Frequency, length, and duration of therapy will vary according to the needs of each child. In order to achieve therapy goals, consistency is the key. It can be difficult to incorporate a therapy schedule into your weekly routine on top of all the other responsibilities and commitments you may already have. However, the more regular your child's attendance, the more likely he/she will make therapeutic progress.
Having the ability to communicate with your child's therapist regularly will help you to carryover a successful home program. Your pediatric therapist can give recommendations, tips, tools, and resources for your child's unique needs and personality to empower you, as the parent, to help your child thrive in the outside world with his/her peers. Parental involvement will positively impact your child's therapy progress.
Routine practice with therapeutic activities and exercises are crucial to gaining and maintaining new skills. Regression may become a concern if therapy is inconsistent. As a parent this can be frustrating and disappointing. For your child and therapist, that means more time spent re-teaching previously learned skills. Sticking to your therapy schedule and practicing learned skills at home will give your child the best opportunity to progress. When our children succeed, we all win!
Oceanside Therapy Group, Copyright 2017
“Toy in box.”
“My turn ball.”
The examples above are a type of simplified speech known as telegraphic input. It includes nouns and verbs, but deletes other parts of language such as articles (e.g., a, the) and word endings (e.g., -ing, -s, -ed). Some clinicians promote the use of telegraphic input, particularly for children who only use one or two words. Advocates for telegraphic speech argue that it is beneficial for several reasons:
1) It assists children who struggle with processing information accurately because they have a language delay.
2) It focuses children’s attention on specific parts of speech such as noun to verb relationships (e.g., “I jump”).
3) It creates spoken utterances that are easier for children to imitate, especially if they are only producing single words.
In this way, “telegraphic input may help to bridge the one-word and two-word stages of spoken language development for young children with language delays” (Venker and Stronach 2017).
“Push the car.”
“Put the toy in the box.”
“It’s my turn for the ball.”
“The horse is running.”
The examples above are types of grammatical simplified input. It includes shortened phrases that do not break grammatical rules. Shortened phrases typically include simple grammatical features such as articles (e.g., a, an, the) and word endings (e.g., -ed, -ing, -s). Grammatical simplified input is beneficial for several reasons:
1) It assists children’s ability to process language by anticipating upcoming words (e.g., a noun typically follows an article, (e.g., the girl, a dinosaur).
2) The use of grammatical features help children’s ability to learn new words by providing clues (e.g., “-ed” is used for an action that already happened).
3) Not using these grammatical features may negatively impact children’s abilities to accurately use correct grammatical features in their sentences, which is “further penalizing children who have already fallen behind their peers” (Venker and Stronach 2017).
Although there is limited research about telegraphic input versus grammatical simplified input, there is current research that “points to the benefits of using grammatical simplified input” (Venker and Stronach 2017).
A 2014 treatment study by Shelley Bredin-Oja and Mark Fey of the University of Kansas Medical Center found that “providing a telegraphic prompt to imitate does not offer any advantage [as opposed to using grammatical simplified prompting] as an intervention technique” (Venker and Stronach 2017). An observational, meta-analysis study in 2016 found that “more grammatically complex parent utterances were associated with more positive language outcomes in children with developmental delays, particularly those with ASD” (Venker and Stronach 2017).
Why does all this matter? The best way to promote accurate and more complex language use in your child is to model “grammatically correct” language yourself. This will not only benefit your child as he/she builds his/her language, but will assist him/her in understanding accurate grammatical features as he/she learns and grows.
By: Oceanside Therapy Group’s Speech/Language Department
Courtney E. Venker, PhD, CCC-SLP and Sheri T. Stronach, PhD, CCC-SLP. 2017. “When Is Simplified Too Simple?” ASHA Leader. Vol. 2. I'm No. 1. January 2017. 44-47.
Parents frequently ask which apps are best to promote learning of vocabulary, ABCs, colors, and other important concepts at home. As a general rule, apps should not replace playing with toys, reading and exploring books, and social play with peers because learning through real life experiences is invaluable for a child. However, apps can act as supplementary tools to reinforce learned concepts.
Learning through apps can be beneficial when interaction and language is encouraged. When using digital media with your child, encourage interaction by sitting and talking with him/her while playing on the device. Add language to whatever you are seeing or playing by talking about what you are doing as you would when playing with toys, playing games, or reading books. Point out vocabulary pictures, ask questions, sing songs, and encourage asking questions as you use the device together.
Although playing with apps and devices is enjoyable for children, it is encouraged to limit your child’s daily screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting screen time to no more than 1 hour per day for children 2-5 years old. For children 6 and older, parents can determine the restrictions for screen time as well as monitor the types of digital media they use. For children 18 months and younger, the AAP recommends they not be exposed to any digital media. Overuse of digital media may put your child at risk of not sleeping enough, being delayed in attention, thinking, language and social skills, and have obesity and behavior problems.
For a comprehensive list of educational speech and language apps please see the front desk. These are from the OMazing Kids website, a website that frequently reviews learning apps for children. Enjoy experiencing digital media with your child!
By: Oceanside Therapy Group's Speech/Language Department
Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers. (Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics). Healthychildren.org. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Healthy-Digital-Media-Use-Habits-for-Babies-Toddlers-Preschoolers.aspx
The iPad & the SLP in 2017. (2017, February 26th). OMazing Kids. Retrieved April 26, 2017, from https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/12/31/the-ipad-the-slp-in-2017-app-list-for-slps-sorted-by-goal-area/amp/