Showing posts with label Parent Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parent Tips. Show all posts

5 Tips for Sensory Issues and Summer Fireworks

Going to a fireworks display in the summer can be a great family outing! 

That is unless a member of the family has sensory processing issues and sensitivity to noises. While commonly found in children with autism spectrum disorders, other kids may have this problem, too. 


If your child covers their ears when a fire alarm goes off, or a loud vehicle drives by, going to see fireworks may not be the happy event you were hoping for.


July free download from Looks Like Language
There's a new social rules story, quick to print, staple and read, that I've made to help you out. Just click here.

No guarantee that this will make your fireworks event problem free, but knowing what to expect, having a coping method ready, and having the language to discuss any issues that arise are strategies that help over time.


If you are intrigued by the craft and games that are not part of this free download, be sure to sign up for my special 2019 free growing games bundle offer here!





July free download from Looks Like Language
Having back up plans as parents can be helpful, too. Some ideas that could be helpful include:

* watching your child with sensory issues for the beginning signs of sensory overload. Intervening early is often more successful than waiting for full-blown overload.


* having a signal your child can give you to tell you that they have had enough.

* getting seating that is toward the back of the crowd. This may not only somewhat decrease the noise level from the fireworks, but can also reduce the overcrowdedness that can also be a problem for some children.

* having a larger blanket than you need so that your child has a place to sit with boundaries that keep crowds further away.

* coming with 2 cars so one parent can leave earlier if needed, or having a plan for one parent to remove the sensory child before overload occurs to the car. Have calming toys, blankets, headphones, or whatever works for your child to use during the wait.

If your child regularly has problems with sensory processing issues, get an appointment for an evaluation with an occupational therapist who is knowledgeable about the problem. That is where most of my knowledge comes from!

I also found this book to be extremely helpful when I read it many years ago. It is written in a way that is helpful to parents and educators.

I hope that some of these ideas help to make your 4th of July fun and calm!

3 Rhyming Games That Are Fun and Easy! Rhyme Time! Week 4

Have you been having fun with rhyming? I sure hope so! If you missed the other parts of this free rhyming set, as well as my ideas for how to incorporate word play in daily life, start by clicking here.


Looks Like Language has free downloads for parents, too
Now that your children are familiar with rhyming, maybe you'd like to try some challenges! Ask the question and then the children can take turns providing a starting word. 

Be sure to talk about which WORD has the most/least rhymes, NOT which child guessed the best. This helps with keeping it a collaborative family game instead of a sibling fight.

1.  What do you think is the biggest number of rhymes we can make?
(After the challenge: "Great going, guys! We met the challenge!"
OR, "Good try, everyone! That word was harder to rhyme than we thought!")

2. What word is the hardest to rhyme?
(After the challenge: "That was a hard one! We couldn't come up with real words, so let's try some silly ones and see how many of those we can name.")

3. How many real/silly/both rhymes can we make for all the names in our family? Which name do you think will be the easiest? Hardest?

I know you are having fun now! But be sure to download the last set of free picture cards, too!

Enjoy!


Linda

5 NO COST Tips to Help STOP Summer Time Lag!


Did you know that students who don’t keep expanding their vocabulary over the summer come back to school in the fall lagging behind their peers who continued learning?

5 No Cost ways to stop summertime lag by Looks Like Language
It is just one way to measure growth, but is closely tied to many skills needed for school success.

Parents, what you do with your children at home is so important! You CAN help your kids to be better prepared for school each and every year. These ideas are NO COST, but they do take a bit of time. And you don't even need to leave your home for most of these!

5 tips to help stop that summertime lag!

Talk to your kids with higher level vocabulary!
1. Vocabulary:

Choose a word of the week and give a thumbs up for every time one of your kids uses that word in a sentence. The winner earns an easy prize:

• Stay up 15 minutes later (or in bed later in the morning)
• Choose the next cereal to be bought
• 1 chore to be shared by the other kids one time
• A star next to their name on a piece of paper on the fridge

2. Play word games:

Take turns:
-naming something in a category that starts or ends with a letter.
-describing something until someone guesses it.
-going through the alphabet to name an item you would find in a place.

Try having your child read to you!
3. Read:

Reading is the most important thing you can do! If your kids totally resist trips to the library, try these ideas:

     • Try a manga (comic strip pictures)      book.
     • Read the comics together if you get a paper or have computer access.
     • Make something your family loves to eat and have your kids read the recipe to you.

It doesn't matter what you read, just read!
• Have your kids read the labels at
the store to find out how much sugar
or salt are in the food.
• Find a show or movie with subtitles 
that you have free access to and 
take turns reading the script.


Remember, just read!

Tell stories! Kids especially love to hear about when you got in trouble!
4. Tell a story:


      For school practice, the stories have to have a beginning, middle and end that are connected by a main idea. Try these ideas:

     * At a shared meal, tell something about your day.
     * Tell a story about something that you will always remember.
     * Tell about the worst time you ever had at (place.)     
      * Tell about a time you got in trouble when you were little.
     * Tell about the last episode of their favorite tv show. Does it make sense even if you haven’t seen the show?

Tell a wish/hope story, like:
      - If I could travel anywhere...
-If I won a shopping spree at my favorite store...
-If I invented a _____...
-If I was stranded on an island...
-If I had a personal robot...



Your kids are never too young to talk to!
5. TALK!
Remember, your kids are NEVER 
too little to talk to. 
That is how they learn!


Whatever you do, just keep on talking!
Have a great summer!

Beginning or Ending Sounds- A Free Phonological Awareness Activity Week 4

Listening for beginning or ending sounds in words is such an important pre-reading skill! Did you play word games on car trips growing up?

There's a reason for that. Playing around with sounds and words before entering school builds knowledge that you need in order to start learning the written language system of reading, spelling and writing.

