Children need routine. They thrive on routine. All children. Not just children with special needs.
Take my own child as an example. She is a typically developing 17-month-old. That doesn’t mean she is exempt from benefiting from routines.
It’s simple. Routines make life predictable.
Now consider a child with no verbal communication and limited communication skills. It gives them a sense of control over their world, when they know what to expect.
So why rob them of that?
I know too many parents that feel it is challenging to put their child and their family on a routine. I get that. I’m not asking for you to follow a schedule to a T (7am wake up, 7:30 breakfast, 8am get dressed, 9 school, 3 snack, 5 dinner, 7 shower…NO!) While some children WILL benefit greatly from this, it takes a lot for a parent to do this daily, especially when you have the rest of your family on a different schedule. If you thrive on a set time schedule, go for it. If that scares the heck out of you, try following a routine instead!
How? I’ll lay it out for you…
Take that schedule above and remove the times. The activities/events of the day, remain in the same order. They may just not happen at the same *time* everyday. That’s okay!
The important thing is to have a clear beginning and end. When that is in place, children learn the entire routine from start to finish MUCH faster!
The simple act of following a routine can help your child greatly!!!! Have you tried it yet?
Here are three apps to help make your morning routine easier, get it here.
Start by breaking it down by parts of the day. Morning, afternoon and night. Then go from there. See where it takes you. And I encourage you to avoid Dr. Google and create a routine that works for YOU and YOUR family!
Do you have a routine in place? Would love to hear how it’s working out for you!
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This is a common question that most parents ask when preparing to start their child in speech, language and/or feeding therapy. And my answer is always the same, “it depends on various factors.”
As a parent, this seemingly ambiguous response is frustrating! I get that. But please understand this is the hardest question for us to answer.
We understand that we are asking you to make a financial and time commitment. And we recognize that it’s a lot to ask without being able to give you a definitive answer as to how long we may need to work with your child.
That said, I would warn you against working with a professional that prescribes a specific amount of time for providing speech, language or feeding therapy without getting to know your child first. They may give you examples of how long they’ve worked with other children with similar goals, but they should never prescribe a certain number of months for your child until they have enough information based on various factors.
Here is the list of factors that play into how long your child may need speech therapy.
- Every child is different. First, it is important to realize children respond to therapy differently. Second, two children with the same diagnosis will rarely have the same treatment plan. As such, we tailor your child’s therapy to them.
- No two goals are the same. On paper the way a therapist may write a goal may look similar to another child’s goal (e.g., if they are both working on similar things), but the way we treat that goal will differ based on your child’s needs. Goals also vary based on the type of therapy being prescribed (feeding, speech, language), the number of goals, and the severity of your child’s delay or disorder
- Rapport and relationship with therapist. How your child responds (and how quickly) to a therapist is important. A child is not going to begin making progress until they have adapted to working with the therapist that is helping them to achieve their goals. Often times rapport is established day one, but for some children it may take an extra session or two.
- Carryover at school and home. This is a big one! The more you practice at home (if even just 5 minutes a day) the faster your child will master their goals and the quicker they will be dismissed from therapy.
- Behavior. Behavior is a means of communication. That said, behaviors can interfere with time spent in therapy sessions working toward goals. In turn this can delay progress toward goal mastery. If behaviors arise, they should be addressed accordingly.
- A dynamic and ever changing process. One session your child may make HUGE leaps in progress, while in other sessions they may slide backwards a bit. This is to be expected and is part of the successful process of learning and acquiring a new skill.
At Little Sprout Speech, we are data driven and use research-based practices in treating your child. We provide you with updates following each session so you can see exactly what your child worked on, how they performed and what they need to work on next. This is our way of staying accountable to you while helping to look at exactly how your child performed the prior week and strategically pushing your child to the next level in every single session.
Please understand this is not the “norm” in all private practices. We offer this service as we feel it helps us maintain the highest standards of performance while showing you we are serious about dismissing your child from therapy as soon as we feel they are ready.
This is why there are no pre-paid sessions or contracts asking you to commit to a specific number of sessions in our practice. When we feel like your child is moving toward dismissal this is a conversation we will have with you. The details are laid out so you know what to expect and we can make sure upon dismissal your child is truly ready to move forward without us!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s specific therapeutic needs, please contact us here.
Hallie & The Little Sprout Speech Team
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Okay, mama’s. If you have a little one who likes to be attached at the hip, you may appreciate this. I saw one of these go up for sale in a facebook group. Before that, I had NO clue such a genius invention existed. I mean, seriously, whoever came up with this had the best interest of my back and my cooking needs in mind! HA!
So, I look around a bit and saw that target sold these for $200 and had a bit of sticker shock. In my mind things from target aren’t supposed to cost that much. Am I right?
A super cute, sturdy, adorable “kitchen helper.”
I ordered it in white since that was the cheapest option at the time. Now it seems the cheapest version is the neutral color…which in retrospect actually matches my kitchen better…oh well!
If you’re anything like me, you’re excited by the thought of not having to hold your 16-month-old (or older child!!) on your hip while trying to make dinner and clean the dishes. BUT if that is not enough, this little clever creation also FOLDS UP!!! YUP…with the push of one button and the raise of a wooden board, it folds up with ease to be stored away. This was a big selling point for me since everyone likes to gather in the kitchen and our kitchen always seems to be packed!
Now if that wasn’t enough…they added cut out shapes, a chalk board and a white board to sides. So now it can double as an activity station, too. So far Lily loves it. Here’s a video to show you Lily and her kitchen helper in action.
