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    Fall Fun edit delete
    Learning language is all around us! Fall is my favorite season of the year. It's a perfect time to get outside and talk about what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch! Describing colors, textures, and feelings help us to expand vocabulary and understand the world around us at a very early age. Talk with your children about what you are doing while you are doing it. You will feel a little silly at first but this opens the world of language up to your child and gets brain connections going! Happy FALL y'all!!! ~Mrs. Nichols, SLP
     
    Speech Fun edit delete
    Be sure to check out speech games, language activities, and better hearing tips on the speech-language school fusion page. Make this the best year yet!
    Speech Practice in Public edit delete
    Show off your hard work by using your great speech skills in public. Practice by asking for items at the grocery store, singing in church, or playing games with friends!
    Read the Questions...FIRST! edit delete
    When taking an assessment of comprehension and/or reading skills, it really helps to read the questions first (if possible). Reading the questions first allows you to get familiar with the content of the reading passage. It also allows you to have a guide as you read the passage- highlight what seems familiar to you from the questions. You'll be amazed how much more comfortable you feel by just reading the questions first!
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    Read, Read, Read!!! edit delete
    Did you know reading is a great way to practice speech and language skills? Get lost in a book, read a magazine, or just read words you see in your environment every day. Target your speech sounds as you read out loud! You can learn descriptive words by reading new vocabulary in context. Make it fun and read items of interest!
     
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    Holiday Talk! edit delete
     
    With the start of "holiday season," remember this is a great time to learn new vocabulary and talk with people you haven't seen regularly. Ask questions, help make new recipes, and taste new and interesting foods you might not have tried before! Use the upcoming events and holidays as a time to build life experiences and share them with others-  compare!
     
    New Words Everywhere edit delete
     
    Try using a new word each day! When you are giving details about a story or event, try adding an extra describing word so your audience can "paint" a picture in their head! Words and language can be fun!
    Welcome Back! edit delete
     
    Starting a new school year can be exciting! Deep breathing exercises and following an agenda can help with anxiety and all the new experiences you will have. Take time to reflect on your goals for the year and enjoy the ride!
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    Explain Your World edit delete
     
    Language is developing at a rapid rate between the ages of 2 and 7! Be sure to challenge your children by encouraging them to explain the world around them.
     
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    Snow Day Speech-Language Fun edit delete
     
    Remember to check my site on snow days! You can play brain games, create silly stories using your target speech sounds, and even have stories read to you!
     
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    PREVENT TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) edit delete
     
    TBI may result in speech, language, hearing, and swallowing issues. More and more research is now going into TBI therapies given the number of soldiers coming back from war with this condition. Although this accounts for a large number of people with TBI, there are other things we can do to prevent this condition in our daily lives. Always wear a seat belt. Helmets need to be REQUIRED to ride 4 wheelers, motorcycles, dirt bikes, and bicycles...or anything that might involve a fall in any way...REQUIRED! Take charge of your own brain health!!! 88% of all head or brain injuries could be avoided if cyclists wore a bicycle helmet. 85% of all accidents occur within 5 blocks of home. 47% of all bicycle accidents occur off-road, in driveways and on sidewalks. More statistics can be found on the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute website (www.helmets.org). It's your BRAIN and you have it your whole LIFE...TAKE CARE OF IT!
     
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    Auditory Processing Disorders edit delete
     
    Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) involve difficulty processing auditory information in the brain. Many of the behaviors of APD may be symptomatic of other conditions such as ADHD and other learning disabilities. Students with APD may have difficulty with: paying attention, remembering oral directions, following multi-step directions, listening skills, reading, spelling, speech-language skills, vocabulary, syllable sequences, comprehension, following conversations, distractibility. A quiet environment, multi-modal teaching approaches (incorporating auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic), and chunking information into smaller bits may help support students with APD (and let's face it, ALL of us!).
     
