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Early Communication Skills in Babies

One of the best moments is when your child imitates your facial expressions.  At that moment, you know they understand what you just did and how to communicate back.  It is fun and, most importantly, is building vital communication skills for your child.  As part of our dedication to early intervention at Speech Source Therapy, Inc., our speech therapists help parents understand the signs of early communication skills in babies.

early communication skills in babies

Encouraging Early Communication Skills in Babies

Encouraging early communication skills can be as simple as making funny faces at your baby to see if they mimic your expression.  Common facial expressions include:

  • Sticking Out Your Tongue
  • Raising Your Eyebrows
  • Smiling
  • Opening and Closing Your Mouth
  • Making a “Fish” Face
  • Playing Peek-a-boo

These simple movements are building your young one’s brainpower to grow into more complex communication abilities as they age.  It is essential to note that repeating expressions is necessary for development. The younger your child is the more you will need to repeat the action to help them process the movement and repeat your actions. In addition, it strengthens your natural connection with your child by creating bonding opportunities throughout your daily routine and beginning communication.

How Can a Speech Therapist Help with Early Communication Skills?

At Speech Source Therapy, Inc., we believe early intervention is key in helping young ones build successful communication and speech skills.  If you think your child may not be meeting early communication milestones, consulting with a trained speech therapist in Los Angeles can help you determine if your child would benefit from speech therapy.  If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our offices at SFV: (818) 788-4121 or LA: (213) 493-6698.

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Developing Fine Motor Skills in Young Children

Most young children are often on the go.  Their energy and creativity generally keep them busy; however, there are times that their play can help build their fine motor skills.  At Speech Therapy, Inc., our occupational therapists are experienced in promoting fine motor skills in young children.  Our team works with each child on an individual basis and offers practical ways to encourage the learned skills at home.

fine motor skills in young children

Ways to Build Fine Motor Skills in Young Children

There are several ways to strengthen fine motor skills at home.  Parents can encourage their children through daily play and routines.  Some options include:

  • Limit Electronics:  Tablets and smartphones are a good resource for fun activities; however, they do not aid in strengthening your child’s fine motor skills.  Building the necessary strength and control necessary for growth requires adjusting finger and hand movements to be in sync with optical information.
  • Visit the Park:  The more your child moves their bodies the more they learn about their bodies.  By strengthening their larger muscles through playing on the playground or running around in a game of tag, they are, in turn, building fine motor strengths by increasing their dexterity.
  • Play Crawling Games:  By crawling around your child will strengthen their hands which will improve their fine motor capabilities.  A few crawling games include: crawling races, pretending to be a bear, or crawling during a game of tag.
  • Helping in the Kitchen:  Many children enjoy helping prepare meals.  By having your child mash potatoes for dinner, peel a banana for a snack, or stir the cookie batter, it is strengthening their hands for continued development.

If you would like additional fine motor tips or feel your child could benefit by working with an experienced occupational therapist in Los Angeles, please contact our team at Speech Source Therapy, Inc. at SFV: (818) 788-4121 or LA: (213) 493-6698.

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Ways to Help Your Child Calm Down

Every child has moments with large bursts of energy or frustration.  However, some children may find it difficult to calm down on their own. Helping your child calm down well will create positive development opportunities that will prepare them for future activities at school, the park, or other social opportunities.  At Speech Source Therapy, Inc., our occupational therapist can help your child learn numerous ways to calm down easily.

child calm down

Common Techniques to Help Calm Down

Sing as Loud as Possible

Though it may seem completely opposite of calming down, singing loudly to their favorite song can help change your child’s mood by releasing endorphins.

Take a Hot Bath

Often when your child is restless a nice warm bath will allow them to unwind especially if you include their favorite bath toys.

Push a Wall

Sometimes children just need to release built-up energy in order to relax.  Pushing against a wall will allow them to exert a large amount of energy and eventually tire their body physically.  The physical motions release mood-altering endorphins to allow them to become relaxed.

Pop Bubble Wrap

Most people get a sense of enjoyment from popping the little bubbles in bubble wrapt.  The sensory-stimulating activity is a simple way to encourage calmness and concentration when your child needs a few moments to wind down.

Take a Walk

Getting out in the fresh air and taking a leisurely walk often creates a sense of calm for children.  By focusing on their steps, listening for outdoor creatures, or watching the wind blow the treetops allows your child to focus and release any pent up energy.

How Can an Occupational Therapist Help?

If you are finding it challenging to help your child find the best technique to calm down, we would love the opportunity to help your child.  Our skilled occupational therapist in Los Angeles understands the difficulty many children face when learning to regulate their bodies.  By working individually with your child, we can help find the best practices to relax in various situations.  To schedule your appointment, contact our offices at SFV: (818) 788-4121 or LA: (213) 493-6698.

