The 5 Most Successful Tips For Improving ADHD Vocabulary Development

The 5 Most Successful Tips For Improving ADHD Vocabulary Development

Approximately five percent of children in the United States have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (also known as ADHD).

That might not seem like a lot, but it still works out to more than six million children. More children are being diagnosed with ADHD every year, too.

Are you a parent to a child with ADHD? If so, then you know how challenging it can be to help them develop their vocabulary and perform well in school.

If you want your child to be successful, ADHD vocabulary development ought to be a top priority. Read on for some tips that will help your child to improve their vocabulary.

ADHD and Communication

It’s common for children with ADHD to have trouble communicating. They may struggle with articulation disorders. This is a speech issue that makes it hard for them to produce certain letter sounds.

These children might also have difficulty with speech fluency and vocal quality. It might affect their ability to produce the right words in conversation.

For example, children with ADHD might produce vocal repetitions and stammer more often than other children. They may use filler words like “um” more often than usual as well.

These communication and vocalization issues can lead to frustration and impatience in children with ADHD. They may be hesitant to work on their speech and communication skills because they’re upset or embarrassed.

Tips for Improving Vocabulary Development

If your child has ADHD and is struggling to develop their vocabulary and keep up at school, there are lots of things you can do. The following five tips are great first-steps you can take to help them:

1. Read to and with Them

One of the best things you can do to help your child improve their vocabulary is to read to them and read with them on a regular basis.

Even if your child is able to read on their own, spending time doing it with them provides you with a bonding opportunity and allows you to see how they’re doing.

Listening to your child read allows you to learn more about what words they know and don’t know. You can point out new words and define them for them so they can work on building their vocabulary.

There’s value in having your child listen to you read, too. They can follow along and work on their comprehension skills. It also provides them with an opportunity to learn how to pronounce words that might be problematic for them.

2. Show Interest

It helps to show an interest in what your child is reading and watching, too.

If your child is able to converse with you about the things that they enjoy, they’ll get better and holding conversations and speaking in a way that other people can understand.

Remember that kids are often a lot more willing to engage in vocabulary practice when it involves things they actually like, too.

3. Define New Words

When you come across a word your child doesn’t know, be sure to define it for them and teach them the correct way to pronounce it. Encourage them to get comfortable using new words themselves, too.

It also helps to teach your child how to look up words they don’t know in the dictionary. That way, if they come across a new word while they’re reading or watching a movie, they’ll be able to define it themselves without your help.

Having the skills to look up new words also boosts their confidence and will help them to feel better about using those words in conversation.

4. Translate Figures of Speech

Children with ADHD sometimes have trouble understanding figures of speech. They might take phrases like “grab the bull by the horns” a little too literally.

To avoid this confusion, talk to your child about what different figures of speech mean and help them understand when to use them.

5. Work with a Speech Therapist

Finally, don’t be afraid to hire a speech therapist to work with your child one on one. As a busy parent, there’s only so much you can do on your own.

Having them work with a speech therapist will help them to make progress and expand their vocabulary at a much faster rate than if you were practicing with them by yourself.

Speech therapists also have access to many more tools and are aware of the best techniques to use to help your child build a bigger vocabulary and improve their reading and speaking skills.

Tips for Finding the Right Speech Therapist

There’s a lot you can do on your own to help your child build their vocabulary. Sometimes, though, you need to bring in a professional.

If you want to hire a speech therapist to work with your child, these tips can help you make sure you’re working with the right one:

  • Ask about their specialty and the types of children they typically work with
  • Ask about their experience and how long they’ve been practicing
  • Find out about their educational background and the continuing education courses they’ve taken

It also helps to arrange a consultation with them and your child. During the consultation, pay attention to how they interact with them.

Do they use a positive, encouraging tone? Do they speak to your child in a respectful manner? Does your child seem to like them?

Let the answers to these questions guide the decision-making process for you.

Experience Effective, Successful ADHD Vocabulary Development Today

Helping a child with ADHD to develop their vocabulary can certainly be a challenge. It’s not impossible, though.

If you keep these tips in mind and find the right speech therapist to work with your child, you’ll find that they can make great strides toward improving their vocabulary.

Do you want your child to experience effective, successful ADHD vocabulary development? Do you want them to work on their vocabulary from the comfort of your home? If so, we’re here to help at Great Speech.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a free consultation with one of our speech therapists.

