In our articles we give you information about speech and language development. We also discuss various issues that might be affecting your child’s learning.      Find the topic of interest to you in the dropdown menu.

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Dyslexia–What Is It?

Dyslexia–What Is It?

If your child is struggling with reading, you have probably wondered if he or she has dyslexia. Like many others, you might be thinking of dyslexia as “seeing things backwards.” That is a common misperception. In reality, dyslexia may have less to do with how you see letters than with ho ...[Read More]

Tools: Use Number Charts to Teach Early Number Awareness

Tools:  Use Number Charts to Teach Early Number Awareness

Your child has learned to count to ten, and is able to count up to five objects with one-to-one correspondence. If that is the case, a good foundation has been laid. But how about associating each of the numbers with its visual image? Number awareness involves three distinct elements. The child must ...[Read More]

Tools: Stimulating Early Vocabulary Development

Tools: Stimulating Early Vocabulary Development

In this tools post I give you strategies to use with your child for the purpose of stimulating early vocabulary development. Most of your child’s early vocabulary will consist of naming words. These words help your child make sense of the physical environment and get ready to make basic reques ...[Read More]

Tools: Help Your Young Child Develop Number Sense

Tools: Help Your Young Child Develop Number Sense

Number sense involves more than just counting. It requires understanding quantities and comparison concepts like more/less, larger/smaller. Your child only gradually acquires these skills through the preschool years. (See my article, Is Math and Number Sense a Language Skill?) But you can start very ...[Read More]

Are Math and Number Sense Language Skills?

Are Math and Number Sense Language Skills?

Is your child struggling with math tasks in the early grades? It could be an effect of language-processing difficulties. I currently see several third grade students in a language group. They all have language-processing difficulties of one kind or another, and all have very significant word retriev ...[Read More]

Don’t Label My Child! Are Labels Helpful or Harmful?

Don’t Label My Child! Are Labels Helpful or Harmful?

Parents are naturally concerned about their child being “labeled.” Some are even so afraid of having a label put on their child that they resist getting a professional evaluation of the child’s difficulties. Other parents are actually relieved when they get a label to put on their ...[Read More]

Impacts of Word Retrieval Difficulties

Impacts of Word Retrieval Difficulties

Is your child having trouble using words effectively or remembering numbers, letters or math facts? It could be that significant word retrieval difficulties are impacting your child’s learning as well as communication. Word retrieval difficulties are common and occur at all degrees of severity. They ...[Read More]

Failing Kindergarten?

Failing Kindergarten?

New requirements are pushing academics into preschool and Kindergarten. Are we expecting too much of our young children? We have all heard of four-year-olds learning to read, but does that mean that most children that age could do the same? There are programs that claim to be able to accomplish just ...[Read More]

Preschool Graduation–A Troubling Announcement

Preschool Graduation–A Troubling Announcement

The preschool graduation was a longstanding tradition at our school. I had attended all but two for the past 12 years, and I wasn’t about to miss this one. As in previous years, the school auditorium was filled to capacity. Everyone watched, listened and clapped, as the children did the Chicke ...[Read More]

Tools: Alphabet Chart for Learning Letter Names

Tools: Alphabet Chart for Learning Letter Names

Most of us can rattle off the alphabet without having to think. This is a useful skill we rely on to look up a word in a dictionary or a name in a phonebook. Someone created the alphabet song to help us teach it to our children. But naming the letters in order does not automatically teach the child ...[Read More]

Structured vs. Random Practice—Are Flashcards the Right Strategy?

Structured vs. Random Practice—Are Flashcards the Right Strategy?

