Tips to Reinforce Speech and Language Therapy at Home

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Even if your child has not been diagnosed with specific speech language challenges, as a parent or guardian, you are the person who knows best if he or she would benefit from speech and language therapy. With that in mind, there are a number of ways for you to reinforce the work your child is doing in therapy to help build your child’s communication skills; or things you can do in the interim if you are waiting for an assessment.

Language building is essential during the first years of a child’s life, as this is when most of the pathways …

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For Special Needs Children, Providing Structure is Critical

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Providing structure is important for every child but, for children with special needs, providing structure is essential for their learning experience. The designation “children with special needs” is for children who may have challenges which are more severe than the typical child and could possibly last a lifetime. These children will need extra support and additional services, as well as a clearly structured home life.

Consistent routines and clear expectations – a consistent, organized, clearly defined daily plan – will help create order and add structure to your child’s day, as well as your own. Things go more smoothly when …

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Speech and Language Therapy – Why Does Speech Language Therapy Work?

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Human beings have long been curious about how the brain works, wondering about the structure and function of this most remarkable part of our bodies. Ongoing research has only recently revealed many secrets of the brain, with many more to be learned, of course. For parents of special needs children, this research has offered wonderful insight into how we can use speech and language therapy to improve communication and behavioural challenges.

speech-and-language-therapy-for-childrenYou may have heard the brain referred to as being “plastic”. Of course, we all know that is not what the brain is made of but, brain plasticity, or …

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Delayed Speech Development – Why Does My Child Talk But Not Communicate?

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While the stages of speech and language development are the same for all children, the age at which children develop them can vary significantly. As a parent or guardian, if you know what’s considered “normal” in speech and language development, and what’s not, you will be better able to figure out if there’s cause for concern about delayed speech language development – or if your child’s speech and language skills are developing on schedule.

How Are Speech, Language and Communicating Different?

  • delayed-speech-development-in childrenSpeech is the ability to articulate and produce sounds and knowing which sounds are used for a given language
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Value of Reading to Children with Special Needs

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reading-to-children-with-special-needsReading aloud is a great way of engaging with young children, while also promoting language development and early literacy skills. It is widely accepted that reading aloud is the single most important activity leading to language development and promotes early literacy skills in children; yet, when it comes to reading to children with special needs, recent research indicates that reading instruction in small groups may have more value.

According to researcher H. Lee Swanson, Ph.D., Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of California at Riverside, “Traditionally, one-on-one reading instruction has been considered optimal for students with [learning disabilities]. Yet …

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5 Tips to Communicate with Your Child with Special Needs

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Finding effective ways to communicate with a child with special needs can be stressful and frustrating for both the parent and the child. Since few parents or guardians are trained as a speech language therapist, it’s unlikely that you will go into parenthood understanding the often-unique ways your child will try to express him/her self, or the best tips to communicate with your child with special needs.

When a child is not speaking, the adult will try to do anything to help but this often ends up with the adult speaking more and asking questions and, in turn, there is …

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Positive Parenting Skills: 5 Positive Parenting Rules

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parenting-rulesAs a parent, you must distinguish between your child’s behaviours, understanding the difference between those that are deliberate and those that are due to other factors, such as: fear, stress, fatigue, and hunger. Following these 5 parenting rules will help you figure out the clues your child is sending.

Each parent or guardian will have their own unique way of parenting, which you learnt from how you were brought up. We all tend to parent as we were parented, until we become aware of certain behaviours and make conscious decisions to try and modify them.

We can all think of …

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Positive Parenting Skills: Building Positive Role Modelling Skills

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role-modellingI am often asked by parents how to manage specific behaviours exhibited by their children. My first question to these parents is always the same, “How do you behave as a parent?” This is often met with stunned silence and wide, staring eyes as they struggle to understand the need for positive role modelling.

Children need their parents or guardians to be good models; role models for acceptable behaviour. That means you have to practice good listening to teach good listening, use manners to teach manners, and practice self-control to teach patience.

If you argue, shout at others, and call …

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Positive Parenting Skills: What Type of Role Model Are You?

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As parents, we often don’t realise that, through our own actions, we are encouraging our children’s negative behaviours, such as: screaming, whining, kicking, and not listening. Young children are incredibly attentive, and they crave adult attention, be it positive or negative. Preschool children are especially adept at testing adults because, developmentally, they are on a quest for autonomy. This is why learning positive parenting skills is so important.

Children this young simply do not understand consequences, the “If you… I will…” type of experience that parents often mistake for a “teaching moment.” Such language structures have no meaning to them …

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December is a Time for Kindness, Joy and Giving

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kindness-childrenDecember and January for me are the months of kindness, joy and the season of giving. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach and practice kindness. Kindness is a universal value that is an integral part of all traditions. Kindness knows no borders. Kindness is contagious. It even makes our hearts beat longer and means that we treat everyone with equal respect, regardless of their culture, color, social or intellectual status.

Whilst the holiday season can be full of such wonderful joys, it can also be a very stressful time for many parents and children with special needs. Sharing …

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