Communication Matters

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

The Stages of Infant Speech Development

Akilah Porter | Posted on January 01, 2019

Children begin developing speech as an infant. By 6 months, babies coo and play with their voices by producing sounds such as "oo," "uh," "mm," "da," and "goo." Children learn speech by imitating the sounds they hear. Actions such talking about what you are doing during the day, singing songs and reading books expose your child to a variety of sounds that he or she will begin imitating.

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Tags: talking, Voice, Language, Communication, Speech

Can You Understand Your Child's Speech?

Sharon Dundee | Posted on January 01, 2019

It’s common for most children to make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. Different sounds are mastered at different ages. Consistent, correct sound production will vary from child to child. When mistakes continue past a certain age, that’s when it's considered a speech sound disorder. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (pronouncing sounds correctly) and phonological processes (errors with sound patterns).

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Tags: talking, toddler, Voice, 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

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: talking, Language, Communication, Speech, Stuttering

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

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: talking, Voice, toddler, Teens, Language, 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

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