Top 5 Qualities To Look For In A Speech Therapist

Back On Speaking Terms: Top 5 Qualities To Look For In A Speech Therapist

Speech therapy is the savior in more circumstances than many people are aware of. A speech therapist helps those ranging from sufferers of a traumatic brain injury to ADHD students, to those with Alzheimer’s, and much more in-between. When you or a loved one is falling behind in school or not able to communicate the way they’d like to, it’s a difficult time for everyone.

Knowing that there is someone to help you is relieving, but how do you know if a speech therapist is the right fit for you or your loved one? Because their job is such an important one, you want someone who exceeds your expectations. Listed below are the top 5 qualities to look for when selecting a speech therapist.

Your speech therapist should:

1. Use Multiple Motivators During Sessions

It’s your speech therapist’s job to find ways to engage you or your loved one in the session by using multiple motivators during the sessions. The best way to help your therapist find good motivators is to let them know yours or your loved one’s favorite colors, activities, hobbies, and other favorites. Also, don’t worry if you notice the therapist using the same tools more than once.

There are several ways that a therapist can use one tool for different activities. As long as you see that the therapist is using multiple motivators to work towards goals and activities, then you know they’re doing their job.

2. Be Updated on Current Therapy Techniques

Your speech therapist should always be updated on current therapy techniques. To do so, speech therapists should attend conferences with other professionals and continue their education by taking classes and attending training sessions. They use the most updated resources to keep their skills and knowledge current.

Your therapist should also be willing to learn from his or her mistakes. Learning is something that happens to us every day. There is also something new to learn and with new clients, come new learning experiences.

This is why it’s okay if you see your therapist make a mistake, as long as he or she learns from the mistake and grows from it. Failures can be the best learning experiences and if one technique doesn’t work well, your therapist should take the knowledge gathered from this a find a way to turn it into success.

3. Use Great Listening Skills

Although you want a therapist who can come to you with a wide variety of knowledge on techniques, goals, and skills, it’s also important that he or she comes to you with great listening skills. Your therapist should know when to explain what he or she needs to do and what their patient needs to do, and they should know when to listen to the patient.

A therapist that takes the time to listen to his or her patient ensures the best teamwork. Your ideal therapist should be a team player. This means that he or she should collaborate with you, other therapist, parents, doctors, and other professionals or loved ones involved.

4. Be Persistent Each and Every Day

When other doctors, professionals, or loved ones doubt your success, your speech therapist should be there to persistently motivate you. Speech therapists work with their patients every day to ensure that they are doing everything that they can to reach the set goals. It’s important that your speech therapist remains motivated.

Your therapist should have the ability to learn what motivates you and then use that to empower you through your sessions each and every day. Speech therapists have no easy task, so it’s vital that yours knows how to stick it out through the most difficult of times.

5. Be Both Adaptable and Innovative

Speech-language pathology is a very vast field and with so many different diagnoses, therapies, speech devices, and more, it’s vital that your speech therapist is ready to be adaptable. And a speech therapist might work in a home setting one year, but the next work in a research center. So, it’s essential that your therapist is able to adapt to different patients, surroundings, and cases.

This is also true when he or she attends training sessions or when he or she is continuing his or her education. Speech therapists cannot become set on specific therapies or techniques. They must be able to accept any advances in the field.

They must also be innovative. They should utilize technology when needed and take what they learn from each session or patient and develop new ways and better ways to execute a therapy depending on the individual. Some techniques might work well with one patient, but not with another.

You are an individual and what works best for you might not be what works best for all of the other patients that your therapist has. Understand this, and be sure that your therapist understands it as well.

Have You Found Your Ideal Speech Therapist?

If you’re on the hunt for your ideal speech therapist, then look no further. Here at Great Speech Inc., we work with you through the convenience of online sessions. Using web-based video technology, our expert speech therapists are able to connect with people from all over the world and provide them with the same benefits as they would receive in a face-to-face session.

Our speech therapists will engage in activities with you online and then set up materials and additional resources for you to practice reaching your goals at home without them. For your ideal speech therapist, contact us today and request a free consultation.

