Friday Favs: 7/5/13

friday favs

Wow, summer is flying by!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day!  My family and I spent the day swimming and attending a family BBQ, then we all went to Utah’s Stadium of Fire.  It’s the biggest event of the year here, and it’s awesome!  Kelly Clarkson performed followed by a fantastic fireworks display.  We had a great time!  Here’s my favorite finds from this week! Continue reading

Even Superman Struggles with Sensory Overload

Superhero Boy Flying In Space

My husband and I went to go see the new movie “Superman: Man of Steel” tonight.  I really enjoyed it.  It’s a new, fun twist off of the basic Superman story, and it’s well made.  If you’re into superhero action movies, it’s a good one to see.  In fact, if you’re an SLP, a professional who works with children with Autism, or a parent of a child with Autism, I highly recommend that you go see this movie.  Why, you ask?  Continue reading

Friday Favs: 5/24/13

friday favs

If you’re new to Friday Favs, this is where I post all of my favorite finds for the week.  Here’s some great stuff from this past week.  Enjoy!

1) I recently posted about the use of sippy cups for babies and toddlers.  Read all about the pros and cons of sippy cups here! Continue reading

Using Expanded Sentences to Promote Your Child’s Language Development

expanded sentences

A great way to help your child with their speech and language development is to use expanded sentences.  You can expand nearly any utterance made by you or your child.  The use of expanded sentences helps your child learn correct grammar and helps build their vocabulary. Continue reading

If My Child Is Bilingual, Will That Cause a Language Delay?

This is one of the most common questions I have been asked by parents as a Speech-Language Pathologist.  Many parents these days are teaching their children two languages.  These languages include Spanish, and Baby Sign (though this isn’t really a second language, but that’s a whole other post!), and many others.  Good for them!  Teaching a child a second language has many benefits, with higher IQ and larger vocabulary among them.  But does bilingualism cause a language delay?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  I can’t emphasize this enough.  Bilingualism actually improves your child’s language skills over the long-term.  Initially, while the child is learning both languages, it may seem as if the child is a few months behind in their language development when looking at each individual language.  However, if you look at a bilingual child’s vocabulary collectively, bilingual children actually have a larger vocabulary than their monolingual peers.

Bilingualism is often blamed when a bilingual child develops a language disorder.  The fact is, the development of a language disorder has nothing to do with being bilingual.  If a child is going to develop a language disorder, they will do so whether they are bilingual or not.  Language delays are caused by problems with the development of a child’s language center in their brain.  Bilingualism has no adverse affect on this development.

Now, there is one exception to this rule.  When I speak of bilingualism, it is with the assumption that the child is either learning both languages simultaneously, or becomes fluent in one language and is then introduced to another.  However, if a child is taught one language, and then that language is dropped and switched for another language, this can potentially cause language problems.  The reason for this is that the child was switched from one language to another without establishing a solid language base in their first language. 

So go ahead, have no fear, and teach your child a second language!  It’s good for them, and you’ll be glad you did.

Until next time,

Aersta Acerson

A Utah Speech Therapist

Friday Favs: 4/26/13

friday favs

OK, I realized I’m a little late on this.  This post should be titled “Saturday Favs” rather than “Friday Favs,” but you know what they say: Better late than never!  Here’s some favorites I found this week:

1.  Using Oral Storytelling in treatment for students with fluency and language disorders.  This is a post I wrote this week, and I’m excited about it.  If you try it in therapy with your own kids, I’d love to know what you think!

2.  Great lists of multiple meaning words sorted by grade level at spellingcity.com

3.  SoundGator.com: A great, FREE website containing hundreds of sound effects in several different categories.  This is a great resource for working with kiddos struggling with Auditory Processing or Auditory Attention.

4.  BeckmanOralMotor.com has a webpage that explains, in detail, all of the developmental patterns and movements for all of the oral structures.  There are also detailed descriptions of atypical patterns.  This is a great resource for in-depth oral motor assessments and feeding therapy.

5.  CommunicationStation has a great post for tongue thrust therapy.  Check it out!

Until next time,

Aersta Acerson

A Utah Speech Therapist

Sensory Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

SPD

In light of Autism Awareness Month, I thought I would post a link to a great website for Sensory Processing Disorder.  Kids with Autism often have sensory sensitivities, which can affect all other aspects of their life: social, physical, mental, emotional, academic, etc.  The Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist found at sensoryprocessingdisorder.com is NOT meant to be used as a diagnostic tool.  Rather, if your child or student exhibits some of these behaviors, you may want to consider a referral to a sensory specialist, usually an Occupational Therapist.  That being said, this checklist is VERY thorough, and I highly recommend taking a look.  Even if you think you know a lot about sensory disorders, I’ll bet you’ll learn something!

Until next time,

Aersta Acerson

A Utah Speech Therapist