Talk With Me Notes

Talk with Me - Early Language Services

Notes

Posted: June 10, 2020

The 2018 National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System (NASS) Report estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 66 children in Canada. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.

The following "red flags" suggest a child is at risk for autism. Some children without autism have some of these symptoms, and not all children with autism show all of them. That’s why further evaluation is crucial. If your child exhibits any of the following, please see Step 2: Get your child screened.

Possible signs of autism in babies and toddlers:

  • By 6 months, no social smiles or other warm, joyful expressions directed at people
  • By 6 months, limited or no eye contact
  • By 9 months, no sharing of vocal sounds, smiles or other nonverbal communication
  • By 12 months, no babbling
  • By 12 months, no use of gestures to communicate (e.g. pointing, reaching, waving etc.)
  • By 12 months, no response to name when called
  • By 16 months, no words
  • By 24 months, no meaningful, two-word phrases
  • Any loss of any previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills

Possible signs of autism at any age:

  • Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone
  • Struggles with understanding other people’s feelings
  • Remains nonverbal or has delayed language development
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Has highly restricted interests
  • Performs repetitive behaviours such as flapping, rocking or spinning
  • Has unusual and often intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors

For more information, visit www.autismspeaks.ca

If you have concerns after reviewing this page, please contact your healthcare provider or call Talk With Me at 1-888-623-6363.

Adults often try to encourage children to talk by asking them questions such as “What’s that?” or “Say _____”. While answering these types of questions may be fun for some children, you may find that it only works for some time before they lose interest. This could be because they have yet to learn the word or for other reasons.

 

Setting up a “communication temptation” is a simple way to encourage communication.  When you use communication temptations, you can also use language stimulation strategies such as modelling (saying) new words, waiting, repeating and expanding.

Here are ways you can use communication temptations to encourage children to talk/communicate:

 

-Keeping things out of reach: Keep certain toys, snacks or art materials out of the child’s reach (in a clear bin or on a shelf) to encourage them to ask for them. If the child points at an object, you can model the word and wait 5-10 seconds to see if they repeat it before giving it to them. If the child does say the word (e.g. “car!”), you can repeat it and expand by adding 1-2 words before giving it to them (e.g. “The BIG car!”).

 -Giving one item at a time: Give your child one item at a time when playing with toys that come in multiples (e.g. crayons, blocks, Mr. Potato Head, etc.). You can also do this when eating a snack that is cut-up in small pieces.  Do not forget to model new words if they point (“more” or “block”), repeat and expand by adding 1-2 words to what they say.

-Sabotage: This is creating a silly problem or situation that the child will notice right away. For example,encourage your child to ask for help by “forgetting” to open their snack or “forgetting” to give them utensils. You can also be silly and give them a glass with no milk in it, give them only part of a toy, or put socks on their hands. This should not be frustrating for the child, but a silly wait to encourage communication. Again, wait to see what they say/do, model new words, and expand on what they say.

Posted: May 11, 2020

Verbs, verbs, verbs! So important for language development! Children typically start using nouns first and then verbs (action words) start to come in.  

Verbs are so important for so many reasons. They carry a lot of meaning in a sentence. They actually allow children to start forming beginning sentences - like mommy GO or RUN doggie!

Many children can say at least 40 verbs by 24 months.  2 year olds who use more verbs have more advanced grammatical skills 6 months later.  Verbs allow children to start building early sentences.

The best part about verbs is they are fun to teach! The nature of the words themselves allow for lots of movement and action.  Have fun and jump and model yourself if you have to!

SOURCES:

Hanen.org

Hadley, P. A., Rispoli, M., & Hsua, N. (2016). Toddlers’ Verb Lexicon Diversity and Grammatical Outcomes. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 47, 44–58.

Center for Child Language and the CDI Advisory Board. (2013). Cross Linguistic Lexical Norm website. http://www.cdi-clex.org/

Sing songs every day!

Singing songs with babies and older children every day can help them develop their speech, language and motor skills.

Sing familiar songs and rhymes while playing together, while in the car or during walks. Add simple songs to your child’s daily routines such as hand washing, bath time and bedtime. To do this, add simple words (e.g. its bath time, bath time, scrub-scrub-scrub scrub-scrub-scrub!) to a melody and voila!

