Break old habits

You might need to break some old habits: Questions that feel like taking a test Praise instead of participating in the conversation Helping too soon instead of letting the child try to work it out Don’t just observe or be tuned out Leave your child to play alone Leaving TV on as background noise

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Developmental Milestones by Age from ASHA

If you are concerned about your child’s communication skills, you may want to read about what is considered typical for each age. ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) is an excellent source of reliable information. If your child isn’t displaying several of the skills listed in their age range, schedule an evaluation to determine if therapy is needed. […]

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American Pediatric Association suggestions on Apps

You can read the entire policy here, but if you simply want to skip to what Parents should do, read on. Use apps and eBooks as an activity to do together; don’t leave children alone to play. Watch educational TV shows with your children and use the content for conversations. Turn off your own laptop […]

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Visual Phonics with Kyle

If your child’s therapist is using Visual Phonics, you can help by using these hand cues when you are talking with your child. This video will give you a quick overview of the sounds and visual cues. For a quick start, just choose 2-3 sounds and use them for a week. Then you can add […]

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Children who are Learning English as a Second Language

In this excellent article, Lauren Lowry answers how parents can help their child learn English as a second language. She shares the following tips: Children learn best during interactions with responsive caregivers so watch for opportunities to respond with interest in daily interactions. Children learn words for the thing that interest them so when your […]

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Cooking Conversation

Experts agree that sitting down together as a family at dinner time has many benefits, see more at the Family Dinner Project.  Preparing the meal can offer a great chance to work on developing communication skills with your child, even a toddler.  Whether your an accomplished chef or just reheating leftovers, the familiar location of […]

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Benefits of Family Dinners

BENEFITS OF FAMILY DINNERS Our belief in the “magic” of family dinners is grounded in research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals. Some of the specific benefits of family dinners are: Better academic performance Higher self-esteem Greater sense of resilience Lower risk of substance abuse Lower risk of teen pregnancy […]

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Why Parent Skills Matter

There’s nothing more educational than talking with you. Research has shown that children learn language best in the course of daily activities with interested caregivers. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It can be, but it takes a lot of attention throughout the day. That’s why we’ll keep giving you suggestions of ways to nurture your child’s language in a […]

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OWL – Observe, Wait, Listen

When you Observe, Wait and Listen to your child’s messages, you let her start the interaction and lead it! Children are motivated to interact when you’re talking about their interests and they get to lead the interaction. Observe what your child is interested in – it can be helpful to get face to face with […]

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Get face-to-face

“One of the best ways to let your child know that you want to talk to him is to be face-to-face. This means joining your child at his physical level, whether that’s on the floor together, facing him in his high chair, or sitting together at the table. Make eye contact with your child and […]

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Follow your child’s lead

After you OWL and your child sends you a message, follow their lead by: Responding immediately! This shows your child that you’ve heard her message and are interested in what she said/communicated. Interpreting Making a fun comment! For example, “We made really sticky playdough!” Joining in and playing! ! Get some playdough for yourself and […]

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Join in and play

Be sure not to change the play. Try to play the way your child enjoys playing. You can join in by: doing what your child is doing – Copy what your child does with his toy. Sarah’s mom noticed that Sarah was hugging her doll, so she did the same thing with her own doll. […]

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Pause and watch for your turn to talk

Pause and wait for your child to send you messages. “When it’s your turn to talk, talk about what interests your child. By following your child’s lead, you let him know that you are interested in what he has to say, which will make him want to have longer conversations with you.” Hanen

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Use simple, grammatical sentences

“Young children benefit from hearing proper sentences (like “give it to Mommy” or “do you want a cookie?”), as opposed to sentences that have missing words (like “ta ta Mommy” or “baby want cookie?”). The grammar in sentences helps young children figure out what the words mean and how they are used together.” Hanen

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Use your face and hands

“Gesturing with your hands and face (such as pointing, shrugging your shoulders, or frowning) helps young children understand the meaning of your words.” Hanen

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Notice non-word talking

Any time an adult responds to a child’s message, either verbally or non-verbally, and the child responds back, an interaction has started. And it’s within these early back-and-forth interactions that the foundation for all of a child’s future conversations is built. From birth, children communicate using sounds, actions, eye gaze, and facial expressions. They don’t […]

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Use your voice

“And your voice can also help with word meanings – such as making your voice rise upwards as you say the word “up”.” Hanen

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Start a conversation

“You don’t need special toys or activities to encourage your child’s language. You can have conversations at the grocery store about what you need to buy and pick out food together. You can talk about what you see as you go for a walk around the neighbourhood. And bath time is a great time for […]

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Routines that spark interaction

You can structure your daily routines to elicit responses from your child and in the process, build vocabulary and learn the basic rules of interaction, specifically: Respond when another person initiates Take a turn at the appropriate time Give the other person a chance to take a turn Choose an activity that stays the same from […]

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Games

Games are in our bag of tricks As your child’s Speech Therapists, we always show up with a bag full of games. Is it because we are all kids at heart? Yes, but also we know that kids will want to spend time with us, playing a favorite game. We sneak the therapy in while they are […]

