Speech & Language

January 2023- Speech News 🥶

This month in Speech and Language, we’re talking about the season of winter and the vocabulary that goes along with it. Our sessions will focus on practicing articulation and language skills in the context of winter-themed activities. The start of the new year is always a great opportunity to come back to school refreshed from a break and ready to continue working on our communication objectives. Be sure to continue watching for any home practice that might be sent home to solidify your student’s progress we’ve seen in speech, and as always, please contact me with any questions!

Speech News- December 2022 🎄

December already?! This fall season has blown by and we are well into the holiday season – lending itself to even more opportunities for seasonal and themed vocabulary building during our speech and language sessions. Since students will be spending some time out of school this month, I thought I would take the time to share some tips and ideas for targeting your student’s speech and language skills while at home. More information on these strategies can be found on the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association’s website: www.asha.org.

In Early Grades K–2

  • Talk with your child frequently throughout the day.
  • Read different types of books. Read every day, and talk with your child about the story.
  • Help your child learn sound patterns of words. You can play rhyming games and point out letters as you read.
  • Have your child retell stories and talk about his day.
  • Talk with your child about what you do during the day. Give her directions to follow.
  • Talk about how things are the same and different.
  • Give your child chances to write.

In Later Grades 3-5

  • Keep your child reading. Find books and magazines that interest your child.
  • Ask your child what he thinks about what he hears or reads. Connect what he reads to events in his life.
  • Help your child connect what she reads and hears at school, home, and other events.
  • Talk out loud as you help your child read about and solve problems.
  • Help your child recognize spelling patterns. For example, point out the beginnings and endings of words, like “pre-” or “–ed.”
  • Get your child to write letters, keep a diary, and write stories.

Enjoy this season and time spent with family and friends! As always, please contact me with any questions regarding your student’s speech and language development!

November 2022 News

In Speech and Language this month, we will continue talking about the fall season and the vocabulary surrounding this season and its holidays. As you take a break to spend time with your family for this holiday, be sure to encourage your child to utilize the skills they are learning in speech and language at home with you and your family. Some ways to practice language skills over the Thanksgiving break would be to discuss the vocabulary associated with the holiday, practice sequencing the events required in preparing a large family meal, and to practice following multi-step directions in preparation for family visiting or preparing the meal. You can practice social language skills by working on manners and the ways we politely interact at the dinner table. For students working on speech articulation skills, challenge them to think of five food or table items, or even words associated with fall that contain their target speech sounds. As always, if you have any questions about how to best support your student’s speech and language skills, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Laura Thompson

Speech-Language Pathologist

October 2022 News

Speech and Language sessions are in full swing! I have loved getting to know our new students and reconnecting with our returning students. So much progress has been observed already this school year and I’ve been impressed with the hard work our students are putting toward their communication goals. This month in speech and language, our focus has been on the start of Fall. We’ve been discussing the vocabulary associated with Fall, contrasting Fall and Summer, and completing Fall-themed activities. Please ask your students about the activities they’ve been completing in Speech and the goals they’ve been working on. We’re hoping to increase student awareness of their own speech and language goals and progress; discussing them at home is a great way to build on this!

Laura Thompson, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

September 2022 News

Welcome to the start of the 2022 school year!
I am excited to start my 13th year as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Geary County School District and am so happy to return to Ware Elementary School serving the kindergarten through fifth grade students who receive speech services. I am looking forward to working with you and your student’s teacher to support and improve the communication skills of the students at Ware. This month has been filled with “beginning of the year things.” 😊😊 We have been establishing baselines, discussing goals and expectations in speech, and getting to know one another. I know we will get to see great progress and growth throughout the year! Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions regarding your student’s speech and language skills. I wish you and your family a happy new school year!
Laura Thompson
Speech-Language Pathologist
[email protected]

