Archive for the ‘Speech’ Category

What Are Core Words?

 

Have you ever slowed down and examined your speech? Which words do you use most frequently and which ones are absolutely essential in your day-to-day conversations?

Core words include a set of approximately 220 words that are very commonly used and applicable to all populations, places, topics and activities. Approximately 80% of the words we use in conversation will be core words, but most of them are used repeatedly, which is another reason why we refer to them as being “core” to language. Some core words can also be called “sight words” because they have to be recognized and learned by sight. For example, the words “eye” and “new” are nearly impossible for young readers to sound out using phonic rules, so they would require memorization by sight.

Language tends to become very complex over time so it is crucial that we help new learners set a strong foundation through core vocabulary. Once children become comfortable with using core words they can ultimately build on it by using tools like grammatical rules such as where and when to add tense or possessives. When students are able to identify and read all of the core words, they can read about 75% of words in any given piece of children’s literature. Some of the most successful ways to teach core words include consistency and repetition, exposure, and teaching through stories, music and visuals. Natural integration of core words in language produces the best outcomes because children learn quickest when they see others modeling language.

This is a sample page from the Proloquo2Go iPad app

This is a sample page from the Proloquo2Go iPad app

core words

This sample page of core words has color coded backgrounds to represent parts of speech.

It is also important that we entice communication and give the learner an opportunity to use core words when something motivates them. When a word is consistently used and repeated in conversation, the learner begins seeing the pattern of use and is eventually able to reproduce it without being prompted. Some of the first core words in English include “all done,” “help,” “want,” “more,” “it,” “who,” “what,” and “why.” Core words can also be quite challenging to sound out so it is important that teachers, therapists or caregivers spend time teaching children how to say, understand and apply them. For augmented communicators who struggle with speech, it is also helpful to provide an extensive list of high frequency core words on their communication device so they can point to words or visuals to better explain what they may want or need. Grade schools also do a great job with integrating core words into class curriculum so students can acquire fluency as they move up grade levels. Just remember: take things slow, do not overwhelm the learner but do not restrict their access to more words and provide as much support you possibly can for your learner to reach the pinnacle of their core language development.

For more information on how the use of core words empowers language contact us:  info@classinc.net and please visit us on FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/CLASSIncFW

Posted by on March 4th, 2016 Comments Off on What Are Core Words?

 

Music and Speech Therapy

As explained by the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is:

“an evidence-based, allied health profession that uses music interventions to accomplish individualized goals. Through musical responses, the board-certified therapist assesses emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills. Specifically regarding communication, music therapists are trained to adapt elements of music (e.g. tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony, and texture) to promote effective expressive and receptive communication skills.”

On the ASHAsphere website, it is explained that there are multiple similarities between music and speech, which it why these two therapies make a great collaborative approach to children in therapy. The website explains these similarities between music and speech and why they are important:

  • Music and Language are universal and specific to humans.
  • Both have pitch, timbre, rhythm, and durational features.
  • Spontaneous speech and spontaneous singing typically develop within infants at approximately the same time.
  • Music and language have auditory, vocal, and visual uses (both use written systems) and are built on structure and rules.
  • Distinct forms of music and language exist and vary across cultures.

Think about music therapy as an option for your child!

Posted by on August 11th, 2014 Comments Off on Music and Speech Therapy

 

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!

 

Work on 2-Step Directions!

Does your child have trouble following 2-step directions? Do they do them out of order? Work on following directions and listening carefully with your child and have some fun! Here are some simple suggestions from home-speech-home.com!

