Archive for January, 2014

Information on Feeding Therapy and Picky Eaters!

Parents and caregivers come to CLASS, Inc. with a wide variety of concerns regarding their child’s or family member’s feeding. When a child comes to our clinic, a Speech and Language Pathologist conducts an in depth interview with the parents and caregivers regarding feeding concerns, the child’s feeding habits at home, preferences, likes, dislikes, etc. We ask that parents return to the following session with a 7-Day Diet, detailing the foods and drinks that the child consumes throughout the week. The SLP establishes rapport with the child, in order to allow a comfortable, welcoming environment for children to explore the ins and outs of eating.

The feeding therapy is individualized in order to meet the unique needs of the children and the overall concerns of the families. Some children may present with sensory aversions to certain tastes, smells and textures. Therapy may begin with exposure to these sensory inputs by touching food with hands, face, lips and mouth before eating. The therapist will guide the child through the process of learning to be more comfortable of a variety of foods, expanding his or her diet and demonstrating appropriate mealtime behavior (e.g., sitting at a table). Feeding therapy may also consist of learning appropriate biting and chewing, tongue movement for swallow preparation, as well as establishing age-appropriate self-feeding skills with utensils and/or cups, straws, etc. 

Information on picky eaters and how to prevent them!! Interesting view on food as the author describes “food literacy as a skill.”

Posted by on January 31st, 2014 Comments Off on Information on Feeding Therapy and Picky Eaters!


Wings for Autism

Just this last Saturday, The Arc organization put on their newest program called Wings for Autism at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This program, put on by the Transportation Security Administration,  offers children and people with autism an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of airport routines. It also helps to relieve stress in parents and families who are planning on traveling with their child by knowing what to expect.

The program allows families and children to enter the airport, obtain a boarding pass, go through security and even board the plane! What a neat program to offer! For more information, please visit the website:

Posted by on January 29th, 2014 Comments Off on Wings for Autism


The Savvy Quiz for Your Child

Savvy Source offers a Preschool Kids Quiz!! This quiz is for kiddos between the ages of 2 and 6. All you have to do it login (for free!) and start the quiz. It will take you approximately 15-25 minutes to complete and asks questions about your child based on the following topics:

  • Visual Arts
  • Language Development
  • Scientific Reasoning and the Physical World
  • Music
  • Mathematical Reasoning and Number Sense
  • Autonomy and Social Skills.
  • Movement and Coordination
  • Orientation in Time and Space

After you take the quiz, your results will show you information about your answers and provide recommendations for activities to do with your child and books to read. It will also show you some of these skills and if they are “coming along” or “not ready.”

This website also has a lot of information for activities, camps for children to attend based off location and events to attend that can spark your child’s imagination!

Click below to start your quiz!

Posted by on January 27th, 2014 Comments Off on The Savvy Quiz for Your Child


Choosing an AAC Method

To follow up on the previous post, after deciding that your child could indeed benefit from an aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device, how does one know which one to pick?

There is quite a multitude of AAC devices and methods out there. Choosing one for your child can be overwhelming. However, many therapy programs will provide some kind of AAC assessment to see which modes of communication will work best for your child (even if that means trying out two or three different methods before figuring out the right one).  Most insurance companies even allow a trial period with certain electronic devices to see how it can create the most effective and functional communication for the child. Or maybe the therapist will recommend a picture board with 2-4 pictures for selection to get basic wants and needs met, depending on the child’s level of functioning (and you could even make it yourself).

It is very important to consider the child and their needs. For example, is the program/method easy navigate/use? Can you adjust the size of the keys/pictures for visual impairments? Is the device portable and easy to carry? Can I build in words for spontaneous speech? Is the device for temporary or long term use?

According to “AAC Connecting Young Kids,” it is most important to give the child the quickest and most effective way to communicate at that period in time. As the child grows into adolescence and adulthood, AAC methods can be adjusted to tailor their current needs.  It is also crucial that therapists, parents, and caregivers all know how to use the AAC device and how to implement it into every aspect of the child’s routine. Consistency really does make a difference in the use of an AAC method. Using in only at school, for example, will not benefit the child when they are trying to communicate in another setting.

Here at CLASS Inc., we do AAC evaluations for children who could potentially benefit from using them. We have multiple devices available for the client to trial during each activity (DynaVox, PRC Vantage, iPad with Proloquo2Go, iPad with GoTalkNow). During the evaluation, we tailor all activities we use to the client’s age and cognitive level. A clinician directly models each device for the client, prior to introducing the device into a chosen activity. We require the client to trial all four devices/software. Towards the end of an evaluation, if there is a device that the client clearly uses more efficiently and effectively, we spend the last 10+ minutes focusing on that single device to make sure it is the best choice for the client’s communication goals (i.e. to repair conversational breakdowns; sole communication through a device; can the device/software grow with the client’s skills as they grow…).

Remember, it is important to give children with expressive language disorders a proper, functional, and effective way to communicate!!

