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Archive for 'Speech therapy'

Ready to Start the New Year!

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.

For appropriate speech and language development, check out our sections on the website or our Facebook. Let us know if you have any questions!

Posted in: CHP+, Colorado, Developmental, Developmental milestones, hippotherapy, Home activities, Horse therapy, Medicaid, Non-profit, Sliding fee, Speech therapy, speech/ language therapy, Uncategorized, Volunteer

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Your Child is Spoiled Rotten

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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Posted in: CHP+, Colorado, Developmental, hippotherapy, Medicaid, Speech therapy, speech/ language therapy

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Advocate for your child all day long!

We have been talking about advocating for your child at school and at the doctors office. However, always stand up for your child. If you have questions or that “gut feeling”. Go to the internet! There is so much information available to you as a parent. Remember that it is all not true however, keep looking and checking sources. Remember the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam”. So beware of products that claim they can fix everything. Do stand up for your child and search for the truth. Sometimes it will not be the first person you talk to about your child. I can’t tell you how many specialist I spent money on with no results, until I found the right one for my child. Don’t give up, just ask questions and regroup.

Next week we will move on to another subject. I just felt that this was a very important subject for parents. We are so often told that everything will be fine. If you have a question, just ask until you feel it is the right answer. I believe that the earlier you detect and start to work with a problem, the easier it is to improve that problem.

Posted in: Developmental, Developmental milestones, Home activities, Medicaid, Speech therapy, speech/ language therapy, Uncategorized

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Discuss Concerns with Pediatrician

The last blog discussed advocating for your child at school. This week we are going to discuss talking to your pediatrician. Sometimes as parents, we are intimidated by our pediatrician. I know I was as a first time parent. However, you know your child better than anyone! Your pediatrician does rely on what you tell him or her. If you have speech and language concerns you need to express this to your pediatrician. EARLY INTERVENTION has reduce or eliminate speech and language issues before your child starts school. If your pediatrician is not concerned you really must express your concern again, as the parent, that is with the child daily. I got really tired of hearing the statement, “He’s just a boy”. Well I have 3 boys and they are all very different. My first child was diagnosed with ADHD in second grade. He didn’t develop this in second grade, it just took that long for someone (a teacher) to pull me over and tell me he is really struggling to stay on task at school. I’m a professional, I should know this, was my first thought. So, I went to a seminar on the new ADHD and that speaker described my son. He was not just being a boy or being bad, he had a disorder. This was when ADHD first came to light in the professional world. the pediatrician was just receiving information about this disorder. I had to be persistent in getting him to really look at ADHD and make a move. We will discuss this more next week.  What my message is to you as a parent is, speak up and say what you feel! If you have a gut feeling that something is just not right, say it to your pediatrician.  If they do not listen, then go to someone else. Ask for the referral! You must speak up for your child so they receive the help they need at an early age. Follow your gut feeling. the Internet is a wonderful tool!

Posted in: Developmental, Speech therapy, speech/ language therapy, Uncategorized

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Advocate for your child!

We hear the word all the time, advocate. Do we really need to advocate for our child? Aren’t the schools there to help our children? Don’t we make routine visits to the pediatrician? In theory, our child should be receiving the most beneficial services to address their needs, however, the world is changing. Budget cuts and decreased reimbursements for medical care has jeopardized effective care for our children. Today, lets address the issues with the schools and children with special needs.

Any child with special needs, speech, physical or medical, needs you, the parent, to advocate for them in both the school and medical system. You are your child’s voice, so speak up. Schools are being cut drastically every year. They can no longer always provide the most effective  support for your child special needs. Physical therapy in the schools is limited to 10-15 minutes per week. The same goes for speech and occupational therapy services. Psychological services are extremely tight and limited in most school systems. It’s not that the schools do not want to provide these services, its just that budget cuts has made it impossible to provide any more than minimal intervention at school. You as the parent must advocate for as much help as you can get from the schools and reach out to other services for help. The school may not be able to provide any further services however, you will know what the school can provide and then start to expand on those services outside of school. Early intervention is critical for improving speech, language, behavioral and physical abilities. All of these services are expensive and critical during the child’s younger years.

If you child has an IEP with the schools you must advocate for your child. What does this mean? Bring a friend or professional to the IEP meetings. Just be a voice for your child. I even get lost in some of the school terms when attending these meeting. Bring your therapist or an advocate from ARC. That other pair of ears will help you get all the information presented at the meeting and support you during the meeting. My own children have had IEP’s and even as a professional, it is difficult to sit and listen to all the comments about your child. Professionals sometimes forget that this is someones child we are all talking about, not just another student. You may not get extra services or more time however, you can take this opportunity to learn about other services available in the district or your home town.  Are there outside therapies that can come to your home? Are there therapies at the local recreational centers? Are there special camps or aftercare agencies that provide monetary grants for services?

Advocate for your child at school! Ask questions about additional services. In the past the public schools were not to provide information on outside therapy services or programs. The comment was that then they would be asked to pay for those services. Well, times have changed and the schools should be helping families find outside therapies to compensate for budget reductions and therapy at school. The schools do not have the funds to provide individual therapy services that your child needs at an early age. You won’t get any other help for your child if you don’t ask questions. Just keep asking, until someone answers!

Next week we will discuss advocating for your child when you just have that feeling that something is wrong. What does the pediatrician say? Follow your gut! Please feel free to ask questions or make comments about this blog. It is to help you as parents to better provide services for your child.

Posted in: Developmental, Developmental milestones, hippotherapy, Home activities, Medicaid, Speech therapy, speech/ language therapy

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1st Blog about “Improving your Child’s Speech and Language”

Good morning moms and dads! This is the 1st blog I would like to share with you about improving your child’s speech and language. My husband and I were talking about how important experience is for certain fields of study. We learn about different disorders and symptoms while in college with no real reference. However, as we work with children you learn more than anyone can teach you at school. Then after having children we are even more experienced with issues and methods that work to stimulate speech and language development

The Children’s Advisory Network just finished up Pony Camp. This program was started several years ago so all of our in home clients could experience the value of “speech therapy on a horse”.  The horse riding strengthens the child’s muscles used for speech and stimulates the brain. The horse also decreases sensory overload that many children experience which decreases cognition and language use. The horse is a wonderful tool that stimulates speech, decreases sensory overload, and increases self esteem. We will talk more about pony camp next week.

I am hoping to continue this blog every Wednesday! I have been trying to start this blog for over a year. So, at least I got started. Please let me know if you have anything you would like help with at home for your child’s speech development. I will check comments before I blog next week.

See you next Wednesday, Karen E. Todd, M.S., CCC-SLP

Posted in: Developmental, Developmental milestones, hippotherapy, Home activities, Horse therapy, Medicaid, Non-profit, Speech therapy, speech/ language therapy

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