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Pure Friendship for Individuals with Special Needs
Terri Mauro
Therapy Tips

12 Great Articles with Advice for Parents from Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists are an important part of the team for many children with disabilities, and learning what they do and how they do it can enable parents to strengthen and expand those same skills at home. Many speech-language pathologists have contributed to the Friendship Circle blog, on topics ranging from feeding to thumb-sucking to all aspects of language and communication. In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month. we've gathered a dozen of those posts from our archives.

1. Ten Ways a Speech-Language Pathologist Can Help Your Child

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Katie Yeh, SLP Intro: "Speech-Language Pathologist. Speech Pathologist. Speech Teacher. Known by many names, people refer to these specialists most often as speech therapists. They work with children with a variety of delays and disorders spanning from mild articulation delays to more complex disorders such as autism, Down syndrome, hearing impairment, motor speech disorders, and other developmental delays. SLP’s, as they are called for short, are the specialists that help your child with speech, talking and communication. However you may be surprised at how broad this field of speech-language pathology really is and just how many skill areas speech-language pathologists are trained to build and expand in young children." Read more Quick Tip: "When you are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence YOU can be the best ‘speech therapist’ your child will ever have. So ask questions, take notes, do the homework, and work closely with your child’s SLP."

2. Twenty-Nine Milestones for Speech and Hearing Development

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Marla Zerbib, M.A., CCC/SLP Intro: "If you are having doubts about your child’s speech and language development, wondering if your child is reaching those speech milestones on time, questions are probably swirling in your mind: Do they have enough words in their vocabulary? Do they understand language? Are they attempting to interact with others enough? Here are some of the developmental speech behaviors of young children that you should be watching for." Read more Quick Tip: "If after six months the child is not making the progress you would like to see, even with you working on the goals suggested at home, you may need to consider a second opinion or new perspective."

3. Five Ways to Get Siblings Involved in Speech Therapy

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Becca Eisenberg, MS, CCC-SLP Intro: "As both a parent and therapist, I have understood the challenges of dealing with this issue. I have seen siblings act out because they may feel left out, jealous or even simply confused why someone comes to play with their sibling, but not them. As parents, it’s difficult to understand this perspective since we understand the intentions of the speech language pathologist. From a child’s perspective, they might be thinking, ‘Why is this fun person coming to play with my sibling, but not me?'" Read more Quick Tip: "When playing a simple turn taking game, get the sibling involved with taking turns appropriately with their brother/sister. Taking turns appropriately can help siblings get along better during therapy and outside of therapy."

4. How to Build Speech and Language Practice into Your Child's Day

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Julie Glazebrook, MA, CCC-SLP Intro: "Speech-language pathologists know that building time into the day to do therapy-related homework can be a struggle, especially on top of work assigned by your child’s school. Luckily, scripting – possibly the most important piece of homework – can be easily integrated into your everyday life. Scripting can be done repeatedly and on a daily basis, which is best for learning new skills." Read more Quick Tip: "Hide a few inexpensive toys around a room and have the child tell you where she/he found them."

5. Five Ways to Elicit Language at a Restaurant with a Child with Special Needs

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Becca Eisenberg, MS, CCC-SLP Intro: "Visiting a restaurant with a child with special needs can be a fun but challenging experience. Why not take the experience and make it an enriched language time? Here are several tips and resources to help make it 'language time' the next time you visit a restaurant for a meal with your child." Read more Quick Tip: "When you walk into the restaurant, tell your child the name of the restaurant and what type of food they serve there. The menu alone can be an ideal tool to expand vocabulary."

6. Ten Tips for Selecting Toys for Your Speech Delayed Child

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Katie Yeh, SLP Intro: "As a speech-language pathologist, I am asked what toys I recommend most for children with speech and language delays all the time. Today, I’d like to share my 10 tips for selecting toys for your child with speech/language delays." Read more Quick Tip: "Sometimes YOU are the best toy for your child. Sing with him. Play patty-cake. Talk in a funny voice. Tell him stories. Be silly. Play hide and seek. Teach him finger plays. Play lap games."

