Archive for the ‘Social Skills’ Category

FREE Speech Therapy Materials!

Thanks to SpeechandLanguageKids.com, there are plenty of FREE printable materials to work on a multitude of different concepts with your child anywhere, anytime! Click on the links below to check out these fun, interactive games with your children (or clients!).

  • He Does, She Does Game: This game works on proper use of gender-specific pronouns.
  • Where Questions Game: This game will help you to work on speech and language skills, mainly matching the question to the “where” question.
  • Funny Faces Grammar Game: This FUN game works on building different faces while describing moods, possessive nouns, and many other speech and language skills.
  • Sequencing Game: This game includes working on skills such as sequencing and following directions. Included are sequencing from 5 steps to 9 steps.
  • Opposite Game: This game works on learning opposites and how they relate to each other.
  • Vocabulary Game: This game can be used in a variety of ways. Not only does this game work on building vocabulary, but you can also work on basic concepts, following directions, and answering questions.
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear Game: This game is used along with the Brown Bear, Brown Bear: What do you see? book. Use this game to develop speech and language using a carrier phrase, literacy skills, and reading skills.
  • Adjectives Game: This game will help children learn different vocabulary words as well as learning to describe items using their five senses!
  • Spatial Concepts Game: This game will help children learn spatial concepts such as behind, next to, in front of, on top, and so on. Very important concepts to learn!
  • When Questions Game: This game will help children learn how to properly answer “when” questions at varying difficulty levels.

Posted by on August 7th, 2014 Comments Off on FREE Speech Therapy Materials!

 

Benefits of Board Games!

Playing board games with your kids can be a great way to spend time together – and learn at the same time!

Scholastic.com shares the benefits of board games and some to choose from, below:

What your child most wants — and needs — is to be with you with no goal in mind beyond the joy of spending time together. He wants you to take pleasure in him, play with him, and listen to him. Nothing bolsters his self-esteem more! So why not pull out an old board game tonight? Playing games is an easy and excellent way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together. As an added bonus, board games are also rich in learning opportunities. They satisfy your child’s competitive urges and the desire to master new skills and concepts, such as:

  • number and shape recognition, grouping, and counting
  • letter recognition and reading
  • visual perception and color recognition
  • eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity

Games don’t need to be overtly academic to be educational, however. Just by virtue of playing them, board games can teach important social skills, such as communicating verbally, sharing, waiting, taking turns, and enjoying interaction with others. Board games can foster the ability to focus, and lengthen your child’s attention span by encouraging the completion of an exciting, enjoyable game. Even simple board games like Chutes and Ladders offer meta-messages and life skills: Your luck can change in an instant — for the better or for the worse. The message inherent in board games is: Never give up. Just when you feel despondent, you might hit the jackpot and ascend up high, if you stay in the game for just a few more moves.

Board games have distinct boundaries. Living in a complex society, children need clear limits to feel safe. By circumscribing the playing field — much as tennis courts and football fields will do later — board games can help your child weave her wild and erratic side into a more organized, mature, and socially acceptable personality. After all, staying within the boundaries (not intruding on others’ space, for example) is crucial to leading a successful social and academic life.

Some board games Scholastic.com suggests to play with your kids are and their prices on Amazon:

Posted by on July 16th, 2014 Comments Off on Benefits of Board Games!

 

Asking Questions

Asking questions can be a tough task for a child with speech defects or language delays. Especially when it comes to the order of the words. Grammatically, they may be behind in what truly counts as a good question.

Carrie Clark explains “For many children with language delays, asking questions appropriately can be very confusing to figure out. As adults, we change the word order of a sentence when asking questions. For example, instead of saying “you do have three apples”, we would ask a question as “do you have three apples?” Often, children with language delays will miss this subtle word order shift and will simply ask the question without changing the word order. When they are asking questions, it may sound like “I can have one?” or “you are eating cookies?”. This can make their message difficult to follow and, if they don’t get the right intonational patterns, you may not even know that they’re asking questions at all.”

Carrie gives us three steps to think about when teaching our children about question-asking:

  • Step 1: Collecting an Inventory of Incorrect Question Structures – What type of questions is your child having trouble with? Yes/no questions? “What” questions? Take time to see where the break down occurs.
  • Step 2: Imitating and Practicing Correct Question Structures – Play a game or come up with an activity to work not he types of questions they are having problems with. This will give your child the opportunity to ask the question many times to get lots of practice!
  • Step 3: Correct in Conversation – Practicing question asking in a structured setting is different then asking then in conversation. After practicing the questions in an activity, when you child goes to apply them conversationally, make sure to correct them if they use it incorrectly, or let them know when they used it correctly to reinforce correct usage!

Posted by on May 15th, 2014 Comments Off on Asking Questions

 

Social Skills

Social skills are a very important skill to acquire and something we work on everyday here at CLASS Inc.! While we do work on social skills in individual sessions, we also offer play groups and social groups to improve your child’s social skills and interactions with other children.

Skills You Need describes social skills as “Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. Human beings are sociable creatures and we have developed many ways to communicate our messages, thoughts and feelings with others.”

There are many ways to work on social skills with your child. National Autism Resources has a multitude of materials available to work on strengthening a child’s social skills and building social success. Working on social skills can happen anywhere, at the dinner table, during your morning routine, and even in the car on the way to school. Find what works for your child and start building social success!!