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Activities to Help Improve Your Child’s Memory Skills

Often a child’s memory skills can be challenged when beginning kindergarten or throughout elementary school.  The change in pace or higher academic demands can create an opportunity to further develop your child’s cognitive skills.  Many parents find that a speech therapist in Los Angeles can help their child discover tools to help develop their memory skills.  Often speech therapists recommend activities to help strengthen memory ability.  Common activities include:

child's memory skills

Games to Develop Your Child’s Memory Skills

Playing games is a simple way to stretch your child’s thinking muscles.  With the wide variety of memory games available, you can find a style that best fits your child’s interest to help strike their excitement.  Some examples include memory card matching, BopIt, or Memory Train.

Enhancing Your Child’s Memory with Questions

A simple question can go a long way to encourage your child to stretch his/her thinking ability.  Questions require your child to stop and reflect on how they would like to answer.  This helps develop essential problem-solving skills that help to develop the memory.

Repetition Building for Your Child’s Memory Development

Most parents who visit a children’s speech therapist learn about the value of repetition for speech development.  Repeating phrases or reading the same books over and over help with memory development as well. So next time your child wants to repeat nursery rhymes or read a book for the eighth time in a week, remember it is building his/her memory skills.

To learn more about ways you can encourage memory development in your child, contact our speech experts at Speech Source Therapy, Inc. at  SFV: (818) 788-4121 or LA: (213) 493-6698.

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Stuttering Speech Therapy Techniques

Visiting a speech therapist for stuttering speech therapy can be a little intimidating for your child. Often children who stutter can be shy or fear opportunities where they need to talk with others.  Speech Source Therapy, Inc. is a safe and encouraging environment for your child to develop skills for successful conversation.  Our staff uses techniques that cater to the needs of each child individually; however, there are a few common techniques that help most children who stutter.

stuttering speech skills

Ways Stuttering Speech Therapy Helps Your Child

A few techniques that could help your child include:

A-E-I-O-U Technique

A common exercise used to help reduce stuttering is saying the vowels sounds loudly and pronounced.  This helps your child with stammering and can give them a sense of confidence during speech therapy.

Breathing Exercises

By teaching your child to breathe from his or her stomach, our speech therapist in Los Angeles can help your child speak with greater ease.  Sometimes stuttering is caused by tense muscles and by changing how your child breathes can help put his or her body at ease and, in turn, make speaking easier.

Intentional Pauses

Knowing when to pause is just as important as speaking during speech therapy.  For instance, learning to pause after a word rather than in the middle can help your child reduce their stuttering.

Using Straws

Using a straw regularly can help your child to learn to relax his or her tongue and help with their speech therapy success.

To learn more about how our staff can help your child with stuttering speech therapy, contact our offices at SFV: (818) 788-4121 or
LA: (213) 493-6698.

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Can My Child’s Sibling Help with Speech Therapy Skills?

Often siblings can play a vital role in your child’s speech therapy skills.  Siblings generally help to make their brother or sister feel more comfortable especially in challenging situations.  During speech therapy, your child receives one on one direction to practice new skills and abilities.  At home, a sibling can help create a similar environment by playing games or taking an active role in helping develop your child’s speech skills.

speech therapy skills

Ways to Include Siblings to Develop Speech Therapy Skills

Taking Turns While Playing Games

Some speech therapy exercises include playing games where you take turns.  These games are a good way to involve a sibling at home to help your child feel more comfortable during their speech therapy sessions.  If your child plays well with his or her sibling, their confidence will grow and show when they are at speech therapy.

Practice Speech Skills

Siblings can take an active role in helping your child practice his or her speech skills.  Since most siblings already play together and see each other more than anyone else they have an excellent opportunity to help your child practice what they have learned at home.

Identify Issues

Again, siblings know each other better than most other people in your child’s life.  Often they can identify speech issues in their brother or sister that their parent may have overlooked.  Check with your child’s sibling to help best understand what letters are most difficult for your child.

To learn more about the best speech therapy skills practices and how our staff at Speech Source Therapy, Inc. can help your child, call our offices at SFV: (818) 788-4121
LA: (213) 493-6698.

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Encouraging Speech Skills at the Playground

For many children, striking up a conversation with others at the playground comes naturally.  Children with speech issues often find the playground to be a source of anxiety. Visiting a speech therapist in Los Angeles, CA, can help your child feel confident when socializing at the playground.  Encouraging speech skills while playing at the playground is a great way to show your child how to naturally start conversations and communicate about what they experience while playing.

encouraging speech skills

How to Talk with Others

A playground is an excellent place for your child to practice what he or she has learned about communicating at speech therapy.  Before going to the playground, come up with a few social scripts for your child to use to interact with other kids.  A good starting point is, “Hi, my name is _____.  Would you like to play on the slide?”  It is essential to note that not every child will want to play or interact with your child. Be prepared to stay calm to help your child calmly react to the situation.