Free printable game downloads at Looks Like Language!
This fun download can help you get started with your own kids! Download it here.

Then be sure to play some sound games, too!

* I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with cat. You need it for a sport.

* I spy something that starts with this sound: (Try to make just the first sound without adding "uh" "ah" "ee" or any other sound.)

* See how far through the alphabet you can get your child to give an answer.
   - Ann packed her suitcase with an apple.
   - Bobby packed his suitcase with a belt.

Where/when to play? Any time you are:

- sitting in a car
- taking a walk
- doing dishes
- washing clothes
- basically during any physical activity when your mind is free

If you missed the earlier sets, just start here!

Try some free interactive learning fun from Looks Like Language with BOOM Cards!
If you can't get your kids away from their iPads, at least you can make some of their pay time educational with the activities you can find at BOOM Learning!

Try out this free summer activity for category skills from my store!

Enjoy! Linda

Beginning or Ending Sounds- A Free Phonological Awareness Activity Week 3

You might be saying to yourself, "What is phonological awareness, anyway? What happened to phonics instruction?" 

Well, phonics instruction still exists, but your kids will be a lot better prepared for it if you have fun with sounds in play before they get to school age!
Help your child with pre-reading skills! Find out more at Looks Like Language!

FUN FACT 1:
Phonemes are the sounds, not the letters of the alphabet, that make up a language.

FUN FACT 2:
Children need a lot of practice listening to and playing with the sounds of our language before they are ready to attach them to the alphabet and written language.

FUN FACT 3:
If your child has difficulty pronouncing a sound, playing games to build skills for listening and identifying the sound can be helpful in learning to say the sound more clearly!

So, what are you waiting for? Download the free Beginning and Ending Sounds Activity and get started! If you missed the prior weeks, get started with the first download here.

If this got you curious, you can read more about the difference between phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and phonics at my friend Sarah's blog, Speech is Beautiful! 

Enjoy! Linda

When Grief Strikes- 9 Tips for Helping Children

My heart was breaking with grief as all of the signs began to add up that something was terribly wrong with my little girl: startling at every little sound, being too floppy to learn to sit, crying inconsolably, gaining skills and then losing them.

The long, drawn out, terrifying wait during series of doctor’s visits and hospital stays to find out what the problem was. The slowly diminishing loss of hope that she would ever be okay.

When my son was just about to enter kindergarten, my daughter was diagnosed with a fatal, degenerative genetic disease. While I was trying to cope with my grief, watching my one year old deteriorate until she didn’t recognize me any more, I was also trying to keep my bright, inquisitive 5 year old feeling safe and growing up as normally as possible.

It was a very long, unimaginably difficult 3 years watching my daughter slowly go into a comatose state until she passed, while still working and attempting to keep a normal home life for my son.

What SLPs can do when their students are in tough times.
Whether you are dealing with a personal tragedy, going through having a child diagnosed, or dealing with the after effects of massive storms or terrorist attacks, the world just doesn’t seem as safe anymore.
If we feel this as adults, how does it affect the children we work with? 


What did I learn that can be helpful to you?


1. Be sure to keep your young child’s comfort toy, blanket or security item with you. This is a good parenting tip even when your life is calm!

2. Young children get their sense of security from the adults around them. The better you are at accepting the changes and keeping as much of their routines intact, the more likely children will continue to feel secure.

3.  Children do not grieve the way adults do. They can be playing, seemingly happily, and then run to you for comfort or to ask a question. Remember their attention spans are short, so answer questions briefly and factually.

When they have received the information they were looking for, or the hug they needed, they will run back to whatever they were doing as if it had never happened. If you see your child’s eyes glaze over or they start to fidget, they are telling you, "Too much!"  So give the important information first!

4. If you are having problems coping, your child will, too. This is totally understandable when dealing with major issues. Just be sure to reach out and get help for yourself when you need it.

What about if you are working in the schools with children affected by drastic  events?


1. You are part of their safety net, so try to keep your school routines as close to usual as possible. When you can, laugh over the minor things you are having to do to cope with changed circumstances. Laughter is needed!

2. Listen and respond calmly and factually when students ask a question or bring up a difficult topic. If they go back to work right after, then you have met their need at the moment.

3. It is okay to respond that you don’t know, but you will try to find out for them.

4. It is okay to just acknowledge how difficult this is, and how they must be feeling. Pay attention to the child's body language, facial expression and tone of voice. Then, specifically label the emotion that they are feeling, so they have the language for it.

5. If some of your students are more withdrawn, more emotional, or just somehow not right compared to the general population, be sure to reach out to get them help. The whole family may need support to help them through this tough time.

While I wish we weren’t experiencing difficult times, I hope these tips will help you cope. And I am so very grateful to say that my son did grow up to be a wonderful adult who works helping others. I am thankful every day for my healthy children.

Summer Rhyme Time Freebie Part 4

Rhyming helps reading skills! Looks Like Language!
Rhyming is an important skill for reading, so I am delighted to be helping some children out there with this!

SUMMER LANGUAGE TIP FOR PARENTS:

+ Play a hot potato rhyming game! Use any soft toy, such as a stuffed animal, or even take one of those unmatched socks we all have lying around. Roll it up in a ball to be the hot potato. 

+ The first person says a short word and tosses the potato to the next person. Don’t be caught holding a hot potato for too long! Say a rhyming word quickly and pass the potato on to the next person. The person who can’t think of another rhyming word, just holding the hot potato, loses the game. 
+ You can play this with 2 or more people. If you have a group, the person who lost can sit out, with the game continuing until one person is left. If you are playing with just you and your child, see how many rhymes your child can do in a row. Watch it improve with practice!


Be sure to get this week’s game cards here. See you next week!
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