Click here for more information about AAC methods:

Posted by on January 25th, 2014 Comments Off on Choosing an AAC Method


Can an AAC hinder speech development?

Parents of children who have difficulty with verbal communication may want to consider an aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device for their child. An aided communication device includes any tool that helps the individual communicate excluding body language and signing. These can include simple tools such as picture boards, printed words or symbols all the way to the complex electronic devices like a Dynavox or iPad. However, some parents worry that having a speech generating device that talks for the child will in turn hinder the development of verbal speech output.

Research shows that this is indeed not true.

With such high advances in the AAC and electronic communication field, there is some device/strategy fit for everyone. From a young age to adulthood, any individual who struggles with communication at any degree is a candidate for an AAC method or device.  It is important to remember that they need a functional way to communicate, just as you and I do!

Nowadays, with the opportunity for an electronic AAC device, children are able to hear the request verbally. Thus, if verbal skills are low at the time one purchases a device, with use of the device and hearing the correct speech output, speech can arise. This gives the children an opportunity to improve behavior, attention, independence, self-confidence, class participation, academic progress, and social interaction ( Without some sort of outlet for communication, such as an AAC device or method, behavior is more likely to increase and academics are likely to be less successful.

With some much to offer, AAC is becoming a large part of the speech and hearing world. Everyone deserves the right to communicate!

Posted by on January 22nd, 2014 Comments Off on Can an AAC hinder speech development?


Deaf Seahawks Fullback Story!

This is a commercial about a Seahawks football player who has been deaf since the age of three. His name is Derrick Coleman and his story is incredibly inspiring!! Check it out: 

Posted by on January 17th, 2014 Comments Off on Deaf Seahawks Fullback Story!


Encouraging Spontaneous Speech

Many children on the spectrum or with expressive language disorders tend to get their wants and needs met through functional communication that has been repetitively taught to them. However, spontaneous speech can be a subject of struggle for many families with children with such difficulties. Lisa Geary, a Speech Language Pathologist, noted her “Top 5 Ways to Encourage Spontaneous Language in Children with Expressive Language Disorders.”

  1. Use Communication Temptations: It is important to remember to not assume what the child wants from a simple point or grunt. Encourage them to use more clear communication. For example, when playing with bubbles, hand the child the bottle. If they can’t open the bottle and hand it back to you, look for a verbal request to open the bottle. Knowing they will get to play with bubble at the end will give them motivation by giving them something they desire.
  2.  Use Elements of Surprise: Lisa mentions that using surprise as a tool can often offer meaningful connections during play. One example of surprise play includes using motion sensory toys. Using toys that all of the sudden move, make noise, or dance can create a whole bunch of laughs and create conversation while learning language concepts.
  3. Make Mistakes: Make mistakes? Don’t we want to teach these kids correct speech? Well, yes. However, making a “silly” mistake will often get a reaction out of the child and hopefully elicit a correction. This type of tool will help elicit spontaneous speech without a direct prompt, again, with some laughs!
  4. Use Humor: Humor during play can be accomplished in many ways. Funny voices, silly faces, acting out roles and just being goofy. Not only are you getting a reaction and some speech out of the child, but they are having fun too! Using humor also is an easy way to get the child involved and engaged in any activity with spontaneous interaction.
  5. Play: Although it sounds simple, playing with a preferred activity is an easy way for any family member or therapist to see spontaneous speech from a child with expressive language disorders. According to Lisa, children need to experience appropriate play paired with correct speech. Play can be a time to expand speech, adding in new nouns and adjectives, practice requesting and commenting  and build on the child’s current repertoire. Find what interests the child and let the child led the play session.


To find more of Lisa Geary’s suggestions, visit her website

Posted by on January 17th, 2014 Comments Off on Encouraging Spontaneous Speech


“Therapy” at Home!

Although children may be getting private speech therapy or speech services at school, it is important to remember to continue “therapy” at home. There are many ways that parents and family can help facilitate correct speech and speech sounds in the home setting. In many instances, the child won’t see these activities as work; they will see it as a fun game and in turn, get to work on their speech!

  1. BE YOUR CHILD’S SPEECH PARTNER. It is important to be in communication with your children’s speech therapist in order to know what they are working on. From there, it is important to work on only what your child has in their repertoire at that time. At home, practice their current sounds using word cards, board games, etc. Be sure to keep the “sessions” short, but frequent.
  2. MODEL GOOD SPEECH. Try not to imitate the errors in the child’s speech. Model correct, revised speech for the child to hear the correct way of saying the word, sound, sentence, etc.
  3. SPEND TIME YOUR CHILD. Talk, read, and play with your child. Not only is the interaction important, but hearing the repetitive sounds in a routine (i.e. morning routine, bath routine) will aid them in using correct sounds in their speech. This is a chance to really work on pronunciations and functional speech that will improve intelligibility in other areas of their lives as well.

Posted by on January 17th, 2014 Comments Off on “Therapy” at Home!