Monday, June 18, 2012

THE BUY IN.....What is the buy in? What makes the child tick? I've always said it boils down to 'kids want to get things'. Meaning, they acquire language because when they do something they get something. Cry, get milk. Sign 'more' they get another cookie. Do their work, get to play with a toy. This reward system is all language-based. So when you break it down in simple turns, what's the buy in? What is it that they want, that is going to make them work - whether it be, say 1 word or a sentence, or complete a task. We need a buy-in too. If I go to the gym, I can have dessert. So it is our tough job as clinicians and also as parents to figure out the buy in that makes sense to our child. I was working with a child today whose buy in is bubbles. He will do anything for bubbles. I open the bubbles and give him the wand, but I want him to ask me for the soap. My goal is to get more specific language, and to build his intent to communicate. In other words he needs to ask for what he wants specifically. The buy in was so great that after the second session he looked at me and said, "I want the soap" without any cueing because he remembered the 'pay out' on the buy in. Excellent he got it. apply this to your own kids. This is a simple concept, but one that can continue to be reexamined and built upon. Let us re-examine what we are doing with our own children and our clients to make sure we are maximizing the experience. So, does our child need therapy? Are they saying enough words? Look at how often we give them things without them ever even needing to communicate verbally. Change how we interact to see if they are still having difficulty. Speech therapy, along with parenting cannot be supplemented or made easier with a magic pill. Unfortunately there is no magic pull, because if there was I would have invented it, patented it, sold it and be living in Costa Rica with my beautiful family ;). It's a journey that we need to examine and reexamine on a daily basis.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WE ARE WHAT WE EAT...this applies to what we feed our kids as well. Way too often I see kids eating processed, completely unnatural, let's just say it...crap. As I see what kids have packed in their lunch I am always surprised. Do I understand being busy and not having time to pack lunch? Yes I do, better than most. I pack 3 kid lunches and 1 adult lunch just about everyday of the week. Do I understand picky eaters? Absolutely! I've worked with them for over 10 years. With that being said, I also understand that as parents we signed on to keep our kids healthy and performing to their very own personal best every single day. Packing a 4 year old a pack of sour strip candies inside their lunch is -dare I say it - disgusting. How do our kids get stuck in these routines where they will only eat crappy snacks and a particular brand of chicken nuggets? Part of it is a sensory issue. Part of it is because we as parents get them there. It is so imperative that we take the extra few minutes to make our kids dinner, introduce them to new foods and tastes and textures. When we do this, we not only make it easier for our children, but in turn we make it easy for ourselves. We allow our children to explore and celebrate new flavors and fun things to eat. When we provide these opportunities for our children we allow them to have stress-free meal times and avoid battles for control. I will be posting meal and snack ideas, including ideas for lunch boxes and meals to cook with your kids. I do want to add, that I am writing to empower us as parents to make good choices. I say us because I am right there with you. I am working with kids, and raising my own kids. I'm feeling it from both sides, and I'm doing the best I can, but always striving to do better. Here are 3 ideas for lunch: 1. hummus and pita Cucumber slices Apple (squeeze apple sauce is a big hit in my house) 2. In a thermos: 'Dr. Pregger's spinach bites' Low fat chocolate milk Pirate booty (any brand, portion size) 3. Turkey slices on whole wheat bread Cut up strawberries Orange slices Just a couple of ideas. I like to switch things up so they don't get bored, and they look forward to their lunches. When I cook with my preschoolers at school, almost all of them at least taste what we make. And 9 times out of 10, 12 out of 13 like what we created! More ideas to come...
Welcome to Super Speech Mom! Hosted by...well of course, yours truly a Super Speech Mom! My name is Tamara and I have been a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 10 years. I have been a mom for almost 5 1/2 years. And I have been Super for well, you get the idea. There are so many fabulous blogs out there, why tune into this one? Because it has Super Hero powers? Maybe.... Because the information I share will be cutting edge and nothing you have ever heard of before? Perhaps.... Or because simply, I have experience in many areas of the field, I know little kids and I understand special needs. I am a true believer of saying it how it is, cutting right to the meat and being honest. If you like that....keep reading. If you don't...keep reading, there are super hero powers coming. I will be picking topics to write about that are relevant to parents of all types of children. Issues that involve speech, language and feeding. From sippy cups to pacifiers to stuttering to articulation to everything in between and outside the lines. Join me on this journey and share with your friends. My goal is to engage a community of curious and engaged parents and professionals.