Try these language stimulation tips:

·         Be face-to-face,

·         Observe what your child says/does and respond,

·         Use gestures and movement,

·         Sing slowly,

·         Change the words to familiar songs (ask your child for ideas)

 

Encourage your child to participate by stopping and waiting at key points in a song to see if they:

·         take their turn to sing

·         ask you to continue the song

·         request you to go “again”               

Source Hanen.org.

For more strategies: http://www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/Fun-Activities/How-to-Sing-with-Toddlers-The-Hanen-Way.aspx

For song and rhyme ideas:https://www.youtube.com/user/Jbrary/featured

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: April 20, 2020

Being a good conversational partner starts at birth. Help your babies grow up to be good conversational partners by considering the following:

- Respond to your child. Look at him when he makes noises. Talk to him. Imitate the sounds he makes.

- Laugh when she does. Imitate the faces she makes.

- Teach your baby to imitate actions, like peek-a-boo, clapping, blowing kisses, and waving bye-bye.

These simple things teach our babies how to take turns, which is what we do when talking and having conversation.

Source: ASHA

 

Posted: April 15, 2020

TIP: LABEL AND REPEAT

Labeling is a great, simple way to promote early language development. When babies are young, they don’t know an apple from an orange. Naming things in your environment (home, grocery store, park, etc.) helps give them the vocabulary needed to understand and communicate. So, instead of saying non-specific words, like “this" and "that,” label the objects. This also applies to actions, “jump, run, push, open, swing.”   

The best time to name is when your child is ENGAGED with what you are doing (for example, during daily routines like dressing and bathtime) or when you are FOLLOWING THEIR LEAD (for example, during playtime).

REPEAT the words often. Children, especially those with language delays, need to hear words MANY times before they say them on their own. During play or daily routines, try to repeat words multiple times in an interaction. It is best to repeat the same word 3-5 times during each turn in an activity.

For example: child playing with toy cars (BEEP is target word)
Parent: (respond to what child is doing and use words to match) “Beep! The car goes beep! Beep! Beep!”
Child: (starts pushing the car)
Parent: (respond by commenting and repeating the word) “Beep beep! The car is moving! Beep!”)
Child: (pushes car more)
Parent: (wait to give child a chance to respond)
Child: “Be” (or no response)
Parent: (label word again) “Beep! Beep! Beep!”
Child: (pushes car more)
Parent: (waits)
Child: “Beep!”
Parent: (add on) “Yes! Beep! The car is so fast! The car says beep beep!” 

NOTE: This is not a time to focus on them imitating or repeating the word.  We never want to put pressure on the child by telling them to say a word (e.g., "Say, BEEP!").  If they say the word on their own, that’s great and cause to celebrate, but remember to reduce the pressure. Children need to hear words A LOT and labeling & repeating words will help your child understand words which then leads to talking. Children need to understand a word or action before they can spontaneously say it on their own.

Try it out at home: NAME IT and REPEAT and REPEAT some more!

 

Posted: September 26, 2019

Go on a Leaf Hunt 

Every year my kids and I go on a leaf hunt after we read Leaf Man Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, and We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt. We then make our own Leaf People. So many great opportunities for language!

 

 You and your little ones can:

  • Talk about the different COLORS and SHAPES of the leaves
  • Talk about the LOCATIONS of the leaves (in, on, under, etc)
  • Talk about putting your leaves IN the BAG and POURING them OUT when you are done
  • Talk about BODY PARTS when making leaf people
  • See post for more!

    Remember that for all these activities, that it is the process that is important. Talk to your littles and have meaningful interactions.



    Source: www.playingwithwords365.com

Adults can use child-directed speech when talking to babies to help them develop their communication skills.

You may have already heard terms such as “baby-talk”, “motherese”, or “parentese” to describe the way an adult talks to babies. This type of speech helps babies pay attention to our voice so they can better notice the sounds and words we produce. This is important because when babies hear sounds and words repeatedly, they become better prepared to understand and say their first words (which is typically at around their first birthday).