Why Online Speech Therapy Is as Effective as In-Person Therapy

Why Online Speech Therapy Is as Effective as In-Person Therapy

Speech therapy is an important part of the lives of many children and adults who are struggling with their speech. In fact, 40 million Americans are suffering from communication disorders. About five percent of kids have developed noticeable speech problems by first grade.

Working with a certified Speech Pathologist is the most recommended route to help overcome these problems. One-on-one therapy sessions can work wonders to improve various communication problems, including accent modification, aphasia, autism, and stuttering.

In-person therapy has long been the way specialists have worked with their clients. Today, it’s no longer the only option.

With the rise in technological advancements, we’ve also seen a rise in the ability to conduct therapy sessions online.

Keep reading to learn seven reasons why online speech therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy.

You’re Still Working with a Licensed and Certified Speech Pathologist

You might fear that the Speech Pathologist is not as qualified as the one available for an in-person therapy session. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When taking an online therapy session with a reputable company, you will be working with a qualified and certified Speech Pathologist.

You can even hire various specialists who can help you with specific conditions or problems.

You’re Not Limited by Your Location

If you’re living in a rural area, you might not have easy access to a Speech Pathologist. Getting to and from appointments can be difficult or involve lengthy drives. This inconvenience may even make you miss appointments due to bad weather or busy schedules.

Taking therapy sessions online removes this problem entirely. You’ll be able to gain access to a whole network of Speech Pathologists at your fingertips.

A specialist might be even harder to find in your local community. By signing up for your therapy sessions online, you’ll be able to easier locate the expert you need.

Mobility Issues Aren’t a Problem

Getting to and from your therapist’s office can pose a significant challenge on its own if you struggle with mobility problems from aphasia or a stroke.

Going to an in-person therapy session might mean depending on others for rides and hoping that you are feeling physically strong enough to leave the house.

What happens if you can’t find a ride or you’re feeling physically exhausted? Do you miss your therapy session?

This is another problem that is resolved with online speech therapy sessions. Therapy can commence in the comfort of your own home, so you won’t have to worry about these problems as long as you have a PC and stable internet connection.

It’s More Convenient

We understand that many people are living busy and hectic lives. Between work or school and other daily tasks, finding the time to go to an in-person therapy session can be difficult.

This is made even harder by the fact that most in-person therapy sessions are only available during normal business hours.

However, online therapy sessions offer greater flexibility, so you can more sign up for sessions around your schedule.

It’s More Comfortable

If you feel a little embarrassed or shy when going to therapy, you’re not alone. Many people get nervous or embarrassed at the thought of talking to someone face-to-face, calling the office to make an appointment, or speaking to someone at the front desk.

While we assure you that there’s no reason to be embarrassed, you might benefit from online therapy sessions.

They can help relieve any worries that you may have because the booking can be made online. Taking sessions from a comfortable environment may also help put you more at ease.

This, in turn, impacts how effective the session is. The more comfortable and confident you feel, the better your session will go.

Access to Online Support Groups

Support groups can play a big role in how your communication improves. Having a social network of peers facing similar struggles as you will boost your motivation and help you make new friends.

If there is no such support group in your local community, then you’ll be able to find one online. Online support groups will help you in the same way in-person support groups do – by providing reassurance, encouragement, and comfort.

It’s Easier for Parents to Get Involved

For kids with speech disorders, parental involvement can be a huge asset. But children who are attending speech therapy sessions in school or directly after school might not see as much parental involvement.

We understand how difficult this can be. Maybe you have to work, prepare dinner, or run errands.

Compared to traditional methods, online speech therapy is more convenient for both you and your children. You will be more likely to stay for the session where you can really get a grasp on what is being done.

Once the sessions end, you will then know what you can do to help reinforce these therapy techniques into the rest of your child’s day.

Being involved in your child’s speech therapy session can do more than help them. It can also help you cope with learning that your child is suffering from a speech disorder.

Why Online Speech Therapy Works So Well

In-person speech therapy may have dominated the field since the beginning. However, online speech therapy is quickly gaining popularity worldwide.

It has proven itself to be just as effective as in-person therapy. Both offer certified Speech Pathologists and various specialists as well as support groups.

Online therapy has the added bonus of being more convenient, increasing parental involvement. Plus, it gives patients access to more Speech Pathologists and specialists in rural areas. It’s also easier on those who are struggling with mobility problems.