  • Put your hands on your shoulders then count to eight.
  • Put your hands over your eyes and stand up.
  • Shake your head and say hello.
  • Put your elbows on the table and wave at me.
  • Pretend to take off your watch and then point to a corner in the room.
  • Turn around in a circle and say “Look over there!”
  • Stand up and then jump up and down two times.
  • Clap your hands 3 times and walk to the door.
  • Pretend to wash your hands and then cross your fingers.
  • Shake your head yes and name a color
  • Pretend to put on a shirt and name a shape.
  • Pretend to comb your hair and name a number.
  • Count to 10 and pretend to tie your shoe.
  • Wiggle your fingers and snap your fingers 4 times.
  • Wave your hand and then wink at the person next to you.
  • Count the chairs in the room and then put your hand over your mouth.
  • Pat yourself on the head and say your ABC’s.
  • Lift both hands up in the air and then tap your foot on the floor.
  • Name something you see that is red and then sit on your hands.
  • Name 2 of your friends and then sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
  • Pretend to drive a car and then close your eyes.
  • Give someone a thumbs up and then touch your shoulders 3 times.
  • Pretend to sneeze and then touch your toes.
  • Give someone a high five and take a deep breath.
  • Point to a light in the room and touch your knees 2 times.

Need a challenge? Try these 3-step directions!

Posted by on July 30th, 2014 Comments Off on Work on 2-Step Directions!

 

Marble Runs Teach Crucial Concepts!

Thanks to Schoolhouse Talk, we learn multiple ways that children can learn from such a simple toy, Marble Runs! You can find them online (click here for an 103-piece set off Amazon) or in toy stores. Schoolhouse Talk discusses ways to make playing with Marble Runs fun AND functional! Check it out!

  • Basic Concepts: talk about the colors of the marbles and the maze pieces; the number of marbles being used; count the marbles at the bottom of the maze; discuss the shape of the marbles; construct different shapes out of the maze; talk about which marbles were first and last; are the marbles going fast or slow?
  • Emerging Language Skills: Marble mazes are excellent because there is a definite start and a definite end, and it doesn’t take long for the marbles to reach the bottom. You will have lots of chances to elicit “ready…set…” and wait for your student to yell “GO!”. Marble runs are also the perfect opportunity for students to practice requests: more, please, my turn, more marbles, all gone
  • Turn-Taking and Pronouns: Some of my preschoolers have a behavior goal for turn-taking. Marble runs are perfect practice for this. We also get tons of opportunities to practice pronouns: my turn, your turn, we go at the same time, his turn, you do it, etc.
  • Prepositions: up, down, around, bottom, top, inside, through, first, last – they’re all covered here! (We work on this lots with our young ones at CLASS, Inc.!)
  • Following Directions: You can instruct your kiddos how to build the marble maze, or have them practice telling each other directions. Since the maze pieces are different colors and shapes (curved, straight, wheeled, etc), it’s perfect for adding describing words to your sentences: “Put the curved red piece on top of the short purple piece.”
  • Articulation: I have my articulation students practice their target sounds a designated number of times before they can shoot a marble down the run. Or they earn the marbles as we practice and enjoy sending them all down at once 🙂
Marble Run Example

Marble Run Example

Posted by on July 29th, 2014 Comments Off on Marble Runs Teach Crucial Concepts!

 

Teach Your Child Not To Interrupt In One Simple Step!

Can it be true?! Check out this awesome simple step from An Everyday Story! Enjoy!

“Well they used to. That was before I saw this truly genius little technique from a friend.

I was chatting with her one day when her (then 3-year-old) son wanted to say something. Instead of interrupting though, he simply placed his hand on her wrist and waited. My friend placed her hand over his to acknowledge him and we continued chatting.

After she had finished what she was saying, she turned to him. I was in awe! So simple. So gentle. So respectful of both the child and the adult.

My husband and I started implementing this straight away. We explained to Jack and Sarah that if they want to talk and someone is already speaking they need to place their hand on our wrist and wait. It took some practice and a few light taps on our own wrists as gentle reminders but I am so happy to report that the interrupting has all but stopped!!

No more, ‘wait’. No more, ‘Please don’t interrupt’. Just a simple visual gesture; a little touch of the wrist. That’s all.

Give it a try. It works!”

Posted by on July 23rd, 2014 Comments Off on Teach Your Child Not To Interrupt In One Simple Step!

 

Visual Aids for Pronoun Practice

Does you child sometimes use “she” for “he”? Use these great visual aids for practice when reading books, telling a story, or having a conversation at the dinner table! Practice them out loud so your child can grasp the concept of correct pronoun usage!

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Posted by on June 30th, 2014 Comments Off on Visual Aids for Pronoun Practice

 

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

 

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