Monday, February 24, 2014

Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do, Excerpt and TOC

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Excerpted from Help Me Talk Right:
Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do by Mirla G. Raz.
It is natural for parents to want to directly help their child when they hear him stutter. They do so with the best of intentions. In their attempts to help their child, they may give him advice or ask him to do what they believe will help. However, the advice they give can be counterproductive. Advice can make the child more self-conscious and upset with himself for being disfluent. Advice can frustrate the child when the advice does not help and yet the parent believes it will. Numerous adults who stutter have told me that they believe the advice their parents gave them, when they were children, did more harm than good. The advice made them more self-conscious and inhibited. The list, on the following pages, highlights common advice that should be avoided, why the advice should be avoided, and replacement actions the parents can implement that will be more beneficial.

Table of Contents:

Chapter One:Understanding Stuttering
In A Nutshell 
Is The Child Stuttering, Stammering or Is This Just Normal
Preschool Speech?
Demystifying Stuttering 
What Causes Stuttering 
Facts about Stuttering 

Chapter Two: Viewpoints and Reactions
How Others View Children Who Stutter 
How Children Who Stutter View Themselves
Different Ways Children React to Their Disfluent Speech 
What Children Do When They Stutter 

Chapter Three: Stuttering and Emotions
The Emotions of Parents 
Taking the Time to Understand the Child Who Stutters 
Helping the Child Who Stutters 
How Emotions Affect the Child’s Fluency
How Parents Can Help Their Child

Chapter Four: Different Environments, Events, and People
The Home 
Preschool and Daycare
Events That Can Affect Fluency 
Help Others Help the Child

Chapter Five: Professional Help
Intervention May Be Needed 
Paying for Therapy and Health Insurance
What to Expect When Seeking Professional Help

Chapter Six: Questions and Answers
Common Concerns and Questions  

Information Records 


Further Reading




About the Author 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Getting Children to Converse---Absurdities

I have decided to deviate from strictly reviewing apps for speech and expand into therapy techniques I have accumulated over the years. In this post, I will be suggesting using absurdities to elicit conversation.

I suppose one can make one's own pictures. But since I am not the creative, crafty or artistic type, I rely on the pictures and books of others that depict absurd phenomenon. The pictures I use are put out by Academic Communication Associates and are called "Impossible Situations." The pictures are large black and white drawings wherein the absurdity is unmistakable such as a man with a lightbulb for a nose. The book Whacky Wednesday, by Theo. LeSieg, shows silly phenomena in the day of a child. As soon as he wakes up, the boy sees that something is not right in his room. The absurdities grow in number as he goes through his day. Children as young as three enjoy pointing out what in the scenes is ridiculous and explaining why. For children six or older, the Amelia Bedilia books challenge them to recognize more subtly absurd events in the nonsensical things Amelia Bedilia does when working.

Absurdities also empower intellectual skills. In order to recognize an absurdity, the child needs to have created a mental image of what is correct or acceptable in his/her world. The child then needs to express this knowledge into language that conveys the information. Some children, such as those on the spectrum, may be challenged by the task. With these children, I make the task easier by pointing out the absurdity. Together we discuss what is silly about the picture.

I like to use absurdities when the child is in the conversational stage of learning a new sound or grammatical component.