HOW TO USE CHILD-DIRECTED SPEECH:

1. Use simple and grammatical language. It can be one word (e.g. “Up!), a few words “Going up!”, or full sentences (“We’re going up!”)

  • How can you tell if it is grammatical? Ask yourself, “Would I say this to an adult?” or “Does this sound funny?”. For example, “Baby want ball” is not grammatical and “Baby wants the ball” is grammatical).

3. Use a “sing-songy” voice while talking. Using a melodic voice sounds as if you are singing while talking!

4. Use a higher pitch. Babies pay more attention to what we say when we speak in a slightly higher pitch!

5. Slow down speech and pause more often. This helps babies hear the sounds and the words in our language!

6. Emphasize key words (e.g. “There’s your BELLY!). Usually, this is the last word in a sentence!

 

As babies listen to adults speak to them, they may begin making sounds, gestures, or facial expressions in response. When this happens, copying what they do/say or having a "conversation" with them will encourage them to continue communicating!

You,Me and Mother Goose-Spring 2019 at Esgenoopititj Head Start concluded On June 13, 2019. Each of the children will recieve certificates of participation and the one mom who attended faithfully each week will recieve a special certificate of appreciation for her efforts.

Head Start in Esgenoopititj has been a long time partner with Talk With Me and especially  of the You, Me and Mother Goose program. The staff have certainly developed an appreciation of the value of ryhme, song and story. They use the   same to motivate  the  children, encourage their development and cement the bond between caregiver and child. For example the  Mother Goose standard, Tiny Tim the Turtle, is now included as part of the classroom routine alongside songs like Clean Up, Clean Up to remind children that the day is ready to begin and that toys have to be cleared away. Down on the Corner, a newer song for the group, is becoming a favorite way to introduce the names of children during circle time. Children love to hear their name especially when it is part of a song or rhyme!

Mother Goose at Esgenoopititj is also a unique learning opportunity for me, the facilitator, as I have the opportunity to hear some of the words to our songs and rhymes expressed in Micmac language. Granted not all translate very easily but the children and teachers teach me a word or two  as we progress through the program. For example, "muin" the MicMac word for "bear" came up during past sessions and again during this session as we  learned the song Grr, Grr Went the Little Brown Bear and Two Little Black Bears.

While the children appear to enjoy most of the songs and rhymes their favourites continue to be the action ryhmes which include lap songs and bouncy rhymes, e.g. Popcorn,Popcorn and Smooth Road; These, I think, are the kind of rhymes that really help encourage the bond between child and caregiver because there is respectful touch, shared laughter, smiles, lots of eye contact and simple fun.

Please find the following words to one of Head Start's favorite rhymes. Just a cautionary note, the heavier the child the more your thighs are going to ache!

With your little one on your knee, your legs stretched out in front...Popcorn,Popcorn sizzling in the pan, Shake it up, shake it up! Bam,bam,bam. Popcorn,popcorn its getting really hot! Popcorn,Popcorn, POP! POP! POP!

Posted: May 30, 2019

 

Preschool Speech and Language True & False Quiz

 

To end off “May is Better Speech & Hearing Month”, check out our Preschool Speech & Language Quiz and learn more about a child’s communication development.  Contact Talk With Me at 1-888-623-6363 for more information.

 

1.   Approximately 1 in 10 Canadians have a speech, language or hearing problem.                      

TRUE:  For example, 10% of the general population, 20% of those over 65 and 40% of those over 75 have a significant hearing problem www.caslpa.ca  

                                           

2.   The number of cases of ear infections is highest in children from 6 to 12 months.  

    TRUE:  Studies have shown that 80% of infants have had at least one ear infection by 12 months of  age. www.msha.ca 

 

3.  25 – 50% of ear infections with fluid in the middle ear are “silent” meaning there are no symptoms that tell you your child has an ear infection. 

