Entries by Deanna Swallow

Navigating Early Speech & Language Milestones: What to expect between age 1 and 2

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’s a lot to keep track of!  In fact, it might feel overwhelming.  It’s important for parents to remember that every child develops at their own rate, with some skills emerging […]

Navigating Early Speech & Language Milestones: What to expect between birth and 1 year

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’s a lot to keep track of! In fact, it might feel overwhelming. It’s important for parents to remember that every child develops at their own rate, with some skills emerging […]

Does My Child Need a Speech-Language Evaluation?

Parents often wonder if their child’s speech and language skills are developing on target. You might have some concerns about your child’s development, but feel hesitant to seek professional help. You might wonder if you’re overreacting, or feel unsure what skills to expect by certain ages. If you’ve ever shared these concerns, you’re certainly not alone. […]

Echolalia | What is It?

My child is repeating what I say: Is this normal? Parents often wonder if it’s normal for their child to repeat things others say. For example, when asked a question, a child might repeat the question back instead of answering it (e.g. Parent: “Do you want the slide?” child: “slide?”). This behavior is commonly referred […]

Making Mealtime Fun

Eating is supposed to be an enjoyable and social experience. For children with feeding disorders, the opposite may be true. In fact, children with sensory-based feeding disorders often find mealtimes to be stressful and anxiety-provoking. This might feel discouraging to parents, who feel helpless as they worry about their child’s nutrition, growth and well-being. Not […]

Moving the Fun Indoors: Encouraging Your Child’s Speech & Language Skills During Winter Weather

Along with this new year came a fresh coat of snow, marking the start of another Chicago winter. It’s official: the time has come to move play indoors (except for an occasional snowman!) and find creative ways to keep our kids entertained and busy inside the house. But don’t stress, the fun is certainly not […]

Motivating Your Child to Practice Their Speech-Language Skills at Home

If your child has recently started speech-language therapy, their therapist is likely assigning activities to practice throughout the week. With 1-2 hours of weekly therapy, why is there a need to also practice at home? This is a common question for many parents. It might feel overwhelming to add another item on your weekly to-do […]

The Power of Positive Praise

One of the most valuable tools I’ve found when working with children, is positive praise. As a therapist, it’s easy to notice what’s going awry, and tempting to “correct” children when they’re not achieving a desired skill. However, kids with speech and language difficulties are often well aware of what’s not going well, and might […]

Encouraging Language Development While Reading To Your Child: Part 2

Parents often ask which books to purchase for their toddler. We want kids to be engaged, we want them to enjoy books, and we want to develop their literacy skills. So which books work best when reading to toddlers? In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed 10 ways to encourage language development while reading to […]

5 Favorite Edible Crafts for Kids and How to Encourage Language During Snack Time

Edible crafts are a favorite activity for kids. I find it a win-win situation: moms/dads love the learning opportunity, and kids love the food! From a speech and language perspective, crafts are filled with language-rich opportunities masked behind the fun. Just in time for the holidays, here are 5 favorite edible crafts to enjoy with […]