Tag Archives: Communication disorder

What My Stutter Has Taught Me

 This post was contributed by Armaan Babai-Pirouz
stockphoto Stuttering Broken Words
My Stutter and Me: Lessons Learned
My stutter and me will never peacefully co-exist. I hate this stutter. As I grow older I learn more about it; the more I learn about it, the more I hate it. I’ve learned that I cannot pronounce the “y “sound in the word “yes” when it really counts, or the “n” sound in the word “no” when it really counts, such as at my workplace talking on the telephone. I’ve learned that having this stutter makes my voice louder than is necessary, which is really a bummer when more than one co-worker says I need to speak softly and I say I’ll try, although I am not certain that I can.
Patience in the Midst of Struggle:
I am not going to post that my stutter makes me a stronger person because I don’t know that. I know it makes me more patient with other people’s challenges, and for that I am thankful, because with my stutter I definitely ask for patience from my listeners.
    The one thing I know my stutter teaches me every moment of every day is what I learned at Capital Area Speech: To never give up on myself. No matter how many times my stutter embarrasses and frustrates me, I should keep trying to communicate, keep trying to make the next time I open my mouth a better experience than I when I opened it and just rasps and stutters happened.
    It may sound odd and scary to readers who do not stutter to hear speaking anywhere besides a podium or a stage described as a struggle, but for me that is exactly what it is. I don’t know if I will win that struggle. I do know what losing it will look like: Giving up. Thanks to what I’ve learned at Capital Area Speech, that is not going to happen.

Free Apps For Autism Awareness

going blue april 2
For Autism Awareness, I wanted to share some free educational and special needs apps. There are tons of free or discounted educational/special needs apps today and this week. I haven’t used all of these apps so I can’t go into detail about them. They are worth checking out though. Some of these are only free today so check them out as soon as you can.
rainbow sentencesspeech with milo
Here is a list of the ones I do use and love:
The following two I use for working on following directions, listening skills, and concepts.
Fun With Directions Lite
More Fun With Directions Lite
Picture the Sentence Lite – This app is great for kids to practice listening and picturing what they heard.
The next two apps are great for social language.
Between the Lines Level 1 Lite
Between the Lines Level 2 Lite
Toca Band – Okay I just downloaded this app today. I LOVE every Toca Boca app I’ve ever downloaded! They are very motivational.
Speech With Milo: Verbs – I use this app in therapy quite often.
Rainbow Sentences – This app is a GREAT app for working on formulating sentences correctly, describing pictures, and imitating sentences. only $3.99 today

These apps I haven’t used but they look like they would be useful.
Functional Communication System
Functional Planning System
Picture Card – Can You Do It?
Sorthings For Autism
Discovering Emotions With Zeely
EZCOMMA – This one is probably best for older kids working on grammar.
Sequences For Autism
Sequences For Kids
Feed Maxi – $.99 I have heard only great things about this one.
Conversation Builder – only $3.99 today
Talk + Touch
Sound Swaps – $4.99 This app is good for children with dyslexia or those working on phonological awareness.
Social Stories – $.99
Visual Routine – $.99
Starring Me On Wheels On The Bus

These are stories for teaching good morals or habits:
Even Monsters Get Sick – $.99
Axel’s Chain Reaction – FREE
Listen Up Bear – FREE
Sheldon’s Adventure – Cornered! – FREE
Sheldon’s Adventures – FREE
The Terrible Taunting – FREE – This interactive book teaches that everyone is special in their own way.

These would be great for fine motor activities:
Cursive Touch and Write – $.99
Wood Puzzle Maze – FREE

Thank you to Mary and Smart Apps For Special Needs for sharing some of these apps on twitter and your blog.

The ladies over at Smart Apps For Special Needs compile wonderful lists of free and discounted apps every week. I highly recommend you check out their blog and follow them on Twitter.

If you have any apps you love to use at home or in therapy please leave a comment to share with everyone!

World Down Syndrome Day

Abby and Bailey
Today is a special day that we can help to raise public awareness and advocate for people with Down syndrome. World Down Syndrome Day is recognized on March 21 to symbolize the the extra 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

Ways to support people with down syndrome:
Join you local buddy walk
Support a local nonprofit organization
Support Ruby’s Rainbow and help young people with Down syndrome fulfill their dreams
Wear lots of socks on World Down Syndrome Day!
LotsofSocksWeblink - big

Great blogs about Down syndrome:
Ellie’s Gift I love the blog post about how to teach young children about Down syndrome.
Down to Life
Noah’s Dad
Dear Tessa
There are many other blogs out there written by parents and other families members specific to Down syndrome.

