Posted: September 26, 2019
Posted: September 3, 2019
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!”)
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!
Posted: July 10, 2019
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:
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.
Posted: May 15, 2019
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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…
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"
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
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."
Posted: September 19, 2018
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 cup flour
1. Combine water, oil ,salt, cream of tartar, food colouring in saucepan over medium to low heat.
2. Remove from heat and add flour.
3. Stir then knead until smooth.
* To make Pumpkin Spice Playdough simply add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and orange food colouring only!
Note: Cream of tartar will make the playdough last for six months
Always store playdough in airtight containers with lids.
Posted: September 12, 2018
A parent recently asked about ways to help her child learn prepositions. Laura Mize, Speech-Language Pathologist from "Teach Me to Talk" gives excellent advice on this topic:
Toddlers first begin to understand prepositions in the context of familiar directions and then say prepositions as single words before they include prepositions in phrases. This last skill occurs by 30 to 33 months. Prepositions to be targeted include: in, out, off, on, up, down, here, and there. Other sources also list under, by, and around by 3.
Remember, a child must first understand these words before she says them. Here's some information for making sure she's on track with understanding new prepositions/location phrases –
Toddlers with typically developing language understand the following prepositions by age 3: in, out, off, on, up, down, here, there, under, by, and around. Lists vary by source.
As in the previous developmental period, teach these words during context while playing using objects to demonstrate the concept. With typically developing children these words are often learned in pairs as “opposites” such as in vs. out, off vs. on, and up vs. down. However, it may be necessary to teach one concept at a time to a child with significant delays to avoid confusion.
Using a favorite character for the child to manipulate is a very effective way to teach prepositions. If a child loves her Elmo doll, use Elmo to teach location words in silly and unexpected situations. Hide Elmo under the pillow. Make Elmo run around the train track. By introducing more creative teaching methods, you’re ensuring that a child pays attention, wants to participate, and increases the likelihood that she’ll remember the new concept and word. You’re also encouraging her to be flexible when she plays and to generalize the word beyond one specific context.
One fun way to target prepositions is to use the child himself to model each concept. Place him in a laundry basket and then take him out. Climb on the couch, and then jump off. The playground is an ideal place to teach prepositions. Go up the ladder and then down the slide.
While you might label and point out examples of prepositions/location words while reading books or using pictures, please don’t rely on this as your primary method of teaching this important word category. At some point, a child’s comprehension might be assessed using pictures, so be sure a child recognizes these concepts in pictures after he masters locations words with real objects.
If you have any questions or concerns, about your child's speech-language development, or would like more suggestions on ways to help expand your child's vocabulary and language skills, call Talk With Me at 623-6363.
Posted: July 27, 2018
The Speech-Language Pathologists at Talk With Me (ASD-N) have recently completed a 3-day workshop in Moncton to become certified trainers of Learning Language & Loving It™ - The Hanen Program® for Early Childhood Educators/Teachers (LLLI). The program is for educators who wish to receive coaching and specific communication and interaction strategies they can immediately incorporate in their daily routines and activities with the children they teach.
Here is a comment from an educator in Toronto who attended the LLLI Program:
"I have learned so much about language and communication development in young children through the Learning Language and Loving It™ Program. The changes I have made in my style of interaction and communication with the children have resulted in changes in the children that are quite evident”
A review of the research for the program attached to this note.
Please contact us if you would like more information about the LLLI program, or if you would like to know when it will be offered in your region!
Posted: July 26, 2018
The Healthy Child Network in Restigouche is proud to host a summer event called the Super Summer Spectacular next Friday August 3rd in Dalhousie at the Lions Club Playground from 10am to 12pm! Click on the attached summer event ad poster for more information!