It is time to start the new year for your child. Sometimes real changes in speech and language development occurs over the Christmas break for preschoolers. I have seen children improve their speech and language skills radically when they return to preschool in January. Maybe they just needed a little push from school and then some time at home to practice. And they must practice to improve those speech and language skills. Improving your child’s articulation skills or language skills depends on practice just like learning soccer or basketball. Yes, we do practice everyday but do we practice the correct pronunciation or grammar structure? If your child is not pronouncing a sound correctly then they are just practicing it incorrectly all day long. If you child says ‘him’ instead of ‘he’, then he is practicing it wrong all day long. yes it is hard to correct them all day long however, you should try to correct them several times a day. Here it gets tricky. If they child can say the sound correctly in the word, then have them say it correctly again. If they can not say it correctly in the word then you should just model the word correctly for them. the child can always repeat the correct grammar structure, even if you have to break it down word or word. It only takes 5 minutes a day to practice with your child and help them to use the correct pronunciation or grammatically correct sentences. So, pick a time that works for the both of you and spend 5 minutes saying words or sentences correctly.
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Have you heard these comments before about your child? Your child is spoiled rotten. You give him anything he wants. Your child is a spoiled brat. Well, this can be true for some parents however, children with special needs often fall into this category. What I mean is, children with social emotional difficulties or sensory integration issues are often mislabeled as spoiled. For example, your child is crying because they want a toy and you are not going to give them the toy. You hear comments like, well they give him everything he wants so now he is crying! OK? I had one of those children. He cried when he wanted something every-single-time. Did we give him what he wanted? No! Did he still cry every time? Yes! He was not spoiled, he just had sensory issues. However, we as parents were told to stop giving him everything he wanted. I know how frustrating this can be. So hang in there and start educating yourself about different issues that could cause this reaction.
As a parent need to learn and address the social emotional or sensory issue or whatever issue that is affecting your child’s behavior. Your child is not happy either. He or she could be ADHD, or have an emotional disorder or sensory integration issues. Sensory Integration issues affect all areas of communication and behavior. Everyone has sensory issues but most of us learn to live with them. Examples are, certain materials feel weird, smells that make you gag, shoes that drive you crazy, sound sensitivity. Some people like crunchy food and others like mushy food. Most of us adjust and can live with these issues because we out grow them, become desensitized, or just stay away from them. However, a child can not do this when they are young (until you figure it out). When a sensory issue occurs, the brain is trying to deal with that uncomfortable feeling, not communication. Therefore, the common form of communication for the child is screaming. We used to talk about “walking on egg shells” around one of my children. We never knew what would set him off. We now know that it was his sensitivity to sensory stimulation that set him off. Got to run, so more next week!
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