Do you want more information? Please, visit our website to learn more. We are here to help.

Great Speech WPTV

Three Tips for Buying Holiday Toys: When More is NOT Merrier

As we gobble down the last bite of our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, it officially becomes gift buying season.

And toys are always on everyone’s gift list.

As the mom of four boys, ages 2-16, I firmly believe that when it comes to toys, more is not merrier.

And in my role as speech pathologist and founder of Great Speech, here is my holiday motto:  Let’s move away from the techy toys, stop hunting for the coolest and newest playthings and instead focus on gifts which promote creativity, appropriate social skills and self-expression, skills which last a lifetime

And it is easier than you think.

This refocusing is particularly important for children with speech and language issues where a toy can become a resource, increasing their chances for success. The right toy can teach a child essential social skills such as patience, the importance of waiting for your turn and how to be a successful teammate as well as vocabulary, reading and memory skills.

And with so many games now available in Spanish and other languages, the playing field is leveled for everyone.

Here are some of my updated 2017 favorites which I recently shared on WPTV:

  • Traditional toys like blocks, dolls, cars and trains may look old fashioned by are excellent communication skill builders. Because they do not speak, you have too! And the more you talk, sing or show your creative side, the greater the chances your kids will too.
  • Board and card games are the ultimate social engager. In addition to building a culture of family fun, board games are timeless.
  • My favorites include Twister, a golden oldie which is great for teaching direction as well as body and spatial awareness, Apples to Apples, the ultimate game to teach vocabulary and word usage and Zingo, a fast-paced variation of bingo, which improves vocabulary and reading skills, matching, and memory.
  • Hedbandz is also a winning and engaging way to master critical thinking. Anomia is my new favorite for word retrieval and increasing processing speed and  Pandemic, a group strategy game which exposes children to the world of science and medicine.
  • Otrio is a fun one for math and pattern building and Consensusis an interactive family game which builds vocabulary, particularly nouns and adjectives.
  • Puzzles provide a superb opportunity to promote spatial intelligence as well as problem solving skills. The best part is your child can play solo or you can make it interactive by adding other players.

I also love toys which break gender and racial stereotypes and promote positive messaging. A favorite of mine is the Doc McStuffins games and toy series which incorporates pretend play skills essential for language development, with a black female doll playing the role of a vet, doctor and more.

And if you do break down and are lucky enough to find this year’s blockbuster must-have toy, Fingerlings, which reminds me of last year’s Hatchimals, don’t sweat it. In addition to increasing your child’s coolness factor, Fingerlings reinforces nurturing skills and the importance of delayed gratification

Can you receive too many toys?

An overabundance of gifts presents lots of unique opportunities. There is the option of donating or you can categorize and rotate them. Older children can be involved in the process, a perfect opportunity to teach the art of making choices, sequencing and delayed gratification.

Too many toys at one time can be overstimulating. Rolling toys out one by one or rotating toys allows for repetition, an effective strategy for children with speech and language issues. It also changes the perception of a toy from being “old” to “new” every time you bring it out.

And perception is reality.

Share your toy finds! What treasures have you found in your closet and what new toys have you deemed “skill-worthy?”




Benefits of online speech therapy

Is Telespeech Fairly Priced and Cost Effective?

A mom recently posted in a Facebook group that she was looking for fair-priced speech therapy for her child.

With the proliferation of discount stores, rebates, coupons and senior discounts, we have become very savvy consumers. We want the best price without sacrificing the quality of services.

A good “quality” licensed speech therapist, whether they practice in a traditional setting or online, has completed college, graduate school as well as a Clinical Fellowship year.

And if they are really dedicated and professional, they are enrolling in continuing education courses to keep current.

It’s an expensive and time consuming process for the therapist which factors into the price of therapy.

Here are three other top considerations in determining a “fair price:”

Convenience: We often forget to factor in the cost of convenience in our purchases. Driving time to and from the speech therapist adds additional time to the actual appointment. Your time is worth money. With online speech therapy, there is no traffic, travel or waiting. The appointment is scheduled based on mutual convenience with the time allotted for a session limited to the interaction between the therapist and client.