TRUE:  There are “acute” ear infections that can be painful; then there are ear infections with fluid in the middle ear that we may not know about.  This type of ear infection is usually associated with a thick fluid in the middle ear that affects the way we hear sound.  During this time, a mild hearing loss can occur – and one study found that 60% of the time, parents are unaware of a hearing problem in a child with an ear infection.  Watch for signs such as a child who is inattentive, pulls or scratches at their ears, is irritable or listless.  www.nlaslpa.ca

 

4.  Noisy toys such as talking phones, toy radios and squeaky toys can cause hearing loss.                         

TRUE:  Literature recommends a safe noise level of 70 dB.  Some squeaky toys have been measured at over 100 dB and young children often play with them right at their ear.  Cap guns and firecrackers have been measured at over 150 dB and can cause instant and permanent hearing loss.  www.msha.ca  

                                                                                     

5.  An estimated 10% of preschoolers stutter.                                                

FALSE:  Approximately 4% of preschool age children stutter. Children will often go through a period of normal dysfluency where they sound like they are stuttering. If you have concerns, please talk to a speech-language pathologist who can help you determine when the dyfluencies are “normal” and when they could be the start of a more serious problem.  www.caslpa.ca 

 

6.  A good way to help a child who is stuttering is to tell them to slow down and think before they talk.

FALSE:  Telling a child to “slow down” or “think” before they talk makes them feel like they are doing something “wrong” and can actually lead to more serious stuttering. A better technique is to give the child lots of time to get the words out and to respond to WHAT they are saying, not HOW they are saying it.  www.caslpa.ca              

                                                                          

7.  Often children say their first word by their first birthday. 

TRUE:  However, children’s language develops at different rates.  For some strategies & activities that help “start” the words coming, contact the “Talk with Me” 1-888-623-6363  (Hanen Early Language program, www.hanen.org

 

8.  It is common for children to only have a few words by 2 years of age.    

FALSE: For the “average” child, we would expect to hear:

·         From 25 – 200 words by 18 months and some two word phrases

·         From 100 – 475 words by 24 months 

(from the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories)

Consider contacting a speech-language pathologist if you are hearing:

·         Fewer than 18 words by 18 months

·         Fewer than 100 words and/or no two word combinations by 24 months.

     (A. Wetherby, 2000; P. Hadley, Hanen Early Language Program, 2004)

 

9.  75% of children who are delayed talkers (good understanding but not saying many words yet) will grow out of it by the time they start school.  

TRUE:  However, this means that 25% of children will not grow out of it. If you have concerns your child is delayed, don’t let them be that 1 in 4 who are still delayed by the time they reach school; contact a speech and language pathologist to discuss your child’s speech and language development.  It’s never too early to start.  (Agin, Geng & Nicholl, 2003)

 

10.  It is okay for people to not understand your preschooler’s speech.                                

FALSE:  Generally, people not as familiar with your child’s speech should be able to:

    • Understand at least 50% of what a 2 year old says
    • Understand at least 75% of what a 3 year old says
    • Understand at least 90-95% of what a 4 year old says
    • Understand 100% of what a 5 year old says 

    Call “Talk With Me” to talk with one of our Speech-Language Pathologists

    if you have questions or concerns about your child’s speech or language development.  

    Don’t Wait & See, Call “Talk With Me” – 1-888-623-6363.

     

     

     

    Posted: May 23, 2019

    We are in week three of the Bond to Literacy program at Tiny Treasures Day Care Centre in Esgenoopetitj. Week one saw the children(mostly two and three year olds) looking at the pictures in the book "Niwechihaw". This book is about a grandmother and grandson who travel to the woods to pick rosehips for traditional medecines. We talked about the noises we would hear on a walk in the woods and what objects we could put in our baskets as we walked. After our story and discussion the children turned their efforts to decorating paper baskets with assorted stickers and/or crayons.

    At week two we looked at the book  "Ancient Thunder", a story about the beautiful, beloved horses of the Blackfoot Nation. We talked about colours, animals that run like or with horses and about the regalia featured on each page. The children were especially curious to examine horse feed, some even ate the tasty oats and corn sweetened with molasses! And they marvelled at the necklace crafted from beads and small bells intended to be worn around the horse's neck to alert other animals, people and ward off evil spirits. Our story was folowed by a fun craft where the children got to decorate their very own horses. These we fashioned from cardstock and clothespins!

