
3. Teach your child body parts. Look in the mirror and have him/her point out and name eyes, ears, hair, etc. Also have him wash and name different body parts during bath time.
4. Point out and name objects when you are doing the shopping or driving in the car. This expands your child’s vocabulary.
5. Help your child learn the names and functions of common objects like spoon, ball, pencil, etc. Ask, “What do you throw?”
6. Encourage your child to ask questions and tell what he/she wants. Frequently, children will point or gesture to indicate their needs.
7. Talk together about pictures in books or magazines. Name things, tell about what is happening and what might happen next and compare things in the picture with things that have happened in your child’s experiences.
8. Play sorting games and sort socks, colors, silverware, blocks, clothing, etc.
9. Talk about concepts such as bigger, smaller, more, less, soft, rough, hard, few, many, beginning, end, first, last, long, short, fat, thin, wet, dry, etc.
10. Encourage your child to play with other children. Social interaction is good language stimulation. Dress-up, house, and cars and trucks usually involve talking and role playing with each other.

Please go to www.interactivetherapy.net for more information.

Pam Hass, Speech Language Pathologist, Interactive Therapy Inc

LEARN NEW WORDS:PART 4

If your child is older and needs work on vocabulary, you can do more “formal” teaching activities.  Your child’s teacher or speech language pathologist have probably given you a vocabulary list appropriate to your child’s level, or you can choose words from reading material that can be part of that list.

Before you decide which words to emphasize, you need to know whether or not your child understands or uses certain words.  To see if your child knows a word, have the child:

1. Match similar but slightly different pictures of objects representing that word.

2. Pick out more than one picture representing the word from a choice of at least four pictures.

3. Name a picture, object, or experience using the word.

4. Tell you the word if you say its meaning or use.  For example, “What do we dig holes with?”

5. Define the word using at least two statements that demonstrate knowledge of the word.

6. Sort pictures of things into different categories, or say what category a word belongs in, e.g. an apple is a kind of fruit; a shirt is a piece of clothing.

7. Tell how the object named is like something similar and how it is different.  How are an apple and a tomato alike? How are they different?

8. Use the word  appropriately in sentences and in conversation.

Select a few words and “test” your child on the above tasks.  Write down the words your child had trouble with and what kind of task gave the child difficulty.  Develop a list of words to teach according to the task. Try easier tasks first; the tasks are listed in order of difficulty.  If your child is under five years of age, tasks five through eight might be too difficult.

If you want to be sure your child is learning new words, keep a record of words you are working on.  Record when you started working on a word, what tasks have been accomplished, when the child understood the word, and when the child started to use a word.  Share this information with your child’s speech language pathologist.

Reference: “Communication Skill Builders”, Leslie S. McColgin, 1988.

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LEARNING NEW WORDS: PART 3

Using natural activities will increase vocabulary.  When your child needs to learn a “target” word, try these activities:

  1. Find five pictures depicting the word and tape them in five major doorways throughout your house.  Place the pictures at your child’s eye level.  Now establish the “rule” that whenever a family member goes through that doorway, and your child is within listening distance, the family member must say the word or a short phrase containing the word.
  2. Use the word in some of your family’s favorite songs.
  3. Have your child participate in activities in which the word occurs (folding clothes, mealtime, playing with toys, dressing, bathtime, etc.). Use the word repeatedly throughout the activity.
  4. Encourage your child to use the word, but without too much pressure.  Continue the activities described to help the child listen to the word and see how using the word can influence other people.
Using activities of daily living to help your child learn new words and using the words repeatedly in the activity will help your child retain the word.  Praise your child for using the word in conversation when it occurs.
Reference:  The strategies were taken from Communication Skill Builders by Leslie S. McColgin.
Be sure to visit www.interactivetherapy.net  and click on the facebook link to view the latest interesting posts.  Click like page, if you like what you see.  The latest tweets are on twitter @PamelaHass.

LEARNING NEW WORDS: PART 2

Interactive Therapy Inc. hasn’t blogged in a while, so this post is a continuation of learning new words that was started in April, 2015.  These are more tips to help your child learn new words for improved communication:

6) Try to use meaningful situations at home to develop language learning.  For example, when your child wants or needs something, the child is more likely to pay attention to the word, or to try to say the word.

7) Repetition is very important.  It is possible to find many different responses to say a word in a given situation.  It may be necessary for your child to hear a word many times, in different phrases, before the child will try to say it.

8) Respond appropriately to your child.  Children acquire words because words bring results.  The big “payoff” for your child’s use of words is your natural and spontaneous response.  For example, your child might say, “More ice cream, please.” If you give more ice cream, the child is discovering that language gets results.

9) As your child learns new words, the pronunciation may not be correct.  It is important that you accept variations in pronunciation at first.  Encourage the use of the word without correcting the child’s pronunciation.  Pronunciation can be improved once a child has acquired a word and uses it without hesitation in appropriate situations.

10) Your child also needs to hear and see what the word is NOT.  Knowing what a hat is , is related to knowing that other things are “not hats.”  Putting different types of hats in a group is one way to help your child know what a hat is and for example that ” a shirt” is not a hat.  Point out to your child things that are not what you are currently working on.  In general, it is best to start by pointing out what something is before pointing out what it is not.