Encouraging Speech Skills with Vocabulary Building

Being outdoors at the playground is a great way to build your child’s vocabulary.  By pointing out different objects yourself or letting them point out what they see will help grow their vocabulary and encourage confidence in social situations.  As you point out objects or scenery, it is essential to be as descriptive as possible to teach your child new words or phrases.  You can even have them repeat after you to help them practice pronunciation.

At Speech Source Therapy, Inc., our staff strives to help every child grow in their speaking skills to ultimately be capable of communicating with others on their own and to feel confident doing it.  To find out more about our services or to discover if your child needs speech therapy, contact our offices at SFV: (818) 788-4121 or LA: (213) 493-6698.

 

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3 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Speech Therapist

When starting speech therapy, it is essential to understand what to expect from your child’s speech therapist.  The best way to get to know your child’s speech therapist is to ask questions to learn what is expected of your child, and you as a parent.

child's speech therapist

Top Questions to Ask Your Child’s Speech Therapist

What are your credentials and experience? During your child’s consultation, you can ask for more information about credentials, experience, and even find out what drew your child’s speech therapist to his or her career.

What’s the treatment plan for my child, and how can I help? It is vital to understand treatment options and your role to help your child succeed. At Speech Source Therapy, Inc., we take great care to ensure parents and guardians understand the plan for their child and how they can practice skills at home. Our desire to provide a comfortable atmosphere for children is why we are willing to meet patients at home, daycare, or in our office for speech therapy.

What is the cost of speech therapy? Knowing how much treatment will cost and how you can pay will help you to best prepare for the future. At Speech Source, our services are covered by many insurance providers.  We are always happy to help parents find out if their insurance covers our services.

Understanding what to expect during speech therapy often helps parents to be at ease when beginning treatment.  To find out more about our services or experienced speech therapists, call SFV: (818) 788-4121 or LA: (213) 493-6698.

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Summer Reading Activities for Speech Development

reading

The laid-back days of summer are a perfect time to read with your child to encourage speech development.  There are numerous ways to incorporate reading into your everyday summer activities and enhance your child’s speech skills.  At Speech Source Therapy, we encourage parents to try different activities and use tools that work best improve their child’s communication skills.

Read Outside

Simply stretching out on a blanket outside and reading can offer the opportunity to practice speech development techniques.  While you are reading, you can ask your child about what he or she sees around them or chat about how the book relates to the summer weather.

Read Aloud

Reading aloud even to older children helps build language skills.  Hearing proper pronunciation or reading out loud themselves helps children develop the necessary skills to communicate well.

Read in a Fort

A fun part of summer is doing something out of the ordinary like building a fort.  While building the fort, ask your child questions such as what he or she thinks you should use to stabilize the structure or what kind of blankets you should use.  This helps them develop problem-solving skills which build the foundation for the future.  Once the fort is built, let your child pick his or her favorite book to enjoy.

Overall, reading is a good tool to help your child develop critical speech skills to communicate as he or she grows.  If you think your child may need assistance with pronunciation or other speech needs, please contact our team at Speech Source Therapy Inc. at SFV: (818) 788-4121 or LA: (213) 493-6698.

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Summer Occupational Therapy Activities

Summer is often filled with free time to play, discover something new, and maybe even be bored.  Summer is also a great time to practice occupational therapy activities at home.  At Speech Source Therapy, Inc., our specialists can help parents and guardians discover the best activities for their child to develop motor and speech while at home.

Types of Occupational Therapy Activities

There are a variety of different occupational therapy activities parents can try while playing with their child over the summer.

Spacial Relation Activities. Familiar surroundings are an excellent place for your child to practice activities to help recognize the world around him, such as

1. Helping carry in the groceries.

2. Going to the zoo and taking a good look at the animals.

3. Simple jumping on a trampoline.

Tactile Sensory Activities. Summer is a great time to pull out your child’s favorite sensory activity or introduce a few new activities to build sensory abilities, for example

1. Playing with playdough.

2. Painting a picture with their fingers.

3. Water or wet-sand play.

Oral Sensory Activities. Children can practice oral sensory activities with a few outdoor play activities including

1. Blowing bubbles.

2. Blowing up pool toys.

3. Using a straw to blow bubbles in the water.

There are numerous ways parents can take advantage of summer fun to help encourage their children to practice occupational therapy activities in Los Angeles and Van Nuys. Our team at Speech Source Therapy, Inc. works directly with parents to help them understand the best way to help their child develop necessary speech and motor skills for daily activities.

To find out how our specialist can help your child, contact our offices at SFV: (818) 788-4121 and LA: (213) 493-6698.

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