    As we enter week three the story of "Eddie Longpants" will be introduced. It is a story about a boy who is teased due to his height. However Eddie's height proves to be a most valuable asset near the end of the story. It will be for most of the children their very first story about inclusion. The supporting craft ties in with the concept of short and tall. The children will be decorating a giraffe by gluing fabric shapes on a template. This should prove interesting as we've been avoiding glue to this point. Just imagine a glue bottle in the hands of two year olds. It will be all hands on deck for this activity!

    Week four will see the conclusion of this program with the story of "Amos' Sweater". It is a story about an old sheep who looks for a way to get his wool back. The children will hear all kind of words that describe "feelings" , example; old,tired, cold, angry etc. We'll be making our very own sheep from paper plates and cotton balls. And we'll have a little closing ceremony where each of the children will recieve a certificate of participation and we hope a set of books.

    Hello everyone, May is Speech and Hearing Month! Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) has a coloring contest that ends June 1st for a chance to win a $100 gift card for Chapters/Indigo!

    Here's the link - all you have to do is scroll down to "KId's Contest" to find the right coloring sheet for your child (there are three age groups: 5 and under, 6-8, and 9-11 years old), print it, have your child color it, and then scan and email it to julie@sac-oac.ca by June 1st, 2019!

     

    Posted: February 27, 2019

    You can help build your babies’ communication skills as soon as they are born by talking and responding to them throughout the day.

     Copy the sounds/movements they make, say what you think they would say (i.e. "interpret"), or talk about what is happening around you!  By adding lots of language to your day, you can help your baby learn their first words! Add emphasis to the key words so that they know that the word is important.

    You can respond to…

     Their movements/gestures

    Baby: Moves their arms side to side and jumps up and down after seeing their favorite food.

     Adult: Waves their arms and says "Avocado!", “Yummy avocado!”, "Let's eat avocado!"

     What they are looking at

    Baby: Looks at a bird outside the window.

    Adult: Waves towards the window and says, "There's a bird! Hello bird!”  

     What they might be feeling (ex. tired, sad, hungry, happy, surprised, scared...)

    Baby: Yawns and his eyes are slowly shutting.

     Adult: Pretends to yawn and says, “You’re so tired!”

     The sounds they are making

    Baby: Says “Baaaaaaaa” during bath time while splashing the water.

    Adult: Splashes the water, copies the sound "baaaa", or says “Bubbles!”, "Bath time"

     Have fun!

    Contact us if you would like to learn more about early communication milestones and language stimulation strategies! Our toll free number is 1-888-623-6363.

    Posted: February 6, 2019

     

    Young children love to play with sensory bins.  They are a lot of fun and you can create bins for various themes or everyday bins.  To make your own sensory bin, begin with a medium to large sturdy plastic container. Select a filler such as beans, rice, pasta, shredded paper, or any other material that would be fun to feel. Include a couple of "tools." Children love spoons of all sizes, measuring cups, and small shovels. With Valentine's Day approaching, try making a sensory including objects related to Valentine's Day.  You can add things like heart-shaped stickers, blocks, small and large foam pieces, stirring sticks, glitter wands, beads, bracelets, squishy fidgets, muffin papers, and small cups. Be creative! But also be safe! Carefully supervise any child who still mouths objects to prevent choking 

    Sensory bins can be used to address a variety of goals in therapy. Here are some ideas. 

     

    A child will:

    1. Build attention and participation. Include objects you know will appeal to a child's sensory preferences. If he’s a visual kid, pick cool things for him to look at and explore. If he's a kid who likes to pinch and pull, add squishy fidget toys. 

     

    2. Exhibit joint attention. Make yourself at least as fun as the stuff! Sit across from him and interject yourself into his space. Play along to keep yourself relevant.

     

    3. Imitate actions to increase reciprocity and turn taking. Provide two sets of tools -  one for him and one for you - so that you can dig as he digs and pour as he pours. 

     

    4. Find new ways to regulate his sensory system. Busy kids calm down with these tactile activities. Flat kids rev up their low arousal systems. 

     

    5. Improve cognitive skills. Include sets of small objects for sorting, matching, or counting (ugh!). Add separate cups for each set of material you'll sort. 

     

    6. Demonstrate fine motor skills. Stir. Pour. Scoop. This is super practice for kids who are also working on self-feeding. You can also practice all of those pre-writing skills - peel paper off stickers, operate tongs, stack smaller blocks, etc... 

