Well sheesh, when I first decided to start a site and a blog about speech and language, I had the full intention of posting regularly. Well better late, periodically, than never...right?!..
One of my favorite idioms I teach my social language kiddos is "Time flies!" It really does, especially as a working mother of an ever growing infant.
I try to reflect daily on myself as an SLP. It is a large part of my identity! I am truly blessed to be in this field. The ability to communicate is the ability to connect. Connecting with others is essential in being human and happy. To be able to help others communicate better is a privilege.
Now, SLPs have a HUGE scope! From voice disorders, to stuttering, to running social groups and feeding/swallowing dysfunction and assessing MBSS ( Modified Barium Swallow Study). Truth be told, I would love more experience in the feeding and swallowing realm, because 1.) I LOVE food (I am a self proclaimed foodie.) 2.) Eating and food is one of the joys of life and during meals is when we get to communicate with loved ones and feed our bodies (and souls!) albeit while safely chewing and swallowing. I have had some experience in the past with dysphagia ( fancy term for swallowing difficulties) but one of my goals as an SLP, is to get even more experience with this population. So if you're an SLP reading this post and love dysphagia, please reach out! I would love to chat!! =oD
As an SLP working primarily with speech and language difficulties in the pediatric population, I have to make work appear outrageously "fun" or try my best to disguise "Drill" as the best game in the world. For the sake of keeping this blog post at an appropriate length, I will address the 0-3 developmental age group with speech delays. Fancy toys are not necessary. I tell my client's parents you must be the most entertaining "toy". Make funny faces, funny noises, pretend to hit your head, make playful mistakes (think putting a hat on your foot or putting the toys in the dish cabinet) to work on words and answering questions "yes" and "no", producing funny sounds and phrases (whoops, uh-oh, oh no, fall down, etc) If you follow me on Instagram, I love toys and books that are repetitive and predictable which lends itself to several practice productions of specific word, words, and/or concepts. Some of my favorite things to do is incorporate sensory boxes into my sessions, Think beans, rice, sand, water beads dumped into a huge tupperware, though this may get messy, it is so much fun and gives our kiddos necessary tactile input. I like to hide pictures/figures of target words into the boxes, close and open the box so that the kiddo can ask to open/close/more/help. Look up sensory boxes on Pinterest and you will find countless ideas! I also like to use things I already have around the house like a muffin tray, cookie sheet, or a whisk and some pom poms. With the muffin tray, you can place mini items/figurines/playdoh, marbles, etc in each section to get multiple attempts of target word/words/concepts, use magnets on the cookie sheet (Melissa and Doug has some good ones click here) and place poms poms into the whisk and let your kiddo take a pom pom out each time they practice a word or sound and let them throw it into a basket (cup, box, bowl, etc--kids love throwing and having the permission to throw stuff indoors!) Bonus: your children are working on their fine motor skills! All these ideas are simple, effective, and fun activities that you can try at home with your kiddo for some language building fun! If you have specific concerns or would like more ideas for language development fun, head over to my resources page or email me! I love to hear from you :)
Stay healthy, stay positive, and find a moment for yourself daily,