Is your child having difficulty learning letter names, numbers, or sight words? The teacher is likely to send home a packet of flashcards for practice. But is this an effective strategy for your child? It is true that the fluent reader will automatically call up common words from memory. There is no ...[Read More]

Tools: Using Form Puzzles to Stimulate Word Imitation

Tools: Using Form Puzzles to Stimulate Word Imitation

Imitation of sounds and words is an essential step in learning to talk. If your child is late in talking or has speech that is unintelligible, you will find this activity helpful. Most two and three year olds love form puzzles. These are the wooden puzzles in which each removable piece represents a ...[Read More]

What Are Word Retrieval Difficulties?

What Are Word Retrieval Difficulties?

Surely, you have sometimes had a word seemingly right at the tip of your tongue without being able to get it out. You might be on the phone and trying to relay information quickly. Perhaps you are in a stressful situation such as a job interview, or you are simply tired or upset. That name you know ...[Read More]

Instilling Confidence in Your Child

Instilling Confidence in Your Child

Is there anything more delightful than the excitement in the face of a baby taking those first unaided steps? In that moment, this little one is ready to conquer the world! When the toddler proudly declares, “Me do it aw ba ma sev!” he expresses unabated confidence. Children enter this life wired to ...[Read More]

Learning the Speech Sounds

Learning the Speech Sounds

Your baby’s babbling consists of strings of consonant-like sounds alternating with an ah-like vowel sound. While these sounds resemble speech sounds, they are not “phonemes.” The baby is simply vocalizing while opening and closing its mouth. When you imitate your baby’s babbling sounds, you set the ...[Read More]

Apraxia (CAS) – A Motor Speech Disorder

Apraxia (CAS) – A Motor Speech Disorder

Most of us enjoy trying to recite a tongue twister faster and faster till the words get all “twisted” in our mouths. To the child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), the simplest word may be a tongue twister. Hundreds of quick nerve impulses are needed to produce a single syllable. With that in ...[Read More]

Learning Words–Early Stages of Vocabulary Development

Learning Words–Early Stages of Vocabulary Development

You have probably read some of those little “pointing” books with your baby. You know, those books with hard pages and a single object pictured on each page. You point to the picture and name the object. Pretty soon, your baby points to each picture as you turn the page and might even try to imitate ...[Read More]

First Steps in Learning to Talk

First Steps in Learning to Talk

Your child’s speech development starts long before he or she says the first word. In fact, some research indicates that a baby learns to recognize the mother’s voice already while in the womb. At just a few months old, babies will distinguish between the language of their environment and a foreign l ...[Read More]

CAS – What We Can Learn from Two Case Studies

CAS – What We Can Learn from Two Case Studies

In Childhood Apraxia of Speech, CAS, the brain has difficulty telling the mouth what to do to produce speech sounds. We might say that the messages from the brain get mixed up before they reach the mouth. The child has trouble imitating the precise movements required to say sounds and syllables. Sim ...[Read More]

Does My Child Have Autism?

Does My Child Have Autism?

Autism is certainly one of the things parents worry about when their child’s speech is not developing as expected. And it is true that late speech and language development is one of the signs of autism. But only a small percentage of late talkers actually are on the autism spectrum.  Autism is a com ...[Read More]

Shouldn’t My Child Be Talking By Now?

Shouldn’t My Child Be Talking By Now?

If you are concerned about your child not yet talking, first ask yourself what your expectations are based on. Are you comparing with an older sibling, or perhaps your neighbor’s child across the street? Children do develop different skills at different rates. There is always the chance that your ex ...[Read More]

Is My Child’s Speech Regressing?

Is My Child’s Speech Regressing?

Parents often express concern that their child’s speech is becoming less clear. They wonder, “Is my child regressing?” There are factors that can cause speech regression, but what you are observing might not be regression at all. It could just be a normal stage in your child’s spee ...[Read More]

Does My Child Have A Speech Problem?

Does My Child Have A Speech Problem?

If you are concerned that your child might have a speech problem, your child is probably talking some. But perhaps speech is not clear, even hard to understand. Most parents and teachers, think of a “speech problem” as not pronouncing words right, not using all the sounds. But speech pro ...[Read More]