WHAT you say is 5%, HOW you say it is 95%

Posted July 10th, 2014 by deborah.ross with No Comments

We get calls. We get a lot of calls from busy professionals or those just starting out, who hesitatingly contact us. They hesitate because they aren’t sure there is help for their concern. After all they don’t need a Speech THERAPIST. That’s for kids.

Or do they?  Come on, they don’t have a DISORDER. That’s for people in the hospital.

Or is it? The calls come from professionals of all ages who have a CONCERN. Sometimes they’ve had this concern for years. At times, they think it’s held them back from professional (career) opportunities and advancement. Other times they weren’t too aware how they sounded until someone made a comment–usually on the job.

“You speak too fast” (fidgets during your presentation),  “I can’t understand you” (looks at watch), “Say that again?” (answers with a response that tells you they weren’t listening), “What?” (doesn’t return your call).

Do these interactions ring true for you?

Communication is all about FLOW. When the FLOW is disrupted, everyone loses focus. San Diego Speech Therapy offers professional speech development, accent or voice improvement for professionals wanting to improve that FLOW. Whether you have a concern or a problem, we can help. Whether you have speech, voice, “how you come across”, or accent concerns; we can help you investigate them all. You can have new found respect by those YOU respect. Click here for more information and to contact us today!

5 Creative Ways to Use Toys For Speech and Language Enrichment

Posted June 19th, 2014 by deborah.ross with Comments Off on 5 Creative Ways to Use Toys For Speech and Language Enrichment

School’s out!  For Summah!  Little Sweet-Pea might need a bit of support over the break.  Here are 5 creative ways to use toys for speech and language enrichment for the youngest kiddos.

1.  PLAY! with toys.  Turn off the electronics.  The battery-powered.  The one-way interaction “toys”.  Get down on the floor with your little one and PLAY!  Kids’ imaginations are boundless.  Let them remind you how to PLAY!  See it through their eyes.  Everything is an adventure and nothing is pre-planned.

2.  Role-play is a generational favorite at nearly any age.  Have hard-hats and tools with blocks, markers, and boxes handy.  Have an apron, 4 simple “cooking” utensils and 3 “cooking” ingredients handy.  Before you know it, you might have a fantastic mud-pie or jello treat AND a table or platter to serve it all on. While playing, hold specific items next to your mouth as you say the name or the key sound you wish to highlight. The best way to have a child say something is to MODEL it, rather than REQUEST that he/she say it. So “spoon” while holding the spoon next to your mouth during the act of cooking is more likely to get the child’s response than “say spoon”.

3.  When you PLAY!, FOLLOW your child’s lead.  NARRATE what is happening and EXPAND on what he/she says.  “You are moving the chair next to the box.  When she says “table” and points to it, you say “we made a table!” and “sit down”.  She might repeat some or all of what you said.  Great!  When he stirs the pudding mix and reaches for the liquid you say “First we add the mixture, then we add the milk.”   He might repeat some or all of that.  Fantastic!  It’s not helpful to say “no, not like that”. or  “let me do it”.  We are not expecting little adults here.  The point is speech and language enrichment, not perfect pudding and upright furniture.

4.  Take TURNS.  This teaches a child that communication is a time for both LISTENING and SPEAKING.  Many many children struggle with this very basic skill.  Do your part in helping them see “it’s your sister’s turn”, or “when you are quiet, then I know it’s my turn”.  On the flip side, some kids don’t know that when YOU are quiet it signals their turn to speak.  Prompt them or MODEL what they could say.  Then PAUSE and see if they do!

5.  REPEAT.  Kids just soak up the repetition.  They love the same games, toys, songs, routines, role-play scenarios OVER and OVER.  Be patient.  Be open.  They are little sponges learning all they can and loving every minute of your quality attention and time. For some kids, repeating the same thing is the ONLY thing they want. Some kids need a little help branching out to enjoy other activities. If you have concerns about this or any other aspect of your child’s speech, language, social or play development be sure to speak with your pediatrician and ask for a Speech Evaluation. If he/she says “oh, let him/her grow out of it”, keep on asking until you get an evaluation. The evaluation is the ONLY way to fully address your concerns and with kids, time IS of the essence.

For more information, including help from one of our expert professionals CLICK HERE.

A Courageous Spokeswoman Gabby Giffords

Posted May 2nd, 2014 by deborah.ross with No Comments

As Speech Pathologists, we follow the long and effortful path of Gabby Giffords with great interest. She is the Representative from Arizona who was cruelly shot in the head 3 years ago at a public event. Her injuries left her with APHASIA, a disorder of language. Aphasia is a problem caused by a neurological injury or illness which makes finding words, making sentences, understanding others, and expressing your thoughts difficult and downright maddening. Because May is Better Hearing and Speech month, we at San Diego Speech Therapy, Inc thought it was time to take a look at how hard she has worked and how far she’s come. Look at her now! She’s doing yoga and speech therapy, and inspiring us all.

Gabby Giffords In A Moving Recital of The Pledge of Allegiance

Posted September 20th, 2012 by deborah.ross with No Comments

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) delivered a moving, courageous and beautiful Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night. Her recital highlighted the importance and success of great Speech Pathology.

Through her hard work and determination, she was able to stand tall and lead a stadium full of people in a moving tribute to our country.

Speech Therapy and Hard Work Led to a Big Success

After the tragic Tucson shootings that nearly took her life in January 2011, Giffords’ speech was severely impaired to the point that she was told by doctors she may never be able to speak again.

After months of hard work with her speech pathologist, Nancy Helm-Estabrooks, Giffords has made amazing strides in being able to speak again. As part of her treatment plan, ASHA certified speech pathologists used pictures, books, music, interactions with loved ones in-person and on the phone, professional role-based materials, as well as community-based outings like going to restaurants so she could order lunch.

As Giffords’ husband Captain Mark Kelly put it, speech-language pathologists “have played a critical part in Gabby’s recovery and helped her regain her ability to communicate.”

A Heartfelt “Thank You” to Gabby Giffords

From the San Diego Speech Therapy team we think it is important to take pause and say, “Thank you Gabby Giffords for your courage and hard work. You are an inspiration for all of us working hard to recover communication abilities once again.” We are pleased she is nominated to receive the 2012 Annie Glenn award at the annual ASHA convention in Atlanta, GA.

Her amazing recovery emphasizes the role that post-hospital speech therapy plays in regaining the ability to communicate once again. Through hard work, moving beyond embarrassment, frustration and anger at the sense of loss; she turned a hopeless situation into a beautiful story of strength and hope.

Here at SDST, we believe in helping our patients find their success stories, just like Gabby Giffords. If you’re struggling to overcome speech issues, contact us today. We are here to help.

Read an interview with Nancy Helm-Estabrooks here:
http://www.asha.org/Publications/leader/2012/120605/Giffords-Comes-Home-to-Aphasia-Treatment/

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