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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Winter Vocabulary List: Speech and Language Activities

Winter Vocabulary List

Winter Vocabulary List: Speech and Language Activities

 

Even though spring is on its way, it looks like Chicago still has more winter ahead. This winter vocabulary list came to mind in anticipation of the snow- storm. The winter vocabulary list can be used for many fun and relevant speech and language activities.

There is a lot of research behind the importance of incorporating meaningful vocabulary words into speech and language activities.  Not only does it teach new words, using meaningful vocabulary is functional. If we tailor therapy activities to include relevant material, our children will be more engaged and apt to generalize (carry-over) skills.

Below is Chicago Speech and More’s Winter Vocabulary List.  This vocabulary list can be used for a variety of speech and language activities and goals. Depending on your child or student’s area(s) of need, this list can be modified to fit into their intervention plan.

Chicago Speech and More’s Winter Vocabulary List

 

blizzard freezing skate snow shovel
boots frosty ski snow day
brrrr gloves ski pants snowy
carrot hot chocolate sled socks
car ice sleet sweater
chimney icicle slip temperature
coat icy sneeze white
cold jacket snow whiteout
chocolate marshmallow snow angel wind
earmuffs melt snowball wind chill factor
February mountain snowball fight windy
fire scarf snowboard wintertime
flip shovel snowflake wintry

 

How to Adapt the Winter Vocabulary List for Therapy

Speech (Articulation Therapy): If your child is working on a specific sound or group of sounds, simply find the target (sound/group/process) within this list.

  • Here are some examples of how to use the winter vocabulary list as a guide for articulation therapy:
    • /s/ as target sound: snow, snowball, sled, boots, socks
    • /s/ blends as target sound: snow, ski, sled, slide, slip, sweater, snowsuit
    • /l/ blends as target sound: blizzard, sled, slide, slip, flip, shovel
    • /r/ as target sound: blizzard, brrr, red, carrot, sweater, freezing
    • multi-syllabic words as target: snowball fight, hot chocolate, wintertime, snow shovel
    • Cluster Reduction as target: snow, ski, slip, slide, blizzard, flip, sleep

Language Activities: Depending on your child’s language needs, the winter vocabulary list can be adapted for their therapy.

  • Here are some examples of how to use the winter vocabulary as a guide for language therapy:
    • Sequencing: Have your child tell you winter-related sequences (i.e., steps for getting dressed to play in the snow, making a snowman, going sledding, etc.
    • Re-telling/summarizing: Tell your child a story, using words from the winter vocabulary list and have them retell it to you.
    • Story-telling: Have your child tell you a winter-related story, using words from the winter vocabulary list.
    • Categorizing: Generate a list of categories from the winter vocabulary list and have your child group the words (i.e., category groups: clothing, activities, food…)
    • Conversation: Engage your child in a conversation about winter-related items.  Ask and encourage them to ask open-ended questions. (rather than yes/no questions) Model asking follow-up questions.
    • Describing: (Cut up the vocabulary list and put the words in a box.) Have your child choose a word from the box and describe the item without saying the word.

These are just some suggestions but the possibilities for speech and language activities are endless.  Get creative. Add your own words and activities.

If staying inside isn’t your thing, bundle up and play in the snow with your children.  Just make sure to talk about what you are doing. Talk while you are playing, afterwards and then again, later in the day.

Chicago Speech and More hopes you stay warm and have fun!

For more speech and language activities please refer to archive blog posts.

Lucky Heart Clovers: A Fun Language Activity

Lucky Heart Clovers: A Fun Language Activity

Are you feeling lucky?  St. PatriHeart Clover Language Activityck’s Day is just around the corner and even if you don’t paint your face green and believe in leprechauns, it is the perfect opportunity to talk to your children about how lucky they are.  Chicago Speech and More recommends making a “Lucky Heart Clover” for a fun language activity.

Making a craft with your child is great for vocabulary development.  Crafts encourage use of sequential and temporal vocabulary words (first, next, then, before, etc.).  St. Patrick’s Day also has a lot of unique vocabulary words.  Think: clover, leprechaun, rainbow, gold… For a larger list visit: St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Words.  I love making holiday crafts and my favorite St. Patty’s Day project is the “Lucky Heart Clover”.  It is easy, educational, and most of all fun.  All you need is green construction paper and some glue.

