Speech And Language

Language Development Pro-Tips From our Speech-Language Pathologist

There is a world of possibilities, with books and toys, to stimulate your child’s imagination and language during their early years.  Reading is perhaps the one singular most important activity to help stimulate language development for children.  Reading to your children long after they can read to themselves helps to continue their development of ideas and thoughts beyond their reading level.  A close second to reading to your child, is talking while playing with your child. This is why toys are often considered children’s ‘work’ and learning to play with toys is an important foundation skill.  Ages 0-2 Books for this age group include board books and illustrated books.  Board books allow infants to touch, feel, bend, mouth and throw the books without damaging the pages!  Many board books have stories (such as Good Night Moon), some have few to no words at all (Good Night Gorilla) and some help children learn specific vocabulary (such as colour and shape books).  Illustrated books for this age group include stories that can be read to your child even though they are not speaking or do not understand the vocabulary.  These books often have beautiful illustrations to help capture a child’s attention (The Moment you were Born, You are my Happy). Toys are...

The Amazingly Fantastic and Wonderfully Inspiring Power of Words!

by Michelle Pearce, MD, Jill Shuster, PhD, CPsych and Sandy Lane, MA, SLP  At Possibilities we think a lot about neuroscience. We think about how the brain develops and how that development influences thoughts, feelings and actions. If we asked child development experts what Top Five Factors support healthy brain development, we’re certain they would say 1) necessities of life like food and shelter, 2) love  3) health, and 4) education. What’s number 5? We would say...

Exploring Emotions With Children: How Are You Feeling Today?

Our children have complex feelings and thoughts but often cannot express themselves because they do not have the words to match what they feel inside.  We can help our children learn some of those words by naming them when they are younger and talking about feelings daily or after a specific event has occurred.  This is a good strategy for basic emotions that you can interpret by the expressions and body language of a child (mad, sad, scared, happy).  Here are two ideas to help guide your children to explore their emotions. Use emotion word lines to explore feelingsHere are some emotion word lines to explore with your child - is it important to recognize that one word doesn't always capture the magnitude of a feeling. The more words children have to express their feelings, the more likely they are able to identify, communicate and manage their feelings. Mad -> annoyed -> angry -> furious -> fuming -> enragedSad -> unhappy -> disappointed -> downcast -> miserable Happy -> cheerful -> delighted -> excited -> joyful Scared -> nervous -> afraid -> frightened -> terrified Use storytelling to identify and talk about complex feelingsIt can be a little more difficult to be able to capture adequately how your...