The above information was taken from “Communication Skill Builders”  and written by Leslie S. McColgin for instructional purposes and edited by me.

I would like to add that the target for increasing vocabulary from the time a child starts talking is to add 1-2 new words per week.  I want to reiterate that using objects in daily living repeatedly and in a variety of ways is the best way  to increase vocabulary.

Please check out  www.interactivetherapy.net to get more information about the speech/language services that Interactive Therapy Inc. provides. Please view Interactive Therapy’s face book page at facebook.com/Interactive Therapy Inc. and twitter @Pamela Hass to view interesting posts about speech language pathology.  If you like what you see on face book, please like Interactive Therapy Inc.

Pamela Hass, Speech Language Pathologist

LEARNING NEW WORDS: PART 1

You can help your child learn new words.  To be a good communicator, your child must understand and use many words.  During the preschool years, words must be added to your child’s vocabulary continually.  You can help your child learn new words during everyday activities at home.  Use the following suggestions as you talk with your child:

1.  Choose meaningful, simple words.  Include different types of words-nouns for naming people, places, and things, and verbs for naming actions.

2.  With some new words, it might be helpful to use a gesture.  For example, waving your hand for “bye-bye” or holding out your hand when you say “Give me.”  Change your tone of voice and use different facial expressions to help your child learn the meaning of different words.  For example, if angry is the word to be learned , you might frown when you say, I am angry.”

3.  Teach a word in its most natural context first (learning “kick” while kicking a ball).  Always start with the most natural, common use of a word possible.  For example, point out common birds you see every day as examples of “birds” rather than a goose or a penguin.

4.  A child learns a word as a meaningful sound when it has been experienced in a variety of ways (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling).  Using real objects to teach words is far better than using pictures.

5. The word to be learned must be presented or said when  the object or experience is present.  Do everything possible to make a clear association between the word and what it represents.

Learn more about LEARNING NEW WORDS in part 2 of this segment.

Reference: Communication Skill Builders

Author: Leslie S. McColgin

Editing: Pam Hass, M.A. CCC/SLP Interactive Therapy Inc

ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD’S LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: PART 4

This is the last segment of “Encourage Your Child’s Language Development”. We have reviewed and discussed the following points: 1) Be an active listener. 2) Let your child talk without interruptions. 3) Reward your child’s speech attempts. 4) If you don’t understand your child, help your child communicate more clearly. 5) Give your child enough time to respond to you. 6) Give your child feedback when making a sound or word error.

The last three points are:
7) Decrease the pressure placed on your child to talk by limiting the number of activities to be done at one time. It may be too difficult for your child to play with toys and talk at the same time. The TV or music may be too much of a distraction. Avoid making your child “perform” in front of others. If you want to show how your child can count in front of Grandpa, count together. Make the experience fun for everyone.

8) Discourage the use of “bad” words by encouraging other types of expression. Kids know that “bad” words can be used to shock people and get attention! The best response is to avoid acting shocked and explain that people don’t like those words and you don’t want to hear them. It is important to let your child know that you understand the child’s feelings. Attempt to teach your child another way to express emotions, e.g. hit a pillow when mad and say acceptable words like “no!”; “not happy”; or just “mad”. This way, you are accepting your child’s feelings and language attempts and suggesting other words or actions that can be used instead of “bad” words.

9) Know what to expect of your child. Help your child communicate within the range of your child’s ability. If you have a good idea about what your child can and cannot do, you will not demand too much–or accept less. Knowing this information will save frustration for both you and your child.

You can have a tremendous influence on your child’s language development. It takes time, patience and a real effort on your part. The rewards will be worth it-for both you and your child.

Reference: Communication Skill Builders, Author: Diann D. Grimm, M.A. C.C.C., Ed.S.

Editing by Pamela Hass, M.A. C.C.C. Speech Language Pathologist
Interactive Therapy Inc , www.interactivetherapy.net

ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD’S LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: PART 3

So far, we have discussed tips for learning language at home. They are: 1) Be an active listener. 2) Let your child talk. 3) Reward your child’s speech attempts. and 4) If you don’t understand your chld, help the child communicate more clearly.

More strategies will help your child develop language.

5) Give your child enough time to respond to you. Children with language problems often need extra time to process what you say. You should not assume that your child will be ready to respond as soon as you finish talking. If your child is unable to respond, repeat what you said. Your child may need to hear it again to fully understand the meaning. It will take a lot of patience on your part to wait and repeat if necessary, but it will improve your daily communications with your child.

6) When your child makes a sound or word, use feedback. Child: “Look, Daddy’s tar!” Caregiver would respond with, “Yes, Daddy’s Car! We ride in his car.” All you are doing is giving your child a chance to hear the correct form. It is not necessary to ask your child to repeat the correct form. In time, your child will probably begin to repeat the correct speech after you without being asked to do so. This allows you to avoid “correcting” your child’s speech and language. Nobody likes to be corrected! Your child needs to associate language development with good experiences. Try using feedback with your child. You will probably be pleased with the results.

Reference: Communication Skill Builders; Diana D. Grimm, M.A. CCC, Ed.S.