5 tips for Halloween communication and fun!

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Emily Gammon MS CCC-SLP is a pediatric speech therapist at Child and Family Development.  She is offering 5 TIPS on a monthly basis to expand communication opportunities for all! 

Many children with sensory processing, speech- language and/or motor difficulties can experience unique challenges when it comes to the holidays, Halloween included. Costumes can be itchy and uncomfortable, other children can be loud and unpredictable in their behaviors during trick-or-treating and related activities, daily routines can be altered with celebrations and talking with strangers can be rather uncomfortable. Here are some tips and tricks for a ghoul-tastic Halloween: 

1. Prepare your children for Halloween and related activities by watching kid-friendly movies. Some suggestions include: It’s a Big Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Casper and Hocus Pocus for the older kids! These movies might help them to better understand how this holiday pastime really works.

2. Practice trick-or-treating at home! You could incorporate different family members while practicing the sequence of events from knocking on the door/ringing the doorbell to receiving goodies into their buckets! (Our therapy offices also have practice "go-arounds" from 10/25-10/31)

3. Create a visual schedule to depict what will happen while trick-or-treating. This is really good for those kids who need an extra picture cue for what to expect around an unfamiliar event. It is really helpful to use language such as: first, then, next and last when building visual schedules.

4. Carefully select a costume that is conducive to your child’s speech, motor and sensory challenges. Remember that masks and other pieces that cover the face might make it difficult to navigate the streets while trick-or-treating at night, scratchy and itchy fabrics might exacerbate underlying sensory challenges and long or heavy fabrics might make mobility more difficult. Try on costumes in advance to address any issues with fit or comfort!

5. For those children who are non-verbal, consider carrying a card or pre-programming their AAC device to help them become an active participant in trick-or-treating! The message could read somewhat like this:  “Hello, my name is ___________. I am not yet able to say “trick-or-treat” or “Happy Halloween” but I am learning. Thanks for understanding and Happy Halloween!” If your child can manipulate their device with consistency, consider adding a few short messages on the home page that say “trick-or-treat”, “Happy Halloween” and “thank you”!

Happy Halloween!  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services, Emily Gammon

5 tips for talking with a teacher about a child's communication difficulties

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Emily Gammon MS CCC-SLP is a pediatric speech therapist at Child and Family Development.  She is offering 5 TIPS on a monthly basis to expand communication opportunities for all! 

Often times, parents can become uneasy at the beginning of the school year hoping that they and their child(ren) will get along with their new teacher(s). This can be especially difficult if the child has speech and/or language difficulties. Try these tips:  

1. Foster an open line of communication early on in the school year. It is okay to ask for emails and updates about how your child is doing during school and activities and skills that your child is working on.
2. Inform the teacher(s) about the community services your child receives as well as the therapy goals. If the teachers the child’s strengths and weaknesses, ways to help him express himself and understand others via appropriate compensatory strategies, they will be able to support your child in the classroom successfully. 
3. Foster an open line of communication between school staff and therapist(s). It can be helpful for the professionals working with your child to communicate about therapeutic activities, school activities, mastered skills and ways to overlap and reinforce one another's strategies. An Authorization For Release Of Information form is required for this communication. 
4. Schedule regular meetings with teacher(s). Share details about your child's functional skills, ways the teacher can support the child and what you will do at home to facilitate school success. 
5. Discuss ideas for community involvement and extracurricular activities with your child’s teacher. They may have great suggestions related to academics and grade-level expectations. 

Our team of speech therapists can help your child be successful in school and other settings.  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services, Emily Gammon

5 tips to encourage preschooler's communication skills 

Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Emily Gammon MS CCC-SLP is a pediatric speech therapist at Child and Family Development.  She shares 5 pro tips for parents to encourage expressive language and receptive language in the little ones:

  1. PROVIDE CHOICES: To increase expressive language output, give your child two choices to decide between. Presenting these choices verbally and visually is helpful for your child’s cognitive organization as well as highly motivating.  It gives them a chance to choose what they want to do! Try this games, activities or even daily routines like getting dressed or choosing a breakfast item. For kids that tend to always revert to the choice on the same side, you can try presenting the options vertically, one on top of the other!
  2. TAKE YOUR TIME: Give your child a chance to respond or make a communicative attempt even if it feels a little awkward. Whether your child is a verbal or a nonverbal communicator, some kids require extra time to process the information that has been given to them and to formulate a response. Sometimes, silence is key!
  3. NARRATE: Talk about what you all are doing while it is happening. The technical word for this is parallel talk. Parallel talk gives your child the ability to hear language being used as it directly corresponds to what is happening before their eyes. You can think of it as narrating a daily routine or describing play time! Plus, it exposes your child to new vocabulary and related concepts.
  4. GAMETIME: Make a game out of building vocabulary! While preparing a meal, label stuff that is red/items in a recipe/tools being used.  While at the park or taking a walk, label items that are circles/things that moves/colors you see. This will build your child’s understanding of different words by attaching a physical object to it.  Don't be surprised to hear those words pop up in future conversations! 
  5. SHORT AND SWEET: Speak in shorter, more functional phrases. Instead of saying to a young child, “Go over there and get the green ball and bring it here, please” you could say, “green ball please” to help the child understand clearly what is being asked of them. For kids who are just starting to become verbal communicators, this type of functional language is simpler and easier to follow. The idea, too, is that the phrase is comprised in a way that the child could imitate it. Speaking in shorter phrases gives both the child an opportunity to understand what is being requested and also the ability to repeat or recreate the phrase!

Our team of speech therapists can help get communication going for your child! 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services, Emily Gammon

Child and Family Development welcomes speech therapist, Emily Gammon

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Emily Gammon MS CCC-SLP, joined the Child and Family Development team this month.      

Emily received her BA from Indiana University and her Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology at West Virginia University.  Emily has had the opportunity to work with a vast population of children with varying speech- language, developmental and congenital disorders. She uses components of these these approaches in speech therapy: Talk Tools®, PROMPT©, Beckman© oral motor exercises and other therapeutic interventions. She has worked children with a variety of diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, sensory processing disorders, receptive and expressive language delays, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, traumatic brain injuries, non-traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, auditory processing disorders, dysphagia/ feeding disorders and other developmental and genetic diagnoses. 

Emily enjoys working with children because of the connections she makes with the family. She enjoys watching kids progress, while helping their family members understand how to help their children effectively communicate.

She works at both the Midtown and Pineville offices.

Welcome Emily!  

Read more about our speech therapy services here.       

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services, Emily Gammon

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 by Child & Family Development

 

Child and Family Development has been celebrating with the speech therapy team throughout May- Better Hearing & Speech Month!

We love our team, plus one starting in June!  

MIDTOWN OFFICE PINEVILLE OFFICE
  • Logan Carter MS CCC-SLP
  • Ann Guild MA CCC-SLP C/NDT
  • Allison Parker MA CCC-SLP
  • Melinda Schatz MS CCC-SLP
  • Kristin Lyman MA CCC-SLP
  • Lisa Peterson MS CCC-SLP
  • Stephanie Tolley MA CCC-SLP

Learn more about speech-language services here.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

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Topics: Allison Parker, Ann Guild, Melinda Schatz, C&FD Speech Therapy Services, Kristin Lyman, Lisa Peterson, Logan Carter, Emily Gammon

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insights is a helpful blog brought to you by Child & Family Development

Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.

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  • MIDTOWN OFFICE
  • 4012 Park Road, Suite 200
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.332.4834
  • PINEVILLE OFFICE
  • 10516 Park Road
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.541.9080

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