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August 8, 2014

Tweens, Teens and Technology

What kind of impact is technology having on our kids and teens? Tweens’ and teens’ attachment to their electronic devices can often leave parents concerned about what’s really going on. Is it just a shift in culture or is something happening on a deeper level?

In this video, Amy talks about the how the inundation of technology affects our children.

August 1, 2014

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” ~ Review #2

Language & Speech Therapy Children's BookOne of my favorite books to read with my little guy is “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?” written by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. This is a wonderful book, covering so many language elements, including colors, animals, and answering questions. Preschool age children love this book, but even your youngest child will love hearing your voice as you chant to them.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?

Language and speech elements that can be addressed are:

  • Vocabulary (animal names)
  • Concepts (colors)
  • Predicting
  • Sequencing
  • Retelling
  • Answering WH questions (“Where does this animal live?”, “What does he eat?” )
  • Categories (colors, animals, size, sea animals, zoo animals, pets)
  • /w/: what, white
  • /l and l-blends/: looking, yellow, blue, black, purple, black, goldfish
  • /s/ sentences: What do you see?; I see a _______Brown Bear

BEFORE READING

Ask questions and use what the child already knows to add to the discussion, assisting the child in understanding and enjoying the book.

1. Look at the cover of the book together: Ask your child what they think a bear might see. This is a great activity to practice predicting. Also when looking at the cover, discuss the title, author, and illustrator, and what those terms means.

2. Talk about colors, the ones you see on the cover.

DURING READING

1. As you go through the book, ask, stop and talk about the colors of the animals. Ask your child if they have ever seen a real horse. What color was it? Can a horse really be blue? What color are the horses they have seen? Do this with each of the animals.

2. Ask your child if they think this is a real or make believe story.

3. Before you turn a page, ask where questions: Where can you find a bear? Where do sheep live? Emphasize the preposition – “In a bowl”, “Under a tree”

4. Talk about the differences between farm animals and zoo animals.

5. Talk about the different sounds the animals make. Make the noises. See if your child can identify the animal.

DSC_2155AFTER READING

1. Play a form of “I spy” with the Brown Bear chant: “Child’s name, Child’s name, what do you see?” Encourage them to respond back with complete sentences, “I see a ___ looking at me!” This is a great ‘on the go’ activity, you can play in the car, on a walk, in the airplane, etc.

2. Have your child name other objects that are the same color as the animals in the book.

3. Practice sequencing by trying to remember the order of the animals.

4. Print off the animals from the book. See if your child can remember the color the animals were in the book and color them.

5. Discuss where each animal can live to focus on ‘where’ questions (zoo, house, forest, ocean, etc).

 

 

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~Emily Buchwald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 17, 2014

When Should a Second Language be Introduced to Children?

It is never too early to teach a child another language – even sign language. Research shows that children who speak more than one language have higher IQs. While teaching children a second language is ideal, providing structure is essential for the learning process.

June 27, 2014

Children’s Books and Speech-Language Enrichment: Review #1 ~ “Where’s Spot?”

Children's Books and Speech-Language EnrichmentThere are so many wonderful children’s books out there which provide numerous opportunities for speech-language enrichment.  We at Susan Cohn and Associates have decided to review some of our all-time favorites and start a Children’s Book Review Series. Many of these books were around when we were young children so we will call them ‘classics’ since they stand the test of time :).  It is always our goal to provide our readers with ideas which are low-cost/free and easily obtainable.  To celebrate summer officially here and hopefully many visits to the library in store, we thought now is a perfect time to launch this series.

I  love books about Spot, the dog, written by Eric Hill!  They are traditional lift-the-flap stories great for targeting many speech and language elements! These books are most appropriate for preschool age, but kindergarten age children often enjoy them too. I’ve included ideas to enhance your child’s language and speech when reading “Where’s Spot?”

“WHERE’S SPOT?”

Language and speech elements that can be addressed are:

•Vocabulary (animal names)

•Prepositions (in the box, under the bed)SpotLogo_hires

•Answering Yes/No questions (“Is he under the bed?”)

•Answering WH questions (“Who was under the bed?” “Where was the monkey hiding?”)

•Asking questions (Drag out the title to “Where is Spot?” and ask it on each page. Then each page asks “Is he ___?”).

•Concepts (big/little, in/out, under/over, behind/in front)

•/s/ and /s/ blends: Spot, snake, s-s-s (snake sound), Sally (Spot’s mom)

•/b/: box, basket, book, blanket, baby, bag, bear

BEFORE READING

Ask questions and use what the child already knows to add to the discussion, assisting the child in understanding and enjoying the book.

1. Talk to your child about hiding. Look around the room and ask, “Where are places you like to hide in the house?”

2. Look at the cover of the book together: “Is the dog looking for Spot?” “Where are places Spot could hide?” This is a great activity to practice predicting. Also when looking at the cover, discuss the title, author, and illustrator, and what those terms means.

3. Talk about colors, the ones you see on the cover.

DURING READING

1. As you go through the book, ask, “Would this be a good place for Spot to hide?” Have your child lift the flaps.

2. Talk about the animals hiding behind the flaps: What are they doing? How would they sound when they said “no”? Why do you think Spot is hiding?

