Category Archives: Interactive Therapy Inc.

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

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

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.
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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