April 2022 News

`This month, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some information on fluency disorders, also known as stuttering. More than 70 million people worldwidestutter, which is about 1% of all of the people who live on Earth. About 5% of all kids go through a period of stuttering sometime in childhood. No one knows for sure what causes stuttering. We do know that speaking is a very complicated skill. It involves the brain and a lot of different muscles working together to plan what you want to say and get your mouth to produce those sounds and words in the right order. Scientists believe there a few things that can play a part in stuttering: genes/family history – about 60% of people who stutter also have a relative who stutters, and neurology – in some people who stutter, their brains process speech and language a little differently than people who don’t stutter. There is no “cure” or device that will get rid of stuttering. However, speech-language therapy can teach techniques and strategies to help make speaking easier for those who stutter.

Experts agree that most children who stutter benefit from taking time to speak at a rate that promotes fluency. These guidelines from the Stuttering Foundation represent a number of ways that adults around that child can help promote the child’s fluency.

  1. Reduce the pace. Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently. Wait a few seconds after your child finishes before you begin to speak. Your own easy relaxed speech will be far more effective than any advice such as “slow down” or “try it again slowly.”
  2. Full listening. Try to increase those times that you give your child your undivided attention and are really listening. This does not mean dropping everything every time she speaks.
  3. Asking questions. Asking questions is a normal part of life – but try to resist asking one after the other. Sometimes it is more helpful to comment on what your child has said and wait.
  4. Turn taking. Help all members of the family take turns talking and listening. Children find it much easier to talk when there are fewer interruptions.
  5. Building confidence. Use descriptive praise to build confidence. An example would be “I like the way you picked up your toys. You’re so helpful,” instead of “that’s great.”

March 2022 News

This month in Speech and Language we will be discussing the Spring season and all the changes that come along with Spring. As mentioned in previous newsletters, changes in weather, seasons, and even upcoming holidays lend themselves to many opportunities for language development. Some of our favorite “new season” activities include discussing new themed vocabulary, using description words and adjectives to describe the things we see in the spring, practice using verbs to describe and label actions of activities we see in the spring, and practice speech sound production skills by coming up with spring-themed words containing target speech sounds. If your student brings home an activity or word list from Speech, be sure to discuss it with him/her to help generalize these skills to all communication environments.

    If you have any questions about your student’s speech and language skills, please do not hesitate to contact me!

February 2022 News

This has been an exciting month in the speech room. The students have gotten the chance to get to know Ms. Mallory Tvrdy, our K-State graduate student intern, and we have been enjoying lots of books and games this month during our sessions. Playing games is a wonderful way to target many speech and language skills, including conversational turn-taking, vocabulary, sentence structure, forming questions and responses in complete sentences, verbal reasoning, sequencing, and critical thinking skills. And we get to have fun while we do it!

    Be sure to take some time to play some games with your student to practice these skills at home. Some of our favorites include Guess Who, Headbandz, Zingo, Hoot Owl Hoot, and Go Fish. Feel free to contact me if you ever would like more information regarding how to help your student with his or her speech and language goals!

January 2022 News

This month in Speech and Language, we’re talking about the season of winter and the vocabulary that goes along with it. Our sessions will focus on practicing articulation and language skills in the context of winter-themed activities. The start of the new year is always a great opportunity to come back to school refreshed from a break and ready to continue working on our communication objectives. Be sure to continue watching for any home practice that might be sent home to solidify your student’s progress we’ve seen in speech, and as always, please contact me with any questions!    

Additionally, this month brings some changes in Speech and Language! Our graduate student intern and paraprofessional, Ryan Woods, completed his fall internship in December and will be spending the spring semester interning at the Early Childhood Center. Although the students are missing Mr. Woods, I am excited to introduce Mallory Tvrdy as our spring semester internship student. Ms. Tvrdy is a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology at Kansas State University. She begins on January 10th, and I know she will love getting to know the amazing students at Ware this semester!

Speech & Language Pathologist

Laura Thompson