Archive for 2012

December 1st, 2012

Books for Kids

The  first time I spoke to a group of parents there were 6 or 7 new mothers with their babies.  Luckily, I was a new mother myself or I would have been terrified. I gave my brief talk about speech and language development and I answered a few questions.  I still remember one mother who really wanted her baby to do well in school when she grew up.  The mother herself  struggled to learn to read when she was young.  At the time,  some research said you could predict how well your child would read by the number of books  in your house.

I told the group I was pretty sure that even if you had books piled up to the ceiling,  it wouldn’t make much of a difference unless you actually read them to your kids.  I remember a lot of head nodding,  so it must have struck a chord.

Ready for Reading


I thought about my own child and my own house. We did have some kind of reading material in almost every room so we must be on the right track.  At some point I started a tradition of giving books at this time of the year and it’s stuck. It’s a challenge to choose just the right one for each person’s reading taste that won’t break the bank, but I do love sales tables. Some years it was comic books for all. Science fiction anyone?  Horse stories for one, anything hockey for another.  Now it’s anything vampire, anything science, anything graphic novel etc.


If you’d like some help choosing good books for children these are great websites for ideas:

November 11th, 2012

Vocabulary Views-November Theme

This November you may be voting or watching the T.V. about it.  You might also be hearing about (or be involved in) bad weather in many parts of Canada and the U.S.  The news is always filled with emotions.  Happy for some, sad for others.  There are great opportunities to talk about action words at the same time as discussing important issues like voting and helping other people.

Here are some action words if you’re talking about the election: voting, lining up, taking turns, clapping, shouting, crying, waving

Lining Up to Vote

Lining Up to Vote



Here are some actions words if you’re talking about the storms: crashing, flooding, helping, burning, blowing, falling, teetering. Of course you can always throw in some really interesting words like “frankenstorm”. That will generate a lot of discussion.

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy


October 16th, 2012

Rina and Courtney’s Excellent Handout

It’s great to work with speech pathologists who are the beginning of their careers.  They bring energy and enthusiasm to their jobs.  Those of us who have been around bring the third “e” -experience.

Courtney and Rina are also  mothers who understand  busy schedules. Who isn’t busy this time of year?  Parents, teachers and therapists are all facing new schedules.   They generously allowed me to share the handout they created.  If you’re looking for ideas for preschool children,  you’ll enjoy “12 Quick and Easy Speech and Language Activities”.


September 29th, 2012

Teach Your Children Well

The words “speech therapy” mean different things to different people.  Some parents say, “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it“.  Other parents say, “So when does therapy start?” or “How often will you see little Henry?”  Sometimes it’s hard to convince parents that they are the child’s best teacher and best therapist.

Speech therapy starts at birth when parents look into the baby’s face, smile and make soft googly noises.  It happens all day and everyday in the car, at the dinner table, getting ready for school. Every time a parent or caregiver listens, talks, interacts, provides a good speech and language model-that is speech therapy.

What parents and caregivers do is very powerful. Change happens when we do something everyday.  As therapists we sometimes have to remind ourselves that the parent or caregiver is our most valuable tool.