For more information please visit the following websites:
Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas
Down Syndrome International
National Down Syndrome Society

Identifying the Signs of Communication Disorders

Jamie Putnam, co-founder of Capital Area Speech speaks about identifying the signs of communication disorders and early intervention here.

Children should begin saying words by 12 months old. They should begin combining words by 18-24 months. You should understand most of their speech by age 3. They should not have speech sound errors after age 6-7.

Early intervention has been proven the best outcome for progress. You can find more information on language development, articulation, and early intervention by clicking on the links.

If you have concerns about your child’s speech, please contact a speech pathologist.

The American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s Identify the Signs campaign is a great resource to go to for more information about this topic.

Is Your Child Stuttering?

“My preschooler has started repeating sounds and words when he talks.” “My 3 year old seems to get stuck saying a word when he is speaking.” These are common comments parents express when they become concerned about childhood stuttering.

Diagnosing a young child who stutters can be tricky. Many children go through developmental stuttering or a period of time when they have disfluencies. This may last a few weeks or even a few months. About three-fourths of these children will outgrow this stutter though.

When a speech pathologist sees a young child who demonstrates stuttering, he/she will look at several factors.
Does anyone in the child’s immediate family stutter? – Approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who stutters.
At what age did the stuttering began? – It is more likely that they will outgrow it if disfluencies began before age three and a half.
How long has your child been stuttering? It becomes more of a concern if your child has been stuttering for more than six months. What types of disfluencies are noticed? Is your child repeating sounds in words l-l-like this? Are the getting stuck for long periods of time on the specific sounds? Can you see tension in the facial muscles? Changes in pitch or airflow?

More severe symptoms that may be a sign of true stuttering include: multiple repetitions (wh wh wh wh why?), blocks (the child seems stuck and cannot get the word out), tension, changes in breathing during speech, and showing negative emotions about speaking.

Although many children go through a period of developmental stuttering when their language skills are exploding, true stuttering also often begins at this age. If you have questions or concerns regarding stuttering, please contact a speech pathologist.

The Stuttering Foundation has useful information for parents of preschoolers who stutter. They also have a list of speech pathologists who are very skilled in working with those who stutter.

The National Stuttering Association offers great support for those who stutter and their families. They have individual chapters around the nation for support groups, parties, and more.

Speech and Language Practice in the Car

Do you use car rides as a time to talk to you child? You and your child(ren) are stuck in the car. You might as well use the time wisely. Turn the radio off and make this time fun. Go ahead and practice his/her target speech sounds. Try to come up with words that have the sound in them. Have him/her look for things outside the car that may have their target sound.

There are several “car games” you can play that help with language skills too.

Eye Spy – Maybe this would be best for siblings to play and the driver just listen. This game works on using vocabulary and using descriptive words.

The Question Game (as seen in the video) – We play this one all the time. My boys love to trick me. One person thinks of an object or place. Everyone else takes turns (or in our car, blurts out) questions that have to be answered with yes/no. This game helps with forming questions and vocabulary
No worries…I was not driving here. This video is kind of loud. You may want to turn your volume down before playing.

The Rhyming Game – Someone begins with a word. Everyone takes turns thinking of a word that rhymes. If you can’t think of one, you skip. The last person to think of a word wins. This can help with phonological awareness and vocabulary.

The Sound Game – I sound out a short word pausing between each sound (b—a—t). the kids guess what word the sounds make when you say them together. This can also help with phological awareness and vocabulary.

You can also sing together, make up a stories, and just talk about your day.

If you have any fun games that your children like to play in the car, please leave a comment. I would love have more ideas.

Why Does My Speech Pathologist Send Homework?

Does your speech pathologist give homework? I do. As a parent, I also understand how hard it is to add one more thing to our day. If your child is in school, I’m sure they have a ton of homework as it is. Adding a task that requires even an extra 10 minutes a day can seem very overwhelming. So why do speech pathologists send homework when we know you already have busy schedules? Our goal is for your child to progress and master (or finish) their goals as quickly as possible.

Homework/home practice is critical for progress to be made whether your child has language, speech, or fluency disorders. There are times you may be asked to do more work than other times. When practice is carried over at home, we tend to see much more rapid progress in therapy.
If you struggle to find time to practice at home, ask your therapist for ideas you can do to make homework less stressful. Be on the lookout here for an upcoming post about carryover therapy during daily routines and car rides or using school homework to also work on therapy goals.