3. Before you turn a page, ask “Where could Spot hide next?”

4. Talk about the colors: “Is Spot behind the blue door? Is he in the pink piano?”

5. Your clocks and closets may look different from those in the book; talk about the differences, which things might be the same.

 

AFTER READING

1. Play Hide & Seek with items from the book, using either real objects or pictures. Have your child close their eyes, and then hide Spot in different places (under the table, by the chair, behind the sofa, in the box, under the box, etc.). Encourage your child to answer where the item is using appropriate prepositions (e.g., “He’s under the blanket” or “I think he’s in the box”).

Next time you play hide-and-seek, relate it back to the story. “Remember when we read about Spot…”

2. Re-create the story with a stuffed animal, finding new places for “Spot” to hide. You can hide different toys so they’d say “no” when your child tried their locations in her search for Spot.

3. Make a pop-up picture by drawing something and taping a flap over it.

4. Set up a simple obstacle course for your child to follow. Have them go through the tunnel, over the blocks, behind the chairs, under the table, etc.

5. Also check out Spot’s official website:  Fun With Spot 

 

Ready, Set, Read (and talk) together!!  ~ S

 

In Memory of Author Eric Hill who passed away June 6, 2014  

Eric Hill

Eric Hill 1927-2014

 

June 13, 2014

Don’t Call ‘Em Mr. Mom!

Father's Role in Child's Speech DevelopmentPost Contributed by Amy Svensson MA, CCC-SLP

While living in Sweden back in ’06/’07 I was in complete awe of all the dads walking the streets with their very young children, playing with their kids on the playgrounds late a.m./mid-day (not after work hours), and watching them talk with their children while out shopping (I speak and understand Swedish so I was able to really pick up on the variety of language they were using)! Not only as a stay-at-home mom at the time, but also as a speech-language pathologist it was so wonderful to witness such language engaging interactions between dad’s and their children. In Sweden, parents are allowed 16 months of combined paid maternity/paternity leave (dreamy, right?). No child is even allowed in a daycare prior to 16 months of age. Often, moms take the 1st 10-12 months off and then the dads take the remaining 4-6 months off, hence the reason I saw so many dads hanging out with their very young children. What I experienced first-hand was that the work/life family balance is so cherished in Sweden as was evident by the fact that the workday ends at 5:00. Nothing work-wise is too important to carry on any later than that. I loved that my husband was home by 5:00 every single day the entire time we lived abroad.  He had no late meetings scheduled with other parts of the world to accommodate time differences.  What did not get done before 5:00 p.m. would have to wait.  I always felt totally connected as a family and that the year in Sweden allowed for an even deeper bonding experience between my husband and our only child at the time.

As we near Father’s Day on Sunday, I have been reflecting on how dad’s across the globe are taking on so much more than used to be the case 30+ years ago. Father’s weren’t even allowed in the delivery rooms and now they are right there cutting the umbilical cord and changing diapers. Even better, more dads are taking on more of the car pooling, making dental/health appointments, grocery shopping, doing the laundry, arranging play dates, etc.; many of which are not stay-at-home dads, but are simply sharing the responsibilities in tandem with working full-time. We are getting more and more stay-at-home dads calling to make their child’s speech-language appointments (but don’t call ’em Mr. Mom). Funny enough, we recently had a stay-at-home dad bring his child to the first appointment and the dad commented, “You must not get many dads filling out the Case History form?” He pointed out that one of the questions asked did not apply to him 🙂 “Were there complications during your pregnancy, labor, or delivery?” That was a very eye opening moment. At that moment, I realized that roles are continuously changing and being shared and more dads are filling out these forms. I immediately took a look at the other questions to make sure they were all gender/parent neutral. I am glad I did because that same week, we had 3 more stay-at-home dads call to make appointments.

Happy Father’s Day !!!!  Dads! Dads! Dads! Dads are ever present these days in their children’s lives. OK, sometimes I feel like it is Father’s Day every day in my house, but when I start to get resentful of all that I am doing in a given moment (and have to deep breathe and count to 10), I step back and relish in all that my husband does to be connected with our family.  I am truly grateful!  This said, I am quick to celebrate this increased father involvement, but in the midst of all this great role-shifting/role-sharing progress, there is something I still see a lot of in my practice, and that is dads not agreeing with their spouse or even the SLP that their child has a speech-language deficit/need. They have a hard time with acceptance that their child has a delay in communication. They often have another agenda for their child and different expectations they do not want to let go of. It is quite detrimental to the process of speech-language improvement because the home component is just as important as the direct treatment. Thankfully, with proper consultation and guidance following a thorough evaluation, we see these dads be more accepting of the findings and recommendations and are often the dads who are the ones bringing their child to treatment sessions. They see the progress and positive difference intervention makes for their child and they are proud to be part of it.

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While working on this blog post, I started to research various sites I found to be resourceful to improve relationship enrichment between dads and their child(ren); all of which improve communication between them. There are so many out there so this list is non-exhaustive. Have one to add? Please add it in the ‘comments.’ This list will eventually move to our Resources Page for quick reference. ~

At Home Dad

Dads Adventure

Stay At Home Dads Meetup Groups

National Fatherhood Initiative

Dads 4 Special Kids

Activities for Dads and Kids

Talk to Your Baby

Children’s Books about Dads

Daddy Bloggers

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the great dad’s out there!

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