Prelinguistic Skill #2 – Responds to People… Resource List

This week we started a series to outline the 11 skills that very accurately predict which children are ready to talk and which ones need more help before talking is a realistic goal.   Today we’re looking at skill #2…   RESPONDS TO PEOPLE   This milestone means that a child displays a consistent social…

What About Negative Behaviors?

WHAT ABOUT NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS? (from The Autism Workbook) So many therapists and parents reach out to me for solutions for a child’s negative behaviors during therapy sessions and they’re sometimes surprised by my response. When a little friend is having a tough (make that terrible!) day from a behavioral standpoint, I do everything I can to…

Prelinguistic Skill #1 – Reacts to Events in the Environment… Toy List

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to review each of the 11 skills all toddlers master before words emerge and provide examples of toys for targeting each of these skills.   This information is from Let’s Talk About Talking, my most comprehensive resource for addressing all the foundational skills for talking. If you’re…

Supporting the Needs of Moms for Mother’s Day

As a pediatric speech-language pathologist, I’ve seen moms of babies and toddlers with developmental delays and disorders at their absolute best and unfortunately, at their worst. The longer I do this job, the more I’ve come to appreciate just how hard it is for moms to rise to the occasion and deliver her best day…
Teach Me To Talk with Apraxia and Phonological Disorders

Successful Speech Therapy Strategies for Working with Toddlers with Apraxia and Other Speech-Language Difficulties

I have received many questions about therapy techniques for toddlers with apraxia. Before I give you ideas that are specific to treating children with apraxia, I want to first outline what I believe to be the best treatment approach for all children who are experiencing difficulties learning language. These strategies can also be used at…

Autism Basics… Part 2

Children with autism demonstrate repetitive behaviors and restricted interests referred to as RRBs. This is part 2 of the diagnostic criteria for autism. For another look at part 1, see this post. These behaviors are atypical for young children and constitute a major barrier to learning and social interaction and must be noted in at least two of the…

Autism Basics

If working with a young child with autism is new for you, let’s review some basic information to help you understand and explain the fundamental characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism affects how a child: Interacts Communicates Behaves To provide a formal diagnosis of autism, evaluators use a set of criteria established by the American Psychiatric…

I Need A Plan!

As speech-language pathologists and parents, when a toddler is not talking yet, we rush in to try to help them learn to say new words and pronounce them clearly. When these first attempts don’t work, we become frustrated, sometimes very frustrated, with the lack of progress. This is the point where I usually meet parents…

How to Play Peek-a-boo! Advice for Parents with Toddlers with Developmental Delays

GAMES FOR TODDLERS Playing peek-a-boo is a time-honored ritual between babies and parents. Many times parents of young children with developmental delays miss out on this fun because they’re not sure how to modify the game for a toddler with special needs.  A mom may have instigated peek-a-boo a few times to try to quiet…

Resistance to AAC

Are you using visual supports (or even other kinds of supplemental expressive language systems like signs or PECS) with toddlers and preschoolers who aren’t yet talking? Sometimes parents are downright resistant to using anything else (like signs, pictures, devices, etc.) to teach a child to understand and use language. Usually it’s because they think that…

7 Signs of Autism in Toddlers and Preschoolers

7 Signs of Autism in Toddlers Today I want to share 7 signs of autism in toddlers. Watch the video. Parents… these are the things speech-language pathologists and other professionals look for when we’re screening late talking toddlers for autism. Here we’ll be talking about things that kids with autism do that are different than…

Valentine’s Day Song for Toddlers

I have a great use for those heart-shaped boxes of Valentine’s Day candy – especially if you’re working with a small group of toddlers – or even a child with his mom and a sibling! Sit on the floor in a circle. Introduce the activity by showing everyone the heart-shaped box and saying something related…