Social Skills Materials from National Autism Resources:

 

 

 

Posted by on May 8th, 2014 Comments Off on Social Skills

 

The Tips and Tricks for Table Manners

Dr. Peter Gerhardt is an autism educator known for his work with adolescents and adults on the spectrum. In an Autism Speaks article, he discusses his strategies for working with your children on table manners. Peter starts by discussing the important skill of waiting:

Waiting to be served
From what you describe, the first skill to work on is “waiting.” I’m sure there are many approaches to teach this skill. The one I use is as follows:

1. Identify the highly desirable item or activity (in this case the food being served).

2. Ask the individual if he or she wants the item or activity.

3. Assuming he or she indicates (in whatever manner) “yes,” then reply along the lines of “Great, just wait a second” with clear emphasis on the word “wait.”

4) After a brief interval (3 to 5 seconds) deliver the item or activity and provide positive reinforcement for “great waiting.”

5) Systematically increase the waiting interval to a reasonable amount of time.

Furthermore, Dr. Peter Gerhardt discusses eating neatly, pacing the meal, wiping their face, and pulling it all together. Read the article on Autism Speaks to further learn how to teach your child proper table manners!

 

Posted by on May 7th, 2014 Comments Off on The Tips and Tricks for Table Manners

 

Start Thinking about Summer!

It is never too late to start thinking about summer plans! There are plenty of summer camps available for children with special needs in Washington. Consider these options below for some summer fun, even some overnight camps!

  • Seattle Children’s in Seattle  – Seattle Children’s has overnight camps and day camps. To search for a camp that would work for you, they offer considerations for your child, the month, and they can even bring a sibling a long if they would like that! Very cool opportunities.
  • UW Autism Center in Seattle – University of Washington is excited to open registration for the Apex Summer Camp for Summer 2014! Visit the website to find out cost and dates. This camp focuses heavily on social skills and self esteem in structured recreational and learning activities.
  • Friendship Circle Recommendations  – View this link for recommendations on summer camps for your child with or without special needs. So many different opportunities and activities to consider for your child.
  • Very Special Camps – Very special camps is dedicated to individuals with one or more of a wide range of special needs; allowing you to locate a summer camp or program based upon your specific requirements, interests, and location. This program also offers overnight camps and camps that allow your children to explore the outdoors!!

Posted by on April 30th, 2014 Comments Off on Start Thinking about Summer!

 

Toys that Encourage Speech Development

This post onTwodaloo is spot on with their recommendations of toys that encourage speech and language development! At CLASS Inc., we use toys that encourage the children to take turns and create a social aspect, such as asking a question. Here are some of Twodaloo’s simple guidelines when picking out toys for your children:

  • Sturdy and well-made – eco-friendly is even better!

  • Relatively open-ended and versatile; you want toys that can be used in a variety of ways over time.

  • NO BATTERIES

  • Related to meaningful, familiar experiencesfor your child (i.e. everyday role play like feeding, bathing, dressing)

  • Encourages reciprocal social interaction (toys that are fun to play with a partner or group)

Here are a couple of the toys listed on their website (that we love here at CLASS Inc. as well!) that may work really well for you and your family:

Farm Set: The topic possibilities are endless for with this toy. You can discuss animals, animal sounds, talking between the farmers, growing vegetables and setting up the farm. Have fun with it!

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Blocks: Blocks are so simple and yet have SO MANY opportunities for communication. Social topics can include collaboration, team building, turn taking, shape recognition, and problem solving.

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Posted by on April 24th, 2014 Comments Off on Toys that Encourage Speech Development

 

Fun Spring WH- Questions Game

With Spring in full swing, discuss this season with your child while working on their WH- question answer gin skills. All you need are dice and two markers to play! Get the FREE printable of the board game below here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also be sure to check out our WH- question post from earlier this month on how to work on how to appropriately answer WH- questions!

Posted by on April 17th, 2014 Comments Off on Fun Spring WH- Questions Game

 

Conversation Skills

Working at conversation skills are help many other skills come to the surface such as: appropriate turn taking, following directions, elaborating on a topic, staying on topic, and understanding a concept. Work on these with your child to encourage conversation! Anywhere can work: the dinner table, in the car, or at the park! Enjoy these conversation starters from Home Speech Home:

  • What is your favorite movie and what happens in it?
  • Tell me about your family.
  • Tell me about your pets or the pet you would like to have.
  • What kind of music do you like to listen to?
  • Tell me about what you watch on TV.
  • What is your favorite toy to play with or what toy do you wish you had?
  • Tell me about your favorite video games.
  • Tell me about a funny or scary dream you had.
  • What do you want to do when you grow up?
  • How do you celebrate the 4th of July?
  • How do you celebrate Easter?
  • What do you do for Halloween? What did you dress up last time and what do you want to be this year?
  • What do you do for Valentine’s Day?
  • What do you do for Christmas and what is your favorite thing about it?
  • What do you do for Thanksgiving?
  • When is your birthday and what did you do for your last birthday? What do you want to do for your next birthday?
  • What is your favorite animal and why?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • Do you have any hidden talents?
  • What is your favorite color and why?
  • What is your favorite holiday and why?

Posted by on April 14th, 2014 Comments Off on Conversation Skills

 

Answering “WH” Questions

Answering any kind of “WH” questions (who, what, where, when) can be challenging for a child in the earlier years of language development. It is mainly important to talk with your children about the appropriate responses to “WH” questions. For example, a “when” question refers to time (yesterday, tomorrow, 5:00pm, etc). A “who” question refers to people or characters in a story. Using a visual chart like the one below can be very helpful. Before starting a “WH” question activity with your child, go over the chart together and really explain the difference. Repetition is key!

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Understanding how to properly answer questions from other is a great skill to work on with your children throughout the day without making it seem like work. This will also in turn help your child understand how to properly ask questions and learn turn-taking skills.

Posted by on April 1st, 2014 Comments Off on Answering “WH” Questions