TALKing about Your Day
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“How was school?”

“Good.”

“Well, what did you do today?”

“Nothing.” 

Does this conversation seem familiar to you? You're not alone! After school everyday, parents face the same challenge of pulling even a modicum of information from their children about their days at school. This can be compounded even further if your child has any language disorder or learning disability, making it harder for him or her to create a concise or detailed narrative. Not to worry though, we've recruited ideas from every member of our highly qualified team to combat the dreaded follow-up to Tell me about your day. 

Try these tips for asking your child about their day at school:

 Be proactive

  • Get a copy of your child’s schedule from their teacher so you know details about the school day.

  • Ask questions you already know the answer to so you can breakdown and scaffold the answers if help is needed.

  • Ask your speech therapist for visual supports to use while eliciting information.

Share about your own day

  • Children learn from adult models. Share about your own day using appropriate story elements, transitions, and sentence structure.

  • Provide the desired amount of details and specifics within your narrative to demonstrate an appropriate relay of information.

  • After your child relays any information from their own day, retell what you heard as a coherent narrative with appropriate grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.  

Get more information

  • Often children are vague with their responses, so make sure to ask your child more directed and specific questions.

  • Avoid asking questions that elicit one-word responses (e.g., yes/no, names)

  • Have your child draw a picture of something that happened at school and then ask them to describe their picture.

  • Ask concrete questions (who, what, where) and provide multiple answer options (e.g., Where did you eat lunch today? On the blacktop or the cafeteria?)

Alternative questions to “How was your day?”

  • Who did you enjoy playing with the most today?

  • What was the funniest thing that happened today?

  • If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach your class?

  • Did anyone push your buttons?

  • When did you feel most proud of yourself?

We hope these tips and tricks help facilitate new stories from your kids! if you have any further concerns about their language development, feel free to contact us here.

Alyssa Winn
Speech and Language Evaluations Aren’t So Bad!
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Are you concerned about your child’s speech, language, feeding, reading, or social skills?

Have others (family, friends, teachers, or Pediatricians) expressed concern about your child’s development?

Has your child received speech and language therapy in the past and you want to make sure they are on track?

Is your child struggling in school?

We understand that getting your child evaluated for speech and language therapy can be a stressful and scary experience! That’s why we at TALK have created a family friendly three-part evaluation system:

1.     You will first talk with one of our directors or coordinators over the phone. She will try to answer all your questions as well as explain TALK’s evaluation and therapy approach.

2.     If you decide to schedule an evaluation with us, we’ll email you a client history form for you to fill out and bring with you to the evaluation. At the evaluation, we’ll spend about forty minutes screening your child in all areas of speech and language. Your child will simply play and chat with us as we do a few structured tasks. The more comfortable and relaxed your child is, the more we get to see!

3.     Right after the evaluation, we spend at least half an hour discussing our observations with you. We’ll answer all your questions and provide recommendations regarding ongoing therapy. From there, we’re happy to try to put you on our schedule or have you go home, think about next steps, and discuss our findings with your family, friends, and teachers.

If you would like to schedule an evaluation or just have questions, please contact our office at (650) 344-9961.

Alexia Mazzone
Common Language Problems Affecting School-Aged Children

Does your child: 

·  Have difficulty following multi-step directions?

·  Problems answering simple questions when put on the spot? 

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·  Often hear information incorrectly? 

·  Use the wrong word when telling a story or describing something? 

 

Parents and teachers often overlook a valuable resource that is available to children who are having trouble both in the classroom and socially. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) play an important role in strengthening the language foundation of children who are struggling with auditory processing, literacy, social/pragmatic communication, and understanding and using language. Parents of children who could be identified as having specific language needs often become frustrated during homework time because of the difficulties their children experience. Teachers feel as though these students aren’t paying attention in the classroom, when in fact they may be having difficulties processing. During play and conversation with peers that is verbally based, these students may become frustrated or remove themselves from the group. 

 

Below are some common areas of need and warning signs of specific language needs in school-aged children:

 

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

·  Difficulty following multi-step directions

·  Trouble remembering verbal information

·  Difficulty recognizing subtle differences between the sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear

 

Literacy and Writing Delays

·  Difficulty learning to read and write

·  Difficulty using language to communicate, think and learn

·  Problems spelling phonetically

 

Social and Pragmatic Disorders

·  Trouble using language socially in ways that are appropriate for children of their age

·  Difficulty playing with other children

·  Difficulty having a conversation with peers and adults, including excessive interrupting, not staying on topic and decreased eye contact

 

Receptive and Expressive Language Delays

·  Difficulty understanding what is said to them

·  Problems understanding figurative language

·  Decreased ability to identify the “main idea” or other inferred concepts

·  Limited vocabulary and grammar

·  Difficulty retelling and creating stories

 

If you are at all concerned about your child’s language development, you may contact your school SLP or a private practice that provides speech services and they can determine whether your child qualifies for services.

Contact us here for an initial assessment!

 

 

Alyssa Winn