Consistency: What is the price for consistency? Take Amazon for example. You know if you use Prime, you are guaranteed to have your package when you need it. With traditional speech therapy, there are often legitimate cancellations due to weather, traffic, illness and relocation. With TeleSpeech, those disruptions are minimized. The result is greater progress over a shorter period of time, another cost saving benefit.

Cost-Effective: Saving time translates into saving money. But you can also save money by using your FSA or Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for services using pretax dollars. Online speech therapy is considered a legitimate expense. If you choose to pay by credit card, the sessions can help you accrue points which convert to dollars, airline miles or gift cards, depending on the card you use.

Then there are the added perks to receiving services online. Working from a computer is engaging and interactive, even for adults. The process is super easy and very flexible with proven results. And we provide access to therapists where none may be available.

Add up the advantages, subtract the disadvantages, multiply the results and divide the costs over time.

Do the math and then ask yourself, “Can we really put a price on Gr8 communication?”



hurricane winds

Gr8 Lessons Learned from Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma had a powerful impact.

Thankfully South Florida was not hit with a Category Five storm as expected.

And we are grateful. Not just for the unexpected detour but also for the valuable lessons learned about caring, comfort and TeleSpeech.

Let’s start with caring.

Caring and compassion were rampant before, during and after the hurricane. People shared their sources of water and which gas stations had gas on Facebook and in What’s App groups. Lines were long at supermarkets but people were kind and willing to help each other out. Once the power went out, neighbors opened their homes to family and friends. Defrosted foods were shared on the block. After the hurricane, strangers stopped as they were driving and picked up fallen branches from the streets.

As for comfort, I never realized the power (no pun intended) of electricity. Turning on a light, having an air conditioned home, taking a hot shower and opening the refrigerator at whim are comforts we take for granted. It’s a shame that losing power for a short period of time was responsible for putting our lives in perspective.

We are so lucky, in more ways than we realize. Our homes are basically intact. We lost electricity, internet, phone and tree limbs but our power is back and trees are replaceable. Family and friends are safe and our routine is returning back to normal.

Normalcy and routine is the segue to the hidden advantages of Great Speech I often forget to share.

When I started Great Speech, I was well aware of the many benefits. As both a therapist and a mom, I have experienced the inconvenience of traffic jams, weather-related delays and therapy session cancellations as well as the disruption of services caused when you relocate or your therapist changes jobs or moves away.

But Hurricane Irma gave me additional insight and it came from the parents.

Hurricane Irma

The time period before the hurricane, during and the aftermath are times of uncertainty. Adults cope by busying themselves with the tasks at hand. But for kids, the disruption in the routine can be anxiety-provoking and keeping life as normal as possible is the best solsution.

Great Speech  therapists kept to their schedules.

Whether Florida families fled to Orlando, Atlanta or NYC to escape the storm, our clients were still able to receive services. And parents, who were away from their jobs, were able to participate, a lucky bonus not usually available.

Kudos to the speech therapists who incorporated hurricane-related themes into the sessions. Whether it was weather-related vocabulary or reading comprehension tasks the lessons were relevant and interactive.

And relevancy and interaction are key components of any speech therapy programs.

Any positive Irma stories out there to share?







Top Three Reasons to Bring Online Speech Therapy into Your School

Kids who qualify for speech therapy are entitled to receive FREE services through the public school.

It’s the law. Federal Law.

The problem is our country is experiencing a shortage of Speech and Language therapists.

We may not feel the impact in large metropolitan areas. But in rural areas or states where there are no speech and language graduate programs, the lack of qualified speech therapists is a major obstacle.

The solution?

Online speech therapy companies like Great Speech, are helping schools fulfill the mandate in a cost efficient, effective manner.

Why bring Great Speech into your school?

Flexible: Our licensed therapists can support both small and large caseloads. It is not cost effective for a school with a minimum number of students requiring services to hire a therapist. And therapists do not find it worthwhile to work in a school with small caseloads.

With Great Speech, size does not matter. We can service both large and small caseloads.

Efficient: Our TeleSpeech model is cost efficient and effective, saving time and money. Often we can pull five students out at one time and have them each work with their own therapist. In addition, we take the hiring burden off of the administration, a time consuming and often frustrating task by providing the right therapist for each child.

Interactive: Students respond to the innovative model while receiving quality services. All that is generally needed is a quiet space, a computer with good internet connection and an e-helper which can be a teacher, aide or volunteer to walk the student to the work area and supervise the logging in and logging out process.