To get started, trace 3 hearts and a stem on green paper.  Depending on your child’s ageHeart Clover Language Activity and ability level, either cut the shapes out for them or have them do it themselves.  The next thing you need to do is set up the hearts to act as clover leaves.  I put the stem down and glue the hearts on-top.  Work with your children to place the hearts and help them with the glue.  Make sure you explain to your child what you are doing using temporal, sequential and positional vocabulary words (first, next, then, last, before, on-top, under, next to, etc.).  Have them repeat the steps back to you and/or retell you how to make the craft.

Once you have assembled your “Lucky Heart Clover”, it is time to talk to your children about why they are lucky.  Many children take for granted all that they have.  Maybe they’re lucky because they have: a Wii, an iPad, a best friend, a brother or sister, wonderful parents, great teachers….the list goes on and on.

After your child decides what makes them lucky, it is time to start writing.  You can adapt Chicago Speech and More’s “Lucky Heart Clover” however you would like this is how I set mine up.  On the first leaf (heart to left when facing craft), I write “I am”and on the middle leaf I write “lucky because”.  The third and final leaf (heart to right when facing) is where you input what makes you lucky.  As always, depending on your child’s age and ability level you might have to write the message for them, have them trace it, copy it and/or provide lines for them to write on.

Stand back and admire your St. Patrick’s Day craft.  Don’t forget to have your child read their message to you.  Who knew hearts could turn into clovers?  For more holiday activities please visit Chicago Speech and More’s blog archives.

Chicago Speech and More Recommends “Wheels on the Bus” App

Chicago Speech and More recommends “Wheels on the Bus”Chicago Speech and More Recommends "The Wheels on the Bus" appApp

 

With so many apps out there it is hard to know which are worth your time and money! Chicago Speech and More recommends the “Wheels on the Bus” app by Duck Duck Moose for encouraging your child’s language and motor development.

 “Wheels on the Bus” is available on both the iPad and the iPhone and is a great tool for parents and individuals that work with children. Singing and reading activities are very important for children’s skill development. The “Wheels on the Bus” app combines both (singing and reading) in a fun and engaging interactive-musical book.  Each verse of the popular children’s song has its own page. Children can tap various parts of the page to elicit sound effects and fun movements.  Touch the wheels to watch them spin,  tap the birds to hear them tweet, or push the horn to hear “beep-beep”.

The “Wheels on the Bus” app is a great way to work on language and motor skills with your children.  Sing along with the app and demonstrate the motions. Show your child how to roll their arms for the wheels or “swish” their arms to look like windshield wipers. My clients absolutely love this app and will request it each session.  Chicago Speech and More encourages you to try this app with children of any age.

To see other iPad and iPhone apps recommended by Chicago Speech and More, visit Sam’s Blog archives.

Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards: A Great Language Activity

Valentine's Day Card Language ActivityHomemade Valentine’s Day Cards: A Great Language Activity

 

Making a Valentine’s Day card with your child can provide opportunities to use tons of vocabulary words and language concepts.  Begin by letting your child select which color construction paper to use.  Provide them with choices. Pink, red, white are the usual, but who cares? Go crazy! Depending on your child’s language ability have them make their selection either by pointing, labeling the color or using a carrier phrase or sentence such as: “I want the red, please”.  If you are working on expanding utterances, model a longer sentence “Can I have the red piece of paper, please?” It is amazing how much language you can elicit just from choosing construction paper! After the big decision (paper color) is made, discuss with your child which way to fold the paper (don’t just do it for them).

Practice writing a message with your child on the inside of the card. Depending on the age and ability of your child, help them to create a message. It is usually best to draw lines on the inside of the card to give your child a visual area to write on. If your child isn’t able to write independently but can copy written work, draft the message together, write it on a separate piece of paper and have your child copy it onto the card. If this is too advanced for your child, have them dictate the message to you. Talk about how we open letters with “dear” and then write “Happy Valentine’s Day!”  Discuss other items you can enclose in your message. Let your child come up with ideas. Once you have finished your message, explain how we close letters with “love, yours truly, from, etc.”.   When the message is complete, have your child read the card back to you. Reading practice plus a language activity- what could be better?