     

    7. Understand new words. Go beyond labeling the nouns! Target new comprehension targets with prepositions (in, out, on, off, under), new verbs (pat, squeeze, squish, scoop, dig, dump, pour, shake, hide, etc...), and new descriptive words (BEYOND COLOR WORDS!). Try shiny, pretty, size words big/little, yucky, squishy, etc. 

     

    8. Imitate or say new words. Don't forget your exclamatory words: whee, wow, whoa, and boo (as you find hidden objects). Create verbal routines to build automatic speech so kids learn to fill in the blank with your cute routines such as "Scoop. In. Scoop. In. Scoop. ____." Target holistic phrases such as: I did it, I got it, Where (did) it go, There it is! Work on simple phrase patterns such as "My + ____" as you teasingly take an object a child wants or "Bye bye + _____ as you hide the objects."

     

    Have fun!  Your little one will love it!

     

    Posted: December 17, 2018

    All parents look forward to their child's firsts: first steps, first full night of sleep and, of course, their first words.

    As with all stages of child development, there is a range during which children develop their skills. So, if your child is not doing everything at every stage, it is not necessarily cause for concern.

    However, a wait-and-see approach is not necessarily the best either, especially when early intervention can make a difference.

    As a speech-language pathologist with the Talk With Me program, I often tell parents that a child’s language development can be compared to climbing a set of stairs, with a child at the bottom and moving up one step at a time.

    Babies start reacting to sound right at birth. At around four to six months, they will start cooing or "talking," followed by babbling at around six to 12 months. You will usually hear your baby’s first words around his or her first birthday.

    As your child continues up the steps, you should be seeing him or her using around 50 single words by 18 months. By 24 months, children start to use two-word phrases, such as "Ahdah mama" ("Alldone mama") or "Wawa peas" ("Water please").

    The words and sounds of a two-year-old are not necessarily spoken clearly, but that is normal. From two to three years of age, you should be seeing a rapid change in speech and language development, with an increasing vocabulary and use of language. At this stage, you should be wondering, "Where did our child even learn certain words?"

    By three years of age, you should understand your child’s speech 75 per cent of the time, and they should be telling you short stories and using three- and four-word phrases ("I goed to the pawk (park)," "Her is awdone (alldone) now"). Their speech may not be completely perfect yet, but that is still OK.

    From four to five years of age, children are gaining more and more words, ideas and concepts, and should be able to express themselves with longer and longer sentences in a smooth, clear way.  They are talking like mini adults now.

    They should understand your questions and directions and their speech should be understood almost all the time by an unfamiliar listener. That is a lot of stairs, in a short time.

    Here are a few tips to help your child’s speech and language development:

    1) Limit screen time according to the Canadian Pediatric Society’s recommendations. That means no screen time (TV/tablet/phone) for children under two years of age and limited screen time (less than one hour per day) for children between two to five years of age.

    We don’t talk much when we look at a screen and the same goes for your child. This is a tough one in this day and age, but children learn how to communicate through active play and engagement with the people and things in their world.

    2) Provide lots of verbal input to your child. Talk to them all the time about what you’re doing, what they’re doing, what you’re seeing, hearing, and where you’re going. Talk throughout your day. Talk to them in the language you are most comfortable.

    When you talk to your child, wait for them to do or say something in response. Mealtime, bath time, playtime, driving, walking and shopping are all opportunities for your child to learn words.

    3) Use books right from birth with your child. Use them to snuggle up and enjoy some time together. Aim to read at least one book every day. Use the library. Don’t feel you have to read the entire book. Look at the pictures and name the items on the page. Even if your child is only interested in one page, that is still a great start and a great way to learn words and ideas.

    If at any point your child’s speech and language seems to be "stuck" on a stair, or moves down a stair (regresses), or you have concerns, it is likely time to talk to a professional.

    The Speech-Language Pathologists at Talk With Me are ready to answer your questions and can meet with you and your child for a consultation if requested.  If you have concerns about your child's communication skills, don't wait and see, call Talk With Me at 1-888-623-6363.

    We look forward to working with you and your child to help them take the next "step."

     

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