And our services are not limited to traditional brick and mortar schools.

Medical needs, commuting issues, and social reasons like bullying, are just some of the reasons children are enrolling in the virtual school system.  And the schools are reaching out to online speech therapy services, like Great Speech, to fulfill the federal mandate. It’s an ideal model for students who are already proficient online learners.

We also work with social home school programs, where the children are under the home school umbrella but congregate regularly for social purposes and to share resources like online speech therapy.

Currently we are servicing schools in Florida Texas, Kansas and Tennessee. And the roster of schools are growing. Our students range from kindergarten students to seniors in high school and have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Autism, Bell’s Palsy and Cerebral Palsy. They have reading, math or language disorders.  Our therapists specialize in stuttering, auditory processing, executive functioning, articulation and more.

And the feedback?

“We have used Great Speech to provide speech services for select students within our interlocal for the past three years. The company has been extremely easy to work with. They are responsive to our requests…The greatest positive has been in the services provided. We have felt like we are providing quality speech services to our students with a delivery model that works.”

Miles Harvey, Assistant Director

Butler County Special Education



How can we be of service to you?

summer fun

Three Tips to Promote Speech and Language Therapy over the Summer

Ask my children to name the two most anticipated words of the school year and they will unanimously say: Summer vacation

And the two most dreaded words: Summer Reading

The end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation is a juxtaposition of extremes.   There is no transition from the rigorous routine of early morning wake up times, breakfast and carpools and after school activities, homework and bedtime to our summer break.

With the first day of vacation, those time sensitive pressures suddenly end. There are still carpools for day camp and a semblance of a routine. But with the extra hours of sunlight and lack of test schedules, the pressure is off.

Except for summer reading.

My children bemoan the dreaded summer reading list. As an experienced speech therapist, I understand the value.

Reading over the summer is incredibly important for students and their academic achievement.

The research is clear that children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect.

The same is true for speech therapy.

Think about it. You diligently schedule speech therapy appointments during the school year and the momentum and consistency are huge factors in maximizing progress. And then summer vacation comes, and our school year routine comes to a halt.

But your child’s need for language development does not end with the school year. Working on children’s speech and language progress is a year-round priority. At a minimum, the goal of summer should be to maintain skills. Optimally, our children should start the new school year ahead of where they left off.

The beauty of TeleSpeech is the flexibility of time and place. If you go on vacation, you can take us with you, as long as you have Wi-Fi and a computer. The same is true if your child goes to sleep away camp. With a quick switch of the schedule and permission to use their laptop, the therapy sessions can continue: Different time, different place but same therapist and routine.

Here are three tips to help you build speech and language practice into summer activities:

Make it Fun: Online speech and language therapy is inherently cool with a built in technology factor. Our therapists are trained to kick-it up a notch, adding a summer coolness factor while cranking up the heat on skills,

Keep it Simple: Simplicity is important no matter what the season, but it takes on a new meaning during vacation or travel periods. Remember, the most powerful things in life – and in therapy – often are the simplest. If you are traveling, or trying to incorporate summer therapy sessions around camp schedules, let simplicity be the guide. The less complicated the logistics, the greater the chance for success.

Offer Incentives: Schools and libraries offer rewards for summer reading. Positive reinforcement helps promotes success. Every family has their own reward system. You know what works best for each of your children!

Spring, summer, fall or winter, our Great Speech therapists are available year-round to ensure consistency. Contact us today for more information.




Is this normal

Is This Normal? The Top Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about Speech Therapy

It’s an interesting phenomenon.

The calls for online speech therapy services originate from all over the world. And yet the content of the questions is surprisingly similar.

Here are the top five questions the Great Speech team answers on a regular basis:

At what age should my child speak and how will I know whether they need speech therapy or not?

Speech and language development is a process and begins with cooing and  babbling before progressing to vocalizing sounds, then words, phrases and sentences.

It is important to share with your pediatrician if your baby is making no attempt to vocalize. Equally important signs include avoiding eye contact, not smiling, laughing or engaging socially with others. These are important milestones and early intervention is crucial to prevent potential developmental delays.

The babysitter speaks to my child in Spanish. My mother speaks to her in Russian and my husband and I speak to her in English.  Can exposure to so many languages contribute to a language delay in my child?