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Apps and technology

Good news and bad news about “educational” apps According to the American Pediatric Association, the educational value of most apps and digital games is questionable. The good news is that you can make any app into a valuable experience by playing it with your child. So instead of searching out and paying for an expensive for […]

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Make the Most of Books

Just enjoy, don’t try to teach You might think that books help children with language because they learn the words on the page but actually it’s the words off the page that count. It’s the conversation between you and your child about the book the increases vocabulary and understanding. Rather than focus on any single […]

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Trouble game

Kids love the sound and the feel of the Pop-O-Matic bubble as a fun method to roll dice. The quick set-up and short playing time make it a good choice when you have a limited amount of time or for short attention spans.   Players 2–4 Age range family Setup time 1 minutes Playing time […]

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Sorry! game

Players 2-4 Play time 30 Min Age 6+ (4+ on BoardGameGeek community) Setup time 1-5 minutes Tip for new or young players: Use the Relaxation Start to allow one of her pawns to start on the board, rather than having to wait until she draws a 1 or 2 card as stated in the normal rules. The […]

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HedBanz game

Players 3-10 (BoardGame Geek suggests 5-6) Play time 60 Min Age 8+ (6+ on BoardGameGeek community) Complexity Light HedBanz game on Amazon

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Ants in the Pants game

Players 2-4 Play time 10 Min Age 4+ (3-12 on BoardGameGeek community) Reading None required Ants in the Pants game on Amazon

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Uno Card game

Players 2-10 (Best: 4-6 on BoardGameGeek.) Play time 30 Min Age 6+ Reading Yes, but younger children can use My First Uno which comes in several themes. Uno Card Game on Amazon  

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

 Parent Skills: OWL: Observe, Wait, Listen Follow your child’s lead Sample interaction: Parent: It’s reading time! Pick out a book. (Wait while the child gets a book and gets settled) Child: Bear (as she/he points) Parent: He looks nice. Child:  Grrrr Parent: Oh yeah, he’s got claws. Pause. Then if child seems finished talking, read the […]

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Candy Land game

Candy Land is a classic game that teaches… turn-taking following directions using pronouns colors It doesn’t require reading so it’s easier for 2 1/2 to 3-year-olds. Parents can also be on the lookout for conversation opportunities during the game, such as “Oh no. I got sent back. I feel a little frustrated.” Remember to pause often to […]

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Guess Who? board game

Players 2 Play time 20 Min Age 6+ Reading None required Set up Adult assembly 15-20 minutes, first time only Classic games with your child’s favorite characters make great gift ideas. Hint to Grandparents… These special editions of classic games are a great way to give a gift that shows you know what he or she […]

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Itsy Bitsy Spider app

Play Itsy Bitsy Spider with your child to practice these Parent Skills: Use simple, grammatical sentences.  Use your voice. Let your voice get really low on the word “down” Start a conversation. For example, if your child notices the cupcake, that’s your cue to talk about cupcakes. Remember apps are not going to benefit your […]

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Hullabaloo

Cranium Hullabaloo, the Game of Tunes, Twists, and Topsy-Turvy Fun Cranium’s first electronic game, Hullabaloo is the most innovative, exciting kids game in decades, mixing music, sounds, and voice and getting kids thinking, laughing, and moving all around High-energy, topsy-turvy fun combines elements of beloved classic games like hopscotch, Simon says, and musical chairs — […]

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Good Night Gorilla

It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin? Excerpted from Amazon Parent Skills you can practice in Goodnight Gorilla Child: Ball (pointing to the ball in the cage) Following your child’s lead Parent: […]

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Anytime is a good time to talk

Anytime is a good time to talk, but you’ll need to learn a few new skills and maybe break a few old habits.  Research has shown that children learn language best from interested caregivers in the course of daily, familiar activities. You — as mom, dad, grandparent, or caregiver — are better than a trip […]

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Hanen Classes Coming This Fall

Below is information of two Hanen classes being offered this fall – These classes offer a lot of great information to help kids with language delays or autism spectrum disorders (ASD).   LEARN ABOUT CLASSES FOR PARENTS!   We will be offering the following two Hanen classes this fall in Boulder County:   More Than […]

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Going for a walk, the Speech Friendly way

For parents, walking might be exercise or a chance to teach about nature.  But we want you to use taking a walk as a chance for your child to start a conversation about what interests her. Exercise and learning about nature are certainly important, but for now, shift your focus to the actions that will […]

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Three Speech Therapists Join McLellan Homecare

We’re happy to welcome three new therapists to the McLellan Homecare family; Channing Creveling, Jules Maxwell, and Patti Wade. Although they are new to McLellan Homecare, each of these dynamic individuals brings a wealth of experience in treating children from birth to 3 years, as well as preschool and school-age children. In addition, they are firm […]

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Singing Leads to Talking

Singing to your babies and toddlers is one of the best ways to introduce music into their lives. This type of auditory stimulation can also help develop speech, communication, and cognitive skills. You can get even more “bang for your buck” with one simple idea: contrast. When you sing to your child, sing both soft […]

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