Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Developmental Skills Your Child Needs Before Kindergarten

I have had quite a few families talking with me recently about skills their child needs to be successful in kindergarten. At the same time, I created a  door prize for a mom's group that I am apart of. The door prize had activities that a parent could do with their pre-kindergarten child to get them ready.

This is not an exhaustive list, but if your child can do the things on this list, they will be well on their way to a successful kindergarten year (and your Kindergarten teacher will thank you!)

1. Reading / Writing
Identify words that rhyme
Identify signs, symbols and logos in the community
Name some letters and numbers, name colors and shapes; Count to 10
Know that we read left to right and top to bottom
Write using drawings and some made up or real letters

2. Fine Motor / Gross Motor

Cut and paste
Hold a pencil correctly
Fasten/Unfasten clothing
Hygiene skills including blowing nose, coughing into elbow, using the bathroom and washing hands
Hop, jump and run; Bounce, catch, kick and throw a ball

3. Speaking / Listening

Follow 2 step directions
Sit and listen to an age appropriate book and answer basic questions
Say full name of self and parents
Understand most of what is said
Use complete, grammatically correct sentences that give lots of details
Tell a story and stay on topic
Produce most speech sounds correctly

4. Social Skills
Share with others and takes turns
Express feelings using words
Ask questions and seek help when needed
Communicate easily with peers and adults

Does your child need to work on a few of these skills over the summer? Don’t wait! Get started now. If you have concerns with your child’s development after addressing skills at home, feel free to contact me.

Want a printable version of this? Click here!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Seussy Summer

It sounds a bit odd, "Seussy," but that was the best way I could describe what I'll be doing all summer with my kids and my therapy clients. We will be celebrating all things Dr. Seuss and learning language skills, social skills and speech sounds as we go! We'll talk about reading skills, grammar and language development.

I encourage you to check out the page that I've dedicated to this adventure - A Seussy Summer.

I plan to start off with O, the Places You'll Go! which is one of my favorites! I look forward to seeing which books are at my local library (a favorite place to get books), which ones I'll pull out of our home library and which ones I'll won't be able to leave at the bookstore and have to take home with us!

So, join us as we begin an exciting adventure, a journey together, through crazy lands with silly creatures! I look forward to sharing many laughs, great stories and some insight from a Speech Language Pathologist's point of view.

To get you started, check out what we did last summer with The Cat in the Hat!

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why do you ask "why?"!

It's a long standing joke about kids who ask "why" over and over. But honestly when you are living it, it is no laughing matter. As a matter of fact, it can drive a family crazy.

When my daughter was going through the "why" phase, I thought -there's got to be a better way! I can't keep answering why because we always ended at "because that's just the way it is!" Plus language development-wise just a simple "why" is not a complete sentence.

My first insight into the solution came when I started asking "Why, what?" back at her.  Over a few days, I modified my response to where I required that she give me a complete question. I finished my request for clarification by telling her "you have to ask me a better question." At first she would need me to give her examples. So, if I asked her to go get her sneakers and she asked "why," instead of saying "because we are going to school and you have to wear shoes to school" I would say "why, what? You need to ask me a better question. Why do I need to wear my sneakers? or Why do I have to get my sneakers? or Why do I have to get the sneakers?"

Then she would pick one. Let's just say she chose "Why do I have to get the sneakers?" I would give her a reasonable answer "because you are going to play on the playground at school." Why? Grrrrr! So I would respond (again) "why, what? You need to ask me a better question. Why are we going to the playground at school? or Why do I need sneakers to go on the playground?" After 2 or 3 times she would be done with my line of questioning and move on to something else.

After a few days of constantly responding with this "why, what?" scenario, she started doing it on her own! And do you know, the most interesting thing happened. She asked great "why" questions that I had not even thought of and we have had some really interesting conversations about digestion, the water cycle and a myriad of topics I never would have delved into with a 3 year old. She can now form a question to ask exactly what she wants to know instead of my trying to just pacify her by giving her a response or answering what I think she is wondering about.

An interesting question came when we were getting ready to walk across a road. We stopped and looked both ways, I told her to hold my hand and we would cross. She asked "why." I thought she was wondering about why she had to hold my hand. I was totally ready to tell her that she is too young to cross the street alone and then go into the dangers of cars and crazy drivers. But no, she asked "why are we ready to cross the road." And the answer to that was "because we looked left and right and there were no cars coming so it is safe to cross." Totally different answer.

Maybe our kids incessant "why" questions are because we are not answering the right question. So let's teach them to ask a better question! Good luck! Let me know if you have any of those "aha!" moments where they ask a complete question that was not what you were expecting!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Better Hearing and Speech Month

The month of May is Better Hearing and Speech Month! I am so excited to be promoting the profession of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. I feel that there are very few things as important as good communication and I am passionate about helping people, especially children, experience better communication by improving their speech and language skills.

In the picture above is my flyer that I have posted in a few businesses around the Orlando/Oviedo area. At the bottom are those little tear off tabs. What I am offering is a 10% discount on any speech-language screening, evaluation or therapy session booked this month (May 2013). All you have to do is find the flyer, tear off a tab and give me a call! Think of it as a mini-treasure hunt!

If you have difficulty finding the flyer, leave me a comment and I'll share the locations with you! If you do have concerns with your child's communication, I truly want you to be able to get the help you are looking for! In the mean time, let me know what questions I can answer for you. I'd be happy to let you know what a Speech Language Pathologist actually is... or What is therapy like?.... or My 4 year old can't say her "g" sound, do I need to worry about that?... or...whatever is on your mind :) Talk to you soon!
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