Talk With Me

Early Language Services

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!

 

May 14th is "Apraxia Awareness Day"

"Childhood apraxia of speech is a rare but severe motor speech disorder that affects less than 1% of children."- Speech-Language & Audiology

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If you are having difficulty seeing or reading the poster, here is a link to the original:

https://speechandhearing.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/SLPs_Who-we-are_i...

Posted: March 13, 2019

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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."

 

Posted: November 28, 2018

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