Some professionals believe that exposure to a multitude of languages at an early age is enviable. But it may not work for every child. Language acquisition is highly individualized. Many babies find it difficult to learn and process multiple languages at the same time. It is important for you to monitor your child. If they are not developing language milestones, then a conversation with your pediatrician and a referral to a speech therapist is essential. The therapist can assess the situation and make recommendations which best match the needs of your child and the structure of your household.

My older daughter spoke in full sentences at age two but my son is still babbling. Is this normal?

Is this normal? is probably the most frequently asked question in my practice. Normal is so very individualized. Some kids walk early and some talk early. As parents, we have a tendency to compare our children, one to another. Instead, stay focused on the progression of your son’s verbal skills. Increase your conversation with him, sing to him and give him tons of reinforcement. If you are concerned about his language development, initiate a conversation with your pediatrician but avoid the comparison with your daughter. Each child should be assessed on his or her own merit.

What is the right age for speech therapy? When it too early and when is it too late?

There is no right age for speech therapy since speech therapy focuses on so many different skills: speech, language, social and organizational. Sound acquisition has a developmental hierarchy. When a speech therapist assess a child, we are assessing based on age-related milestone. There are sounds that develop early like pa and ba. And there are sounds that develop later like the R sound. Early intervention is crucial but the exact age for early intervention differs based on the sound or skill you are trying to correct. If a baby is not babbling, smiling or making eye contact, early intervention could start as early as a few months of age. For a lisp, trouble with the R sound and stuttering, the age for intervention is at a later age and is highly dependent on your child’s motivation, desire to make the change, ability to follow directions and hear the differences as well as motor control and coordination.

Speech therapy on a computer?  How could TeleSpeech possible be effective?

TeleSpeech is not only effective for the treatment of many speech-related issues, it is extremely efficient. By eliminating travel time or weather-related disruption, you can maximize results. TeleSpeech also makes speech therapy accessible to everyone, no matter where they (both the client and the therapist) live.

With online speech therapy, you have access to the services of a licensed therapist in the privacy of your home or business at a mutually convenient time. And it is fun and interactive.

Convinced? Click HERE and watch us in action.





digital diet blog

Can the Digital Diet Solve Our Communication Crisis? Three Tips to Promote Family Conversation

digital diet blog

April showers bring May flowers as well as the celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month.

As a speech therapist and founder of Great Speech, I welcome the flowers as well as the opportunity to promote the connection between hearing and speech and the strides we have taken to improve communication.

But wait!

A recent study published by The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has some major concerns about our communication skills being hampered by technology.

Remember how we used to chat at the dinner table and enjoyed fun activities in the car? The access to technology has changed our behavior. We are now “plugged in and checked out.” The study points out that family members are texting each other while they are all home. Fifty percent check their phones at dinner and 67 percent are on their device during family leisure time. Equally as disturbing, 55 percent of teens state there are no rules limiting tech usage, which can be up to five hours a day.

Why all the fuss about our lack of chatting? Having conversations plays an important role in developing language, social and listening skills. In addition, to hampering our language development, phone addictions can damage your hearing.

The remedy: The Digital Diet. The rules? I think moderation is the key. Find a system that is palatable to your family and enforceable. Research shows that parents, particularly millennial parents, when informed of the risks, are willing to change their habits.

The best way to create “the diet?”

  1. Have a family conversation.
  1. Use visuals for younger children and teach the concept of “earning tech time.”
  1. With older kids, the family roundtable promotes mature conversations and helps develop executive functions skills- organization skills, prioritizing, and setting self-limits, important skills necessary to function as successful adults

Technology can be used to improve our lives. We can now explore resources, jump on new learning initiatives and my personal favorite, provide therapeutic intervention through telemedicine.

Think about the limited medical access people have who live in remote areas or those who are homebound because of weather or physical conditions. In my profession, speech therapy can now be easily integrated into our daily routine without the hassle and inconvenience of traveling. Technology also provides access to highly specialized and qualified therapists by removing geographical barriers.

There can be a happy balance.

Embracing the Digital Diet on an individualized level can help bring old fashioned conversation back to the dinner table. And new technology will continue to remove geographical barriers and allow us to access new places, foods and people and flowers.

Who is ready to implement the Digital Diet?