As we usher in May, we join our Speech Language Pathologists in celebrating Better Hearing & Speech Month. SLP’s often help with the following issues:
Articulation is the ability to coordinate movement of the tongue, lips, palate and jaw it is one of the basic motor planning components of good speech. If articulation skills are delayed or compromised, speech intelligibility (the ability for others to understand what is being spoken) goes down and frustration levels go up! Just in time for BHSM, these Just Say articulation card decks for R, L, S and Z sounds and blends are budget friendly and have multiple activity options. Get em while they last!
Receptive Language refers to the ability to listen and understand language. Children usually develop better receptive skills (what they understand) more than expressive skills (what they can say). Research shows that parents who engage in regularly talking to their toddlers can make a significant impact in their child’s language proficiency and vocabulary.
Speech involves the physical motor skills to talk, language is a symbolic, rule-governed system that is used to convey a message. On a very basic level expressive language is what is said…typically using speech, but what if the child is nonverbal? The child who is deaf, for example can use sign language or a student on the autism spectrum may use a Speech Generating Device or SGD like the Go Talk.
Social/Pragmatic Language involves the nuances of communication such as making conversation in a group, following social rules such as taking turns, and understanding/conveying emotion. Many children with autism for example, don’t know what a sad facial expression looks like from an angry one. Idioms, such as “it’s raining cats and dogs” or “in a pickle” are also pragmatic language skills that present a challenge as the definition is interpreted literally. Tools like the Emotiplush Doll & Books Set for learning facial expressions or the Last One Standing Cat and Mouse Idioms Card Game make great resources for practicing social/pragmatic skills.
Let’s not forget our kids who don’t have hearing loss (an anatomical/neurological disorder with multiple variations) yet struggle with being over sensitive to sound or have trouble tuning out background sounds (such as an HVAC unit or papers shuffling) to be able to hear the teacher in class. For the sound sensory defensive child, the Hush Buddy noise cancelling headphones can make all the difference at a school event such as a pep rally. With a Noise Reduction Rating of 27db, these let in 24.7% less sound than similar competitive products on the market. And for the student who has trouble with auditory figure ground skills (hearing the teacher above the background noise of the class) there is Califone’s Assistive Listening Device which allows the receiver to hear the teacher speaking through a small headset system. For ELL learners this is also a good option for translation.
Join us in expressing our thanks for the Speech and Language Pathologists that help our children with special needs listen, learn and communicate more effectively!