|"In the short time our son [name
withheld] has worked with Mr. Bruce, he has improved his speech.
The best part is the parent is allowed to see the speech session which
is very very good. I learned a lot from [Bruce], like how to make
my son do his homework. The other five days, I practice with him
doing his homework and he is able to improve his skills. [Bruce]
has a lot of patience and excellent technical skills. We are
highly grateful to Mr. Bruce Harpster"
--Bala and Padma Gajjala,
Software Designer-father and mother of a 7-year-old boy with Autism
FOREIGN ACCENT MODIFICATION
GIFTED AND TALENTED
Techniques to Help Your
Each specific case requires individualized clinical judgment and treatment planning. Parents are advised to seek the advice of a Speech-Language Pathologist. In the meantime, for suggestions on how to help your verbal child with speech and language delays, please find a few tried and true techniques at the bottom of this page.
For more information, please visit this website's
Since parents searching for helpful suggestions often encounter controversial treatments, we offer description links of such controversial treatments below as a "heads up":
Sometimes, some providers suggest controversial articulation and/or non-speech oral motor methods. Parents may refer to Theory, Logic and Evidence Against the Use of Non-Speech Oral Motor Exercises to Change Speech Sound Productions from the 2006 ASHA Convention. The title says it all.
Facilitated Communication is another controversial treatment of which parents should be aware. Please see ASHA's Facilitated Communication Position Statement.
Also, parents may encounter providers certified in various audio-training programs. ASHA's AIT Position Statement states little peer-reviewed scientific evidence exists supporting the efficacy of audio-training programs which use an "Audiokinetron" or which play musical compact discs (CDs) ("Auditory Integration Training" and "The Listening Program" are two examples).
Here are informative and helpful suggestions from the Journal of the Texas Speech-Language and Hearing Association on how to evaluate the efficacy of controversial or experimental treatments.
Suggestions for Parents
For parents of non-verbal chilren who display limited communication or speech/language delays, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln's web page has some great suggestions:
If you have questions regarding any of the techniques listed above or below, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
K. Bruce Harpster, M.A., CCC-SLP
Suggested At-Home Practice Strategies for Parents
Misunderstanding (also known as Planned Stupidity)-
When your child makes an incomplete communication, pretend you don't
understand the message. For example, if the child points at a
desired object or
says only the name of the object (e.g., food, toy, candy) when the
intended communication was a request, cue the child for more
information by saying something like
"Yes, that's right. That's what it is. What do you want?"
If your child then says a request, "I want [the object]," provide it
praise: "You said, 'I want [the object]. Good job!" If the
child simply repeats the same utterance, model the correct form and
offer another communication opportunity.
Another example might be if
your child verbally says a mistaken pronunciation of "boat" as “bow”
without the “t.”
In such a case, pretend to misunderstand by saying, "A bow and
arrow would sink! Who would go fishing on a 'bow'?"
In each instance, whether or not the child repairs the mistake by saying “boat,” give multiple models of the correct pronunciation, such as, “Oh! You wanted to go fishing on a ‘boat.’ You wanted a ‘boat!’ You’re right! I would fish on a boat! Good idea! A boat is much better for fishing!” Such playful modeling encourages the child to revise his or her communication in conversation. Children often find such word play entertaining and motivating.
2. Repetition and Expansion- When
your child speaks to you, repeat what the child
upon it. For example, if the child points to an animal and says
the intended communication is “There is a dog,” repeat and expand upon
what the child said by
saying and signing, “There is a dog. There is a little dog.
The little dog is over there." Such expansion offers the child
multiple models of increasingly complex syntactic structure.
3. Developing Routines- Routines such as getting dressed, washing dishes or cleaning up a room allow for consistent practice. But an added benefit to establishing routines is that, when adults violate learned routines, children often try to correct the violation by explaining what's wrong. This need to correct the routine creates highly motivating practice opportunities for children. For example, one routine would be "washing dishes." If the child is working on prepositions, put a plate away in the silverware drawer. The child may try to correct the error by explaining that putting plates away in the silverware drawer is silly--that you should put plates in the cabinet. If not, the adult can cue such communication; i.e., point to the drawer and say, “Something's wrong here. Oh my gosh! Where are we going to put the silverware?!” Then model the use of prepositions “in," "out," "on,” “off,” “over” and “under” correctly in many sentences to provide good models.
5. Self Talk - Self talk means
the adult describes his or her own actions. For
example, when setting the table, say something like
the table now. I think I'm going to put
your placemat here. I'll put the plate on your placemat. See the plate? The
plate is on
6. Parallel Talk- Parallel talk
means the adult describes the child's actions. This
can be done with a sense of play and humor. For
example, when the child is eating, say something
eating your chicken. I'm eating chicken
too. Look at you!
You drank some milk. You're eating a
chicken nugget. I
think I'll take another bite, too."
7. Imitations- Repeat
back to the child the child's correct speech utterances.
This often leads the child to imitate an
adult's correct speech.
8. Expansions- When the child speaks, expand that speech
by taking what the child said and adding grammatical or semantic detail
increase complexity. For example, if
your child takes off her hat and says "hat off" expand
the utterance with ”Your hat is off. The
hat is off your head. Whoops! Now the hat is on your head."
9. Extensions- Extensions
when an adult adds semantic meaning and complexity through additional
comments. For example, when the child
takes her hat off and says "hat off," say, "Yes,
we came in. It's warm in here. The
weather is very cold outside!"
10. Buildups and Breakdowns- When
the child speaks, build up the child’s speech with an
then break the expansion into pieces. For
example, when the child says "hat off," say, "Yes, your hat is off your
head." Then, break
the utterance down by saying, "Your
head. The hat is off.
Off your head. The hat is off
11. Recasts- In recasts, take
what the child says and expand it into a different
category. An example of this would be when
says "hat off," recast the utterance into a question,
"Is the hat off your head?"
Rather, try bombarding your child with
correct grammatical examples
during real conversation. For example, when your child
incorrectly says something such as, "I eated with my friends," respond
with multiple models such as, “Really!? You ate outside? You ate with your
friends? Wait a minute. You ate lunch outside with your friends,
today? Really? That must have been fun when you ate lunch outside with them. I'm glad
you ate with your friends. I ate lunch with my friends,
today, too.” Such
modeling provides more
opportunities for the child to learn, encourages correct language in a functional
setting and helps your
child connect with you, giving the child more confidence!
Also, it's more fun. To a child--and most adults, for that
matter--fun is what it's all about.
All the best,
For further, more
detailed explanations, read:
have any questions, or
wish information regarding appointments for screenings, treatment,
etc. in NJ,
please feel free to
SpeechAccentSolutions.com, a speech-language and communication website.
Questions? For more information or an appointment... Call: 908-930-8719 Email: kbharpster@SpeechAccentSolutions.com
Mail: Office (by appointment):
P.O. Box 326 200 Middlesex-Essex Tnpk, Suite 306
Metuchen, NJ 08840 Iselin, NJ 08830
Copyright © 2007 K. Bruce Harpster, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED