What are blocked and random practice?

Blocked and random practice are terms used in apraxia therapy.  Here is a quick explanation of these practice types. Blocked practice is repeating the same word again and again.  This is best to establish a new motor pattern. Random practice is saying different words.  This supports retention and transfer of a motor plan.

Help your child talk: Don’t anticipate your child’s needs

What?  Don’t anticipate my child’s needs? You are a great parent and do a fantastic job of meeting your child’s needs.  That begs the question, “do you anticipate your child’s needs too often?”  If you do, you may limit the chances your child has to tell you, in words or gestures, what he needs. If your child always gets what he needs, he won’t have any reason to express his desires.  He can just sit there and get a drink.  Why would he point to his cup  or say “water”? To help your young child use his words more, don’t anticipate his needs.  Forget to give him a spoon, don’t open the bubbles, or give him an empty cup.  Wait and see how much your child wants to say.  He’ll tell you what he wants.

Happy Valentine’s Day book review

Karen Katz comes through again with another great, holiday themed, lift a flap book:  Where Is Baby’s Valentine? As always, these lift a flap books are great for working on questions, answers, locations, and new vocabulary. Why not give your child the gift of time this Valentine’s Day? Read this great Karen Katz book with your little one. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Learning Resources-Smart Snacks Hide ‘N Peek Chocolates

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I found a box of truffles that your child will love.  Don’t worry!  They won’t be climbing the walls from all of the sugar.  They will actually be sitting contentedly, playing for hours. Learning Resources-Smart Snacks Hide ‘N Peek Chocolates come with 12 pieces of candy that fit into a cute heart box.  The candies come in 6 shapes and 6 colors.  The lids come in dark and light chocolate.  Your child needs to match the shapes of the chocolates to the box then find the correct shape for the top of the candy.   You can use this toy to role play, to match, and to play a memory game. In therapy sessions, I’ve used this toy to teach manners, to work on asking skills, and to help children expand their sentence length through adjectives.  It’s great for learning shapes, colors, sizes, light versus

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Mr. Potato Head

This is a blast from the past for most parents.  Yes, you can still buy Mr. Potato Head.  He also has a wife and kids.  Mr. Potato Head’s brother, really likes Star Wars.  Mr. Potato Head dresses up for Halloween and is a super hero.  In his old age, he has become quite the Renaissance man! Mr. Potato Head is cheap and fun.  Kids love it.  I have two: a boy and a girl.  When I take them out, kids can’t get enough. This toy allows you to interact with your little one.  You can work on listening and speaking.  Your child can: name the body parts direct you to put various parts onto the potato follow directions to find parts that are placed around the room wait for a turn take a turn use describing words (blue hat or yellow hat) make choices (boy or girl, lips or teeth) answer

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My child doesn’t talk. I wish he could tell me something.

Maybe he already is telling you something. Just not with words. We get our point across in many ways. A quick glance to let a friend know not to say something. A facial expression to communicate disappointment. Pointing to a preferred item when we have laryngitis. Grabbing someone’s hand when we are scared. Handing your spouse the bottle that you cannot open while continuing to talk about other things. These ways of communicating are all without words. We are not talking but we are conveying a meaning. Help your child get his point across. Interpret his non-verbal communication. If he hands you the remote control, does he want to watch TV? If he throws himself on the floor, maybe he doesn’t want to eat the broccoli. If he walks to the cabinet where the popcorn is kept then looks at you, give him the popcorn. If he grabs your hand

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The Very Sleepy Sloth

I found a great book to work on S blends:  The Very Sleepy Sloth. This cute book about an adorable, but snoozy sloth, is loaded with S blends.  Practice words like: sloth sleepy slow snooze speed strength swing spring If your little one is struggling to pronounce the S plus the other sound in the blend, try a visual cue.  Put your hand on your shoulder and slowly move it down your arm towards your hand while saying SSSSSSSSSS.  When you reach your hand, clap your hands for the next sound:  L, N, P, W, etc.   Practice the S blend words first, then try reading the book with the S blends.

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