Category: Children

Stuttering, a common speech disorder often seen in children, can manifest in a variety of forms. Repeated words, elongated sounds, or hesitation between words are common indications. It can affect the child’s self-esteem, confidence, and even social interactions.

But worry not! With targeted therapy and structured exercises, it’s possible to manage and improve this condition. This post aims to provide you with an arsenal of techniques and exercises that can assist your child in overcoming stuttering.

Understanding Stuttering in Children

Before we dive into the strategies, let’s develop a broader understanding of stuttering. Stuttering typically begins between the ages of two and six years, and is more common in boys than in girls. It’s often characterised by involuntary repetitions of sounds, syllables, or words, prolongation of sounds, or pauses within words.

This speech disorder can stem from genetic factors, neurological abnormalities, or develop as part of the child’s overall language development. While it can be a source of frustration, it’s essential to remember that it does not reflect on the child’s intelligence or capabilities.

Therapy and Intervention Techniques

  1. Slow and Relaxed Speech: One of the primary techniques used by therapists is modelling slow and relaxed speech. Parents and caregivers can also use this strategy at home. When speaking with your child, slow down your rate of speech, and pause frequently. This technique helps in reducing the speed of the child’s speech, thereby decreasing stuttering.
  2. Breathing Exercises: Breathing exercises can help control stuttering by improving breath support during speech. Deep belly breathing, balloon blowing, and pretending to blow out candles on a cake are some fun exercises that children can enjoy while learning to control their breath.
  3. Fluency Shaping Therapy: This therapy involves teaching the child to control their speech rate, smooth out their speech, and manage their breathing. Trained therapists often use this technique, but parents can support it at home with exercises like reading books slowly together or using a metronome to pace speech.
  4. Positive Reinforcement: Reward your child for their efforts. Whether it’s a sticker, a small treat, or simply a word of praise, positive reinforcement can go a long way in boosting the child’s confidence and motivation.

Exercises to Practice at Home

In addition to professional therapy, practising exercises at home can significantly aid a child’s progress.

  1. Reading Aloud: Reading books aloud together is a great exercise to practice fluent speech. Choose a comfortable and quiet spot, pick a favourite book, and take turns reading paragraphs or pages.
  2. Storytelling: Encourage your child to retell a favourite story or narrate their day. This activity gives them a chance to practice speaking in an unpressurised environment.
  3. Choral Reading: In this activity, you and your child read aloud together. It helps the child feel supported and offers them a rhythm to follow, reducing the chance of stuttering.
  4. Fluency Cards: Create a deck of cards with common words and phrases. Ask your child to pick a card and say the word or phrase on it. This game makes practice fun and engaging.

Remember, patience and consistency are crucial in managing and improving stuttering – never rush the process. It might be beneficial to explore the variety of stuttering therapy resources available to assist your child’s journey towards fluent speech.

With the right support and resources, children who stutter can learn to communicate effectively, boosting their confidence and enriching their experiences. Help your child find their voice, and remember, the journey might be challenging, but the outcome is incredibly rewarding.

Read Full Article

Daniel Walter Hill offers tip for visiting national parks with children based on his experiences as a child and parent.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, March 28, 2022 – Daniel Hill’s childhood vacations frequently saw his family visiting a national park on the east coast of the United States. As an adult, he continued the tradition and his travels expanded to the west coast. Now that he is parent, Hill is fostering a love of nature in his children with park visits of their own.

He reports traveling to national parks with children is a wonderful experience, and it can be made even more enjoyable with a bit of preplanning.

Daniel Hill discusses researching parks

Many national parks feature a variety of activities and areas designed to make visits more engaging for children of various ages. Some even have special trails or guided activities designed for families, while others offer special story hours and programming for children. Use to search parks for children’s programs or even choose the next destination based on its options.

Make trips interactive

The National Parks Service maintains a Junior Ranger program with web integration and printable booklets featuring fun activities for children to incorporate on a park visit. Successfully completing either independently or as a family team provides the opportunity to earn badges and patches to take home as a memento. For visitors charting a path across the country, Daniel Walter Hill says this is a great way to forge connections with each location.

Create a flexible time budget

Planning ahead is great, but Daniel Hill reports the only thing you can count on when traveling with kids is that you can’t count on anything. Temporary sickness, a bad day of crankiness and more can be accommodated with a flexible schedule designed to feature more low-key moments. Opt for a guided tour on a less tense day toward the start of the trip and save days for unwinding with gentle hikes and lots of unstructured play.

Recognize enjoyment differs for everyone

For many adults, there is often an end goal or destination associated with a hike, climb or excursion. Daniel Walter Hill says it’s important for parents to remember to stop and smell the roses and acknowledge that the journey is often as interesting to children as the ending. Be patient about stopping to look at squirrels, explore random stones, and, occasionally, soothe tension or fears. Letting children experience nature in their own way is the best way to cultivate a lifelong appreciation. As kids grow, their interests evolve, and so will future family adventures.

Incorporate other activities

Helping children cultivate other hobbies is a great way to increase their enjoyment of the outdoors. For Daniel Hill, an existing passion for photography joined with his family’s love of outdoor travels to create an enthusiasm for wildlife photography. Sketching, journaling, photography, videography, recording sounds, bird watching, hiking, bicycling and more are all opportunities to mesh park visits with hobbies to create a more dynamic and memorable vacation for children and adults. For younger kids, less ambitious options like coloring and exploring related storybooks can serve as a bridge as interests develop.

Read Full Article

We all want the best for our children. That’s why finding a childcare provider who is qualified and knowledgeable is so important. Cognia accreditation can help you identify a program that has been examined by professional standards. These measures ensure that children in Cognia-accredited programs will be safe, well cared for, and happy.

What Is Cognia Accreditation?

Cognia, formerly known as AdvancED, was formed from the joining of two accrediting organizations:  Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. These organizations review each program, such as daycare support Cypress TX and charter schools, and provide feedback and recommendations to improve quality. Once a program has applied and met the level of standards, they can gain accreditation and continued support to improve their standards from Cognia.

How Can It Benefit Your Child? 

Cognia has developed methods to evaluate childcare providers for meeting child development and educational standards. Providers who meet these standards can achieve nationally recognized accreditation through the organization. Accredited childcare providers undergo a rigorous assessment to ensure quality. This includes assessing child development outcomes, staff qualifications, family involvement, administration, and more. However, the process does not stop with accreditation, but Cognia helps providers exceed the standards while they are accredited, not only to be re-accredited, but so the provider can continue to provide a higher level of education for the children in their care.

With a Cognia-accredited childcare center, your children will be well cared for in an environment that is safe and stimulating. Their accredited providers can help prepare your child for school. Cognia has set out to improve childcare quality by focusing on professional development, family engagement, and a strong connection with community partners.

Read Full Article