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Developmental Skills While Playing With Dolls

Playing is a child’s primary job, and a beneficial one at that.  Through play, children develop fine and gross motor skills, practice language and develop new vocabulary, and begin to understand new learning concepts. 

Below is a sample of all that is involved and developing when your child plays with dolls.

 Cognition

  •      Develops imaginative play skills as your child cares for her doll.
  •     Teaches different emotions and relationships as child role plays. Read more

Surviving Meltdowns: Supporting Children with Language Disorders During Breakdowns

Parents often tell me about the challenges they face when helping their child through a meltdown. It’s difficult to know how to help when you can’t figure out why your child is upset to begin with. Moreover, it can be discouraging when all your efforts to diffuse a situation seem to fail.

Children with speech and language difficulties often display frustration when they cannot effectively express themselves. Frustration can result in even less effective communication, which ultimately exacerbates the problem; it’s far more difficult to communicate when our emotions are heightened, whether through anxiety, fear, frustration or anger. This presents a problem for children with communication disorders, who are often less able to convey their needs in moments when they need to the most.

If you’re a parent and this issue sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Here are strategies I often encourage families to try when helping their child through a meltdown.

Strategies To Help Your Child Communicate During A Meltdown:

Use a calm voice: You may feel as frustrated as your child looks, but do your best to keep your response calm, consistent and neutral. Your tone will convey a message of safety to your child.

Use simple language: Your child may have more difficulty processing incoming language during a meltdown, so it’s important to keep you language simple. Simple language will be easier for your child to process. Instead of saying “John, you need to stop crying and put your shoes on because now it’s time to go home,” try using concise phrases such as “shoes on” or “first shoes, then go home.” Read more

Speech & Language Development in Twins

Twin BabiesAccording to the 2006 National Vital Statistics Report, about 32 twins are born per 1,000 births in the United States. For expecting parents, the prospect of twins can be incredibly exciting. But it can also be just as overwhelming, with double the responsibility and half the time. Raising twins differs from raising singletons in several ways, requiring parents to carefully plan and prepare. Knowing what to expect can reduce anxiety and empower parents to handle their new role with double the confidence.

Are twins more likely to be delayed in Speech?

Studies have documented that twins are more likely to demonstrate delays in speech and language skills, with males typically showing a six-month greater lag than females (Lewis & Thompson, 1992). However, studies have also documented that twins typically catch up in their speech and language development by three to four years of age (Lewis & Thompson, 1992). Language delays are typically characterized by immature verbal skills, shorter utterance lengths, and less overall verbal attempts.

There are several possible causes for speech and language delays in twins, including unique perinatal and environmental factors. For example, premature birth and low birth weight are more common among twins than singletons (Bowen, 1999). Additionally, twins may receive less one-to-one interaction time with their caregiver, as both infants are competing for time and care.

Although it is more common for twins to be delayed in language development, there is danger in assuming that they will catch up down the road. Twins who have true speech-language disorders may not catch up, and will benefit greatly from direct intervention. If you are concerned about your twins’ speech-language development, it is best to seek guidance from a licensed speech-language pathologist.

Do twins have their own language?

“Twin language”, often called idioglossia or autonomous language, is a well documented phenomenon among twins. One study found twin language to occur in 40 percent of twin pairs (Lewis & Thompson, 1992). Read more

Auditory Processing and Language Processing: What’s the Difference?

Understanding Language Processing

Boy in Speech Therapy

Language comprehension…language processing…auditory processing… what does it all mean? The various terminology used to describe a child’s difficulty with listening can be overwhelming to say the least. A first encounter with these terms might feel perplexing as parents search for the best possible help to meet their child’s needs.

A recent surge in public awareness of auditory processing disorders has led to many misconceptions about what this disorder really is (and what it is not). The term “auditory processing disorder” is frequently applied loosely, and often incorrectly, to any individuals having trouble with listening and processing spoken language. However, there are several possible underlying causes for listening difficulty. Read more