Now comes the fun part- decorating your cards!  I like to use hearts in various sizes, textures, and colors.  Depending on the age and ability of your child you can cut out hearts from construction paper or have your child trace hearts on construction paper and cut them out themselves. I also try to find fun foam heart stickers. These glitter ones are amazing: Glitter Foam Heart Stickers.  Kids love them! Now it’s time for more language. Depending on your child’s language ability, have them select which hearts they would like for their card either by pointing, labeling, or using a carrier phrase or sentence.  You can encourage use of MANY attributes here: big, little, small, red, white, pink, hot pink, shiny, glittery, etc. Get creative! Model great sentences such as: “Can I have the big, shiny, pink heart please?” Continue to make this a language-rich activity by holding onto the glue so your child has to ask for it each time he needs it.  Talk about placement of the hearts on the cover. Are you going to write I love you in the hearts, create a pattern, go from big to small, etc? Here are some great examples of homemade Valentine’s Day cards: Homemade Valentine’s Day Card Ideas.

Once you are done decorating your card, introduce vocabulary words like: envelope, stamp, address, return address. We’re cutting it close- so it is probably best to hand-deliver these Valentine’s Day beauties!

Chicago Speech and More hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!  If you are looking for some additional activities to do with your children, check out Chicago Speech and More’s blog to get some ideas!

Phonological Process: Stopping

phonological process stoppingPhonological Process: Stopping

 

Phonological processes are patterns of errors used by children when attempting to produce adult-like speech.  Most children demonstrate some of these processes when acquiring language.  While these error patterns are common and often times typical, if they persist past a certain age they become atypical.  Stopping is a common phonological process.

What is backing: 

Stopping, a type of substitution error, occurs when children substitute a stop consonant such as “t, d, p, b, k” or “g” for fricative or affricate sounds “s, z, sh, f, v, j, ch” or “th”.  A child might say “tun” instead of “sun” or “dump” instead of “jump”.  While stopping is a common speech error, its effects tend to drastically reduce a child’s speech intelligibility.  Some children demonstrate stopping on only one or two consonants while others use the phonological process across many or all fricative and affricate sounds.

A student I worked with came in on a Monday and was very excited to tell me about what he had done over the weekend.  As an extreme “stopper”, he didn’t often volunteer to speak in class or with his peers so it was great that he felt comfortable in the speech room. He told me that he had gone “diting” and it was really “dun”.  After repeating himself over ten times, his speech pathologist (me) finally realized that he had been on a fun fishing trip!

Should I be concerned if my child is stopping?

As with most phonological processes, stopping is very common and is present in many young children’s speech.  Usually this process corrects itself as the child’s speech and language skills become more mature.  In typical development stopping is typically eliminated between 3-5 years of age depending on which sounds are being substituted.

Stopping Example Gone by approximately
Stopping of /f/ “tun”/fun or 3;0
Stopping of /s/ “dip”/sip 3;0
Stopping of /z/ “dipper”/zipper 3;6
Stopping of /v/ “bacum”/vacuum 3;6
Stopping of “sh” “dip”/ship 4;6
Stopping of “j” “dim”/gym 4;6
Stopping of “ch” “tew”/chew 4;6
Stopping of “th” “tum”/thumb 5;0

The chart above is meant to be a guide to assist in determining if your child’s stopping pattern is age appropriate or not. If your child is continuing to demonstrate the phonological process of stopping beyond the specified ages it is highly recommended that you contact a speech-language pathologist.

If you have concerns with your child’s speech and language skills please contact Samantha at Chicago Speech and More by calling (847) 774-0582 or using the contact us form on the website.

 

Phonological Process: Backing

Phonological Process: Backing

 

Phonological processes akids phonological process backingre patterns of errors used by children when attempting to produce adult-like speech.  Most children demonstrate some of these processes when acquiring language.  While these error patterns are common and often times typical, if they persist past a certain age they become atypical.  Backing is a common phonological process.

What is backing: 

Backing, a type of substitution error, occurs when children substitute a sound that should be made towards the front of a mouth with a sound that is produce further back in the mouth. For example, a child attempting to produce “tar” might say “car” instead.  Backing is common and can occur with many sounds.  Some additional examples are when a child says “can”/(tan), “goo”/(do), “bye”/(guy), “shoe”/(sue).

Should I be concerned if my child is backing?

As with most phonological processes, backing is very common and is present in many young children’s speech.  Usually this process corrects itself as the child’s speech and language skills become more mature.  Backing is typically eliminated between 3-4 years of age. If your child is continuing to demonstrate the phonological process of backing beyond the age of 4, it is recommended that you contact a speech-language pathologist.

If you have concerns with your child’s speech and language skills please contact Samantha at Chicago Speech and More by calling (847) 774-0582 or using the contact us form on the website.

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