May is Better Speech and Hearing Month! Many children may have difficulties with one or more aspect of speech and/or language, and according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), early detection and intervention can often be the most effective.
Below are some helpful tips parents can use to promote speech and language skills at home:
Communicative temptation: create situations where a child needs to gesture, vocalize, or verbalize to have his or her needs met before giving desired object (e.g., puzzle pieces)
Imitation: having a child imitate you helps him or her to produce words and sounds at appropriate times (e.g., saying “hi” to animal toys as you take them out of the box)
Expanding: using a child’s language and expanding it to make it more complex (e.g., child says “ball,” adult can say, “that is your ball!”)
Build vocabulary: target and explain relevant new words (e.g., seasonal words ) to help build vocabulary Read more
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What factors determines the child’s desire to read
What is phonemic awareness
Signs in the child’s behavior indicating his readiness to read
Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.
Robyn: Hello, and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn
Ackerman, and I’m sitting here today with Elizabeth Galin [SP], an academic
specialist. Elizabeth, can you tell us what are three signs to look for
that a child may be ready to read?
Elizabeth: Absolutely. The first sign to look for when your child is ready
to read is motivation. You’re looking for your child looking forward toward
that reading time, sitting down with you, understanding that books open and
close, they turn pages right to left, that the words and the pictures on
the storybook tell us something, tell us the story.
And as children get older, the next thing you’re looking for, the second
thing you’re looking for, is letter recognition. Children begin to
understand the letters of the alphabet, specifically letters in their name
or maybe, letters in a brand that they recognize, Thomas for Thomas the
Tank Engine or stop like a stop sign, and then they begin to associate
sounds with those letters and that’s called phonemic awareness.
The third thing that you’re looking for in a child being able to read is
print awareness. So they begin to realize that letters on the page come
together to form words. Those words form sentences. Those sentences tell us
the story that we’re listening to. And you may find a young child being
interested in imitating writing. They can’t form the letter but they make
Robyn: All right. Well, thank you so much, Elizabeth. Those are some great
things to look out for, and thank you to our viewers. And remember, keep on
Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of mind
to your family with the best in educational programming. To subscribe to
our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit our website at
learnmore.me. That’s learnmore.me.
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If you are concerned about your child’s articulation (the way he produces his speech sounds) and are considering a speech and language evaluation, a hearing evaluation may be helpful as well!
“But I am concerned with my child’s speech, not his ability to hear” – you say? Consider this: if you weren’t able to hear people speaking, how precisely would you be able to imitate their speech? Not very easily! Continue reading to discover just how important and informative a hearing evaluation can be.
Q: What does an initial hearing evaluation consist of?
A: Typically, an audiologist will conduct the following screening measures:
Pure Tone Audiometry Test: This consists of your child wearing headphones and responding (usually by raising his hand) to tones in each ear at different frequencies (pitch) and intensities (loudness). This test identifies the various pitches and loudness levels your child can hear.
Speech Reception Threshold: The audiologist will read two-syllable words pronounced with equal stress on each part, like “hotdog” and ask your child to repeat them. This test checks your child’s ability to understand speech sounds in each ear.
Speech Discrimination Testing: The audiologist will read single-syllable words, like “ball” and ask your child to repeat them. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the percentage of words your child can hear.
Q: Why is a hearing evaluation so important?
A: A hearing evaluation can help to determine if a hearing loss is present.
A: If a hearing loss is present, the evaluation can be the first step to correcting the hearing loss (hearing aids, cochlear implant, amplifier systems for your child’s classroom, etc).
A: A hearing evaluation may help explain why your child’s speech production skills are lower than what is expected for a child his age. For instance, certain speech sounds are heard at different pitch levels or at different volumes. This means, if your child has a hearing loss in a specific area, he wouldn’t be expected to accurately produce the corresponding sounds!
Even with a mild hearing loss, many speech sounds (z, v, p, h, g, ch, sh, k) may be affected!
A: A hearing evaluation can even help identify disorders of the ear. For instance, the evaluation can help identify external otitis (more commonly known as “swimmer’s ear”)!
A: A hearing disorder can affect your child in the classroom. Results from an evaluation may help to adjust your child’s school day to optimize his performance (e.g. changing his desk position in the classroom, using an FM system, giving the teacher a small microphone, etc).
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