Communication Matters

Why Should I Read to My Toddler?

Sharon Dundee | Posted on January 01, 2019

Reading aloud is an important way to help your child make the transition from infancy into their toddler years. Between the ages of 1 and 3, your child will have triumphs and challenges. Studies show that children with an active exposure to language have social and educational advantages over their peers - and reading is one of the best ways to expose your child to language.

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, reading, literacy, Learning, toddler

How Hearing Loss Affects Speech-Language Development

Sharon Dundee | Posted on January 01, 2019

Children learn to talk by listening to those around them. The first few years of life are a critical time for speech and language development. Children must be able to hear speech clearly in order to learn language. Fluctuating hearing loss due to repeated ear infections might mean the child doesn't hear consistently and may be missing out on critical speech information. Permanent hearing loss will also affect speech and language development, especially if it is not detected early. The earlier hearing loss is identified and treated, the more likely the child will develop speech and language skills on par with children who aren’t experiencing hearing issues.

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Tags: Speech, Hearing Aid, Hearing Aids, Communication, Hearing, Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss, Learning, Voice, toddler, talking

Should My Child Learn a Second Language?

Megan Ahlman, M.A. CCC-SLP | Posted on January 01, 2019

Introducing your child to multiple languages at a young age is a personal decision that can be challenging for many families. Children who become fluent in one language are referred to as “monolingual,” and children who become fluent in two languages are referred to as “bilingual.”  Speaking a language at home that is different than what your child may be exposed to at school and in the community can spark several questions such as “Will it be difficult for my child to learn another language?” “When should I start to teach my child two languages?” “How can I help my child learn a second language if I don’t know it myself?”

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Tags: Support, Learning, Voice, toddler, talking

Are Speech Disorders Inherited?

Megan Ahlman, M.A. CCC-SLP | Posted on December 12, 2018

Evidence exists linking genetic factors to a variety of speech and language difficulties. Recent studies of molecular genetics and neuroimaging are cross-disciplinary, combining forces between speech-language pathologists, physicians, and scientists. Researchers have already identified over 400 genes linked to hearing loss, and ongoing studies investigate genetic links to stuttering, voice disorders, and language disorders.

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Stuttering, talking

Benefits of Lullabies for Babies

Dr. Laura Brady | Posted on December 12, 2018

Music is hard wired in our brains at an early age. The ability to process music appears in specialized areas of the brain during the first few months after birth. It socially connects, communicates, coordinates and instigates neurological and physical movement, stimulates pleasure senses and hormones, alters perception, and shapes personal identities. 

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Tags: Language, Communication, Hearing

How Sensory Play Helps Developmental Skills

Imagine a cool, fall day. The windows are open and a light breeze is coming through from the lake. As the breeze comes in, you begin to smell a cinnamon apple pie baking in the oven, just like your grandmother would make.

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Tags: Speech, Communication, Learning, toddler, talking

How to Prepare for an Upcoming Speech-Language Evaluation

Megan Ahlman, M.A. CCC-SLP | Posted on December 12, 2018

A speech and language evaluation is a normal avenue to pursue when parents or caregivers suspect difficulty with communication. Anticipation of a speech and language evaluation can bring on feelings of stress if you aren’t sure what to expect, and meeting a new health-care professional in an unfamiliar office space can be overwhelming.

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Teens, Voice, toddler, talking

10 Interesting Facts about Ears & Hearing

Dr. Laura Brady | Posted on November 11, 2018
  1.  Children with normal hearing in both ears generally perform better with auditory tasks and processing sound in their right ear up until puberty.
  2. Ears are completely individual just like fingerprints! Yahoo has even explored technology that could unlock a cell phone when held to the ear.
  3. Of the 206 bones in the human body, the six smallest are in your ears: three in the right and three in the left. Together, each three are about the size of a pencil eraser.
  4. The hearing organ, called the cochlea, has 16,000 microscopic hair cells called sterocilia.
  5. The unit used to measure loudness – the decibel - was named after Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.
  6. We turn the radio up when we drive on the highway and down when we are on side streets is due to the fact that those with normal hearing need sound levels to be nearly 10 decibels louder than background noise. This is referred to as the signal-to-noise ratio.
  7. Other than vision and proprioception (the ability to sense the orientation of your body in your environment), our primary organs of balance, known as the vestibular system, are located in the inner ear. There are three semi-circular, bony rings located on different levels which contain fluid that moves as we move.
  8. Ears are self-cleaning. Only the outer third of the ear canal produces ear wax (cerumen), which moves outward on tiny hairs as we move our lower jaw to talk or eat.
  9. Thunder is the sound accompanied by lightning, but often there is a delay between when we see lightning and hear the thunder. That’s because sound travels nearly 760 mph whereas light travels about 186,000 mph. This is why we see lightning before we hear thunder.
  10. The best way to measure the distance of lightning from your location is by counting the seconds (one Mississippi, two Mississippi…) between the lightning and thunder. For every five seconds you count, the storm is about one mile away.
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Tags: Hearing

Great Apps to Practice Speech Sounds with Your Tween

Learning and practicing how to correctly produce their “r” or “s” sound is certainly NOT what 8-12-year-olds want to be doing! Most would prefer to be playing video games or riding their bike.  One way to make speech therapy and at-home practice a little easier is to use an app. These apps could be on the parent’s phone, the tween’s phone, or a family iPad.

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Teens, Stuttering, Learning, Voice, talking

Why I Chose to Learn American Sign Language

Caring.  Compassionate.  Funny.  Loves God.  Can’t wait until Fall when Starbucks comes out with their signature Pumpkin Spice Latte with coconut milk. This person I’m describing is my sister, and she is deaf. She endured a terrible sickness at the age of 1 that took away her hearing, but not her spirit. My family and I wanted to know her – her thoughts, her needs, her dreams and goals. We needed to be able to communicate effectively with her. In order to achieve this, my parents decided that we would all learn American Sign Language (ASL).  Many people assume learning a new language to communicate with a deaf person will be difficult – if not impossible. However, it is very possible to learn American Sign Language. Regardless of your age, if you are willing to learn, you will discover that your loved one holds all kinds of amazing ideas and plans for adventure. You and your loved one will thrive!  Here are some tips to make learning American Sign Language more successful:

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Tags: Language, Communication, Support, Deaf, Hard of Hearing, American Sign Language, ASL, Learning