Entries by Deanna Swallow

Why Did My Child’s Speech Therapist Recommend Occupational Therapy?

It’s not uncommon for a speech therapist to also recommend that a child receive other therapies in conjunction with speech therapy, such as neuropsychology, physical therapy, counseling, social group therapy, and occupational therapy.  Although your speech therapist is working on your child’s communication, they are also concerned with the “big picture” of your child’s overall […]

10 Easy Strategies to Boost Your Child’s Reading Comprehension

Reading is a critical skill for academic success.  Reading allows us to learn from texts and articles, gives us directions on homework assignments and class projects, and opens the world of books.  But what if your child is falling behind?  It might feel discouraging to learn that your child is struggling with reading comprehension.  Not […]

5 Chicago Performing Arts Programs to Encourage Speech and Language Development in Children

Performing Arts programs provide an excellent avenue to encourage speech and language skills in children.  Learning happens best during fun and engaging multisensory experiences, such as acting out a story, dancing to music, or singing a new song.  Through performing arts programs, children gain opportunities to socialize with other children, follow directions, engage in pretend-play, further […]

3 Outdoor Activities to Promote Speech & Language Development

Summer is finally here!  Take advantage of this time of year, and enjoy the time outdoors with your child with these 3 easy activities to promote speech and language skills outside.  Remember, learning and development don’t always happen at the table.  In fact, learning and development are often best accomplished in the context of engaging […]

Navigating Early Speech & Language Milestones: What to Expect Between Ages 2 and 3

Parents often wonder if their child’s skills are developing typically.  Between gross motor skills, fine motor skills, speech-language skills, social-emotional functioning, and overall growth, there is a lot of information to track!  In fact, it might feel overwhelming.  It is important for parents to remember that every child develops at his or her own rate, […]

How Sign Language, Singing and Reading Help Toddlers Learn to Communicate

Parents often ask if things like singing, sign language and reading will be effective in helping their child learn to communicate. The short  answer is, yes, yes and yes! Sign language, singing and reading to a child are all excellent ways to encourage a toddler’s expressive language. This blog will describe why and how each […]

Speech Delays and Talkative Older Siblings

A parent recently asked me what to do when her child’s older sibling constantly answers for him.  While it’s caring that the older sibling wants to help his little brother, it’s also very important for each child to have his own space to learn and develop, try new things, and make mistakes.  So how can parents help? […]

Strategies to Help Children with Language Disorders Tackle Homework

  A language disorder can negatively impact a child’s academic success. For example, consider a child who has a difficult time comprehending multi-step or complex directions. They are likely to misinterpret their teachers’ instructions or misunderstand task directions. Parents often share the challenges they face when helping their child battle through homework assignments. Their child […]

Encouraging Language Skills during Family Board Games

One of the most impactful ways a child can make progress toward their speech and language goals is through home practice.  I compare it to working out at the gym; one day a week counts for something, but you’re unlikely to see noticeable results.  Instead, three or four days a week is the best way to build muscle […]

Smartphone Technology and Language Development: Pros and Cons

iPads, iPhones and apps.  Today’s buzz is all about Smartphone technology and what “apps” will benefit development and academic skills in children.  Parents frequently request recommended apps to best address their child’s speech and language skills.  After all, we want to take advantage of the latest learning tools and most cutting edge technology to help […]