Communication Matters

Will Accent Modification Diminish My Identity?

Learning the rules of English will not erase your accent but will make it easier for others to understand you. Your identity will not, and cannot, be diminished. However, accent modification training can, and will, expand your abilities and allow you to communicate optimally.

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Tags: talking, Learning, Language, Communication, Speech, Accent Modification

When and How Should I Read to My Child?

Akilah Porter | Posted on January 01, 2019

Experts recommend you read to your child as often as you can and that you strive to have at least one scheduled reading time each day. Choosing regular times to read (especially before naps and bedtime) is a way to help your child learn to sit with a book and relax. But you can read anytime your child seems in the mood.

If your toddler will let you, hold him or her in your lap when you read. It's a great spot for:

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Tags: talking, toddler, Voice, Learning, literacy, Language, Communication, Speech

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

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

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: talking, Voice, toddler, Learning, Support

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: talking, toddler, Learning, Communication, Speech

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

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

Teaching Your Toddler How to Talk Effectively

Carol Theil, CCC-SLP | Posted on November 11, 2018

Children learn how to talk by imitating others. They mimic what they hear, so it’s important for you to practice speaking with your child every day. Some words to focus on include nouns, verbs, adjectives and prepositions, which can be applied to daily activities. For example, if you are blowing bubbles with your child, you can emphasize: 

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Tags: Learning, Language, Communication, Speech, toddler, talking

How to Build Joint Attention Skills in Young Children with Autism

Chana Feinstein, M.A., CCC-SLP | Posted on November 11, 2018

Joint attention is the ability to shift your attention between an object or event and your communication partner. For example, if a little girl notices an ice cream truck coming down the street, she may look at it, then turn to her father with a hopeful smile before turning back to stare at the ice cream truck. Or, a little boy may be spinning an empty water bottle on the floor, enjoying the movement and shifting colors as the bottle spins. He may look up at his mother and point to the bottle, sharing his enjoyment with her.

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Tags: talking, Learning, Language, Communication, Autism