7. How to Help Children With Special Needs Show Gratitude for Gifts

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Diane Nancarrow, MA, CCC-SLP Intro: "No matter what special need a child has, when they say or sign thank you with a smile, we feel happy about giving. Children often have no filters, and need practice to say 'thank you' when it is time for gift exchanges. Here are some tips on helping children with special needs show gratitude for gifts they have received." Read more Quick Tip: "Wrap up some objects you know that your child would like, wouldn’t like, and some that are just silly, since they need to practice receiving gifts they do not expect or don’t want."

8. Learn Fourteen Great Speech and Language Skills While Beating Cabin Fever

12 Posts for Parents from Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Jennifer Hill, MA, CCC/SLP Intro: "During the winter months there are many outdoor activities parents can participate in with their children, such as building snowmen, going ice skating, sledding, or building a snow fort in the yard. All of these activities keep children entertained while providing an opportunity to stimulate the child’s speech and language skills." Read more Quick Tip: "Go Fish!, memory games, and bingo are very good choices. Games promote a variety of speech and language skills."

9. Nineteen Ways to Increase Verbal Interaction with Your Child

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Ruth HaberkornHalm, MA, CCC-SLP Intro: "Frequently, parents have a difficult time coming up with ways to interweave their child’s targeted goals into their daily lives. They may have a hard time knowing what their child wants because he/she may not request, may not engage, their language is limited or intelligibility is compromised. Here are some easy suggestions to contrive the environment to help your child practice using their verbal skills. They are designed to help the child use/increase requesting, verbal interaction and naming as well as improve speech intelligibility, expand utterances and build associations." Read more Quick Tip: "When getting dressed, give your child another sibling’s clothes to put on that are too big or too small."

10. Building Blocks for Children With Speech Sound Disorders

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Nancy R. Kaufman, MA, CCC-SLP Intro: "Children with special needs often struggle to speak. This is most likely because the act of speaking is a complex fine motor skill, requiring hundreds of precise, planned, executed and coordinated oral motor movements, which are expressed as vowels and consonants. A great deal of practice is needed for words to become automatic and spoken with ease, fluent and intelligible. Choosing words for practice can seem like an insurmountable task. Here are a few tips as to what words to choose for practice." Read more Quick Tip: "Choose words that are motivating for the children to desire to practice. These would be the child’s favorite foods, drinks, toys and activities, their own names and names of the people in their lives."

11. What You Should Know About Thumb-Sucking, Pacifiers, and Other Non-Nutritive Oral Habits

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Karen Masters, MS, CCC/SLP, COM Intro: "Babies have the innate need to suck. It’s a reflex they are born with. Non-nutritive sucking (NNS) refers to a sucking behavior that does not provide any nutritional benefit. So nursing and bottle-feeding are nutritive, while thumb-sucking, finger-sucking, and pacifiers are non-nutritive. Surprisingly, NNS can actually be beneficial for babies." Read more Quick Tip: "Keeping the child’s hands busy with manipulatives and other hands-on activities can help short-term, as can limiting TV time, since that tends to be a common environment for thumb-sucking."

12. Ten Things You Should Know about Feeding Therapy

12 Posts for Parents by Speech-Language Pathologists Written by: Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP Intro: "'I never imagined my child would have trouble eating.' Those words are often one of the first comments parents have for me when they ask about feeding therapy. As a pediatric speech pathologist who specializes in feeding, I have the joy of being a 'food coach' for kids and their families as we progress through the developmental process of learning to eat a variety of foods." Read more Quick Tip: "When you are immersed in trying to feed your child 3 meals a day plus snacks, it’s not always easy to see progress. Your therapist will give you small goals to work on each week and together, we will celebrate every single accomplishment!”  

WRITTEN ON April 30, 2017 BY:

Terri Mauro