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    Tips for Stuttering edit delete
     
    *Always respond to your child in the same way - whether they stutter or not.
    *Don't make suggestions on how your child should speak - this can make it more frustrating.
    *Simplify by using shorter sentences and age-appropriate vocabulary.
    *Minimize putting the child "on the spot."
    *Create an environment that is supportive - take turns and NO teasing!
    *Listen for content rather than presentation of content.
    *Allow pauses after you speak to establish a pattern of regular pausing and response times.
    *Reduce your rate of speech to model a slow, easy rate.
     
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    Hearing Loss in Adolescents edit delete
     
    Hearing loss is on the rise in the adolescent population! It now affects nearly 20% of U.S. adolescents ages 12-19. This is a 5% rise over the last 15 years. Many reasons are given for this increase but more research is needed to specify the main contributing factor. One might conclude that the increase is caused by loud volume. Some MP3 players can reach levels as high as 120 dB! Most settings should be set between 1/2 and 2/3 the total volume. You'll hear me say this over and over again...nobody should be able to hear the words to the song you are listening to...Turn it down-don't frown! You'll appreciate it 10 years from now!
     
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    Language Differences vs. Disorders edit delete
     
    Each year bilingual students are misdiagnosed with language disorders when really all they face is a language difference. Proper time in an English language learning environment, with peer interaction, is essential! We want to provide help if needed while allowing students to learn in a language-rich environment. Next time you question disorder vs. difference, try to imagine yourself transported to a different country with no previous experience learning the language or social customs...Eye opening, isn't it?
     
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    Schedules Help Us All! edit delete
    Getting back into the "spirit" of a new school year can be difficult if a regular schedule was not maintained during the summer break. Developing and following a daily schedule may help with organization, homework, and social activities. You'll be amazed how time can fly without one!
     
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    End of Grade Testing edit delete
    Stress and anxiety about testing can lead to sleep pattern issues...which build up into difficulties in the classroom. With End-of-Grade testing now in sight, try to take moments to practice relaxation activities. These might include deep breathing, listening to nature sounds, or even participating in extra stretching/exercises that contribute to deep sleep at night. Develop a schedule to include these activities in your daily life so they become a regular habit! Bottom line---we all need to make relaxation an important part of our lives!!!
     
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    Spring Descriptions edit delete
    Now that spring is in bloom...you can go outside and learn about different flowers. Talk about the different parts of the flower and use describing words to give details to a parent or friend. Remember: COLOR, NUMBER, MOOD, MOVEMENT, TEXTURE, SOUND, and PERSPECTIVE are all areas you can use to expand on your descriptions of  flowers and plant life. Enjoy the outdoors and improve your language skills at the same time!
     
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    Snow Day Plans edit delete
    Remember...snow days can be a super time to practice reading with your parents, brothers, sisters, or friends! You can be creative...read cereal boxes, magazines, or books of all kinds. You can even make up silly stories by picking out a few favorite words (from what you read), creating a list, and trying to make silly sentences with the words you have on your list! Great exercise for your brain!!!
     
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    Hydration edit delete
    Winter months and dry air in our houses can cause dry throats. Sometimes we can even lose our voices or have scratchy throats (even when we're not sick)! Water and non-caffeinated fluids are essential ways to keep our voice boxes moist and happy!!!
     
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    Vocal Abuse edit delete
    Remember, during cold/flu/allergy season, our voices may get more hoarse than usual. Take care of the voice you have by drinking plenty of water, not using tobacco or caffeine products, and speaking in an "inside level" voice (that means NO screaming)! We have to take care of our voices like we take care of our bodies. Remember to rest your voice!
     
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    Wear hearing protection! edit delete
    Make sure you wear hearing protection when participating in activities that produce loud noises! Also, turn down your ipod/walkman/listening device so that someone standing one arm-length away from you cannot hear your music!!! Save your hearing now...you'll need it when you're older!
     
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    Brush your teeth! edit delete
    Remember- "teeth time" can also be "speech time!" Practice your target sound 5 times in different words each time you brush your teeth. Seeing your mouth in the mirror helps with your sound placement. Great dental heath and speech practice all in one!!!
     
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    Welcome to Speech! edit delete
    Welcome to my speech-language page. I look forward to sharing strategies for home use and answering any speech-language questions you might have!