And last but certainly not least, having this in your kitchen allows your child to see you cook and be a part of the action. This could be beneficial if you have a child who has sensory feeding challenges and want to get them up close with some new foods, while not expecting them to eat them yet. It could also be helpful to have them prepare the foods with you so they see what goes into a dish (another strategy I often using for our sensory feeding kiddos). From a language standpoint, you can talk about what you are doing (stirring, mixing, dumping, cutting, seasoning, chopping, frying, baking, etc…), label the foods you are using, and ask your child if they want to “help” (e.g., allowing them to dump ingredients into the bowl and stir, for example. Lily LOVES doing this!)
Does your child like to help you in the kitchen? Or do they like to HANG on you in the kitchen? This will be a lifesaver! For real!
*Note: affiliate links included. This helps me continue to provide free advice to you over on our facebook page! Be sure to stop by and ask questions.
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I cannot believe it is already December 31, 2016! Where did 2016 go? I was looking at the top 10 posts on our Little Sprout Speech blog and wanted to share them with you. Surprisingly, you all had LOTS of questions on IEP meetings over on our facebook page but didn’t seem to access the blog posts as much on the site as much as you went for the list of questions to ask at an IEP meeting (find that here). I am glad that has been a useful resource to you! This year the popular posts centered around autism, apraxia, activities related to favorite children’s books, sensory processing disorder, setting expectations with your child and communicating with your nonverbal child. What a mix! I am so happy to be a resource for you all!
Here are the top 11 posts for you to enjoy again!
#1: A Letter To The Parents That Don’t Live With Autism
This was a popular one. You all REALLY liked this and rocked at sharing it so it would get to ALL parents. Let’s keep it going, share some more! We all know there are people who can benefit from reading this one (and I bet you can think of at least a handful of people right now!) http://www.littlesproutspeech.com/letter-for-parents-without-autism/
#2: Which Autism Diagnosis Does Your Child Have?
Did you know there is more than ONE type of Autism diagnosis? Read about it here: http://littlesproutspeech.com/two-different-types-of-autism-diagnoses/
#3: Teach Your Child Pronouns
This is an area that can be tricky for many preschoolers so when I wrote this one a while back I tried to break it down and make it super simple. Here ya go! http://littlesproutspeech.com/teaching-pronouns/
#4: Book Club Week 37: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
From when we used to have weekly “book club” – if you missed out on book club you can see what it is all about here: http://www.littlesproutspeech.com/book-club-week-37-very-hungry-caterpillar/
#5: 25 Songs For Autism & Apraxia Of Speech
And last but certainly not least, drum roll please…….some of my favorite songs for kiddos with autism and/or apraxia. http://www.littlesproutspeech.com/25-songs-autism-apraxia/
#6: Fall & Thanksgiving Speech & Language Activities
This is another oldie but goodie (so old it has my old website on it that from before I was married!!!) Maybe we should feature more activities on the blog in 2017. What do ya think? http://littlesproutspeech.com/fall-thanksgiving-speech-language-activities/
#7: 12 Signs of Sensory Overload
Does your child have meltdowns? Do you know how to spot the “triggers?” This will help! http://littlesproutspeech.com/12-signs-of-sensory-overload/
#8: How To Set Expectations With Your Child
This one tackles the topic of anxiety in children. If you think your child may have anxiety visit this article so you can get started with how to identify it and help them. http://littlesproutspeech.com/set-expectations/
#9: How To Teach Your Child “I Love You”
Wouldn’t it be awesome to hear your child say “I love you?” whether they learn to say it with their hands through sign or can say it verbally, the general consensus is….this article rocks! #ILoveYou http://www.littlesproutspeech.com/teach-child-love/
#10: 10 Tips To Communicate With Your Nonverbal Child
Do you know how to communicate with your nonverbal child? This is the place to start! http://littlesproutspeech.com/10-tips-to-communicate-with-your-nonverbal-child-with-autism/
#11: Repetitive Books: The PERFECT Home Activity for Apraxia
Here is yet another activity post! Not sure how to help your child with apraxia? These repetitive books are a FABULOUS place to start! And you can do it easily at home. http://littlesproutspeech.com/repetitive-books-apraxia-of-speech/
To access these posts click on the link below each photo (or on the photo’s themselves) and it will take you right to the original post! I would like to thank you for visiting my blog this year and love it when you leave comments!
I am always open to ideas and suggestions for posts so please let us know how we can help YOU in 2017. What questions do you have that you would like answered. Feel free to comment below or submit your questions here: What Would Hallie Do?
Happy New Year To YOU and YOUR Amazing Family!
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Have you been hanging out with us over on facebook? If not, you are missing out! Join us!
One of our big focus points this month has been how to help your child succeed during their school day. One of the most important things that often gets overlooked is the importance of eating lunch! Why is it so important? Food is fuel! If your tank is on empty you are going to be hungry, cranky, angry (hangry?), more irritable and you lose your ability to focus.
Now think about your child. Do they eat lunch every day at school or is something preventing them from eating their lunch? You may send a lunch or lunch money for them to buy a lunch but they may just be sitting there trying to hold it together, unable to focus on eating their food.
Lunch rooms can be loud and the smells can be overbearing for some kiddos. This is true especially if your child has sensory processing disorder (SPD).
So what do you do? This is exactly what we spoke about here:
“No child should eat lunch alone”
And as a follow up, since the first video was so popular and sparked SO many questions, I did another free video answering questions and chatting MORE about helping your child succeed in school (especially during lunch hour)!
Check out part 2 here:
“When your child with autism wants to eat alone at school”
And here is that video I referenced in my Facebook Live: He Just Sued The School System
I hope you are having a GREAT day and your kiddo is having an even BETTER school year!! Sending lots of love and happy lunches your way!