Do you have a child who has some speech/language difficulties such as articulation problems, receptive or expressive language difficulties, or even using appropriate social skills and language within social settings?
It is not uncommon! With my own four-year-old son, we are working on playing listening and rhyming games. He seems to have difficulty with hearing the difference between sounds that are similar, such as the /s/ sound and the /f/ sound; not only that, he often confuses pronouncing or articulating similar sounds correctly. He does have a history of many ear infections as an infant and toddler, so I want to be very intentional to intervene early on the important skills of phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, distinguish, and manipulate the individual sounds within words. I know, as a reading specialist, that many children with speech and language difficulties go on to experience difficulties with learning to read and/or spell. So, we play many games in the car or throughout the day, especially during our bed time reading to work on hearing the difference and articulating the sounds properly.
Last night, we got out the toy stuffed snake and practiced making the S-S-S for the snake and the F-F-F for frog while reading some books about animals.
Here are some great speech and language resources I wanted to make you aware of and I hope you will find them helpful to use in your home teaching:
TOP PICKS FOR BOOKS:
- The New Language of Toys, available at Woodbine House.
- Teaching Children with Down Syndrome to Communicate Better, by Libby Kumin
- Childhood Speech, Hearing, and Listening Problems by Patricia Hamaguchi
- Phonemic Awareness Activities book and Inventory/Assessment by Kristen and William
Eckenwiler, available at The Struggling Reader.
- Body Talk: Teaching Students with Disabilities About Body Language by Pat Crissey
HOME SPEECH THERAPY PROGRAMS:
- Super Star Speech Therapy, developed by SLP, Deborah Lott, and available at Amazon
- 1st Straight Talk program, available through Rainbow Resource.
WEBSITES with lots of free activities you can download, print, and use with your child:
ONLINE SPEECH THERAPY:
Thanks to the many technological advances and growth in internet communication there are now individuals and companies providing online speech therapy, or telepractice. With a high-speed internet connection, a webcam, and a headset with a microphone, a speech-language pathologist in Asia can provide speech therapy for a child in the USA or Canada or anywhere in the world for that matter! While internet speech therapy sessions may not be appropriate for everyone, there are many children and adults who can benefit from it. Particularly. if one lives in an area where speech and language therapy services are not locally available, it can truly be a godsend.
FUNDING SOURCE FOR SPEECH/LANGUAGE THERAPY:
If you are in need of financial assistance in order to get speech and language services for you child, check out the organization Small Steps in Speech. This is a non-profit foundation created in memory and in honor of Staff Sgt Marc J. Small who was killed in action in February of 2009 while serving his country in Afghanistan.
Small Steps in Speech assists children with speech and language disorders by funding supplemental therapies and treatments for individuals as well as grants to charitable organizations who serve children with communicative disorders. Their goal is to give children the chance to better express themselves in the world in which we live.
The next application deadline is May 1, 2014. Applications must be received via email or fax before 5:00 p.m. (EST). Mailed applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2014. For more information, to access the grant guidelines, and to apply for a grant through Small Steps in Speech, please visit this link on their website.