May is Better Speech and Hearing Month
Communication includes hearing and listening, gesturing and body language, making sounds and talking. It also includes writing and reading. Between 8 and 12% of preschool children have some form of speech or language difficulties. Did you know that:
- One in 22 infants born in the U.S. has some kind of hearing problem.
- Fluctuating middle ear hearing loss nearly always occurs with middle ear infections.
- Sometimes language development slows down while a child is learning other skills,such as standing, or walking.
- The amount and kind of language a child hears and how people respond to the child may affect the child’s rate of language development.
To help your child with speech, language and listening skill development, remember to:
- Spend a lot of time talking with your child. From infancy, talk, sing and encourage imitation of sounds and gestures.
- Read to your child, starting as early as 6 months. Look for age-appropriate soft or board books or picture books that encourage your child to look while you name the pictures. Try starting with a classic book (such as Pat the Bunny) so your child can imitate the patting bunny, or books with textures that your child can touch. Later, let your child point to familiar pictures and try to name them. Then, move on to nursery rhymes and predictable books (such as Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear). Your child will anticipate what will happen and, if you pause, say the word that comes next.
Use everyday situations to reinforce your child’s speech and language. Talk to your child throughout the day. For example, name foods at the grocery store, explain what you’re doing as you cook a meal or clean a room, point to and name objects around the house, and as you drive, talk about sounds you hear. Ask questions and acknowledge your child’s responses (even when they’re hard to understand). Keep things simple, but never use “baby talk.”Adapted from information found at http://kidshealth.org/parent/
May Calendar of Special Events:
May 1 – Mother Goose Day – Read poetry
May 4 – Bird Day
May 6 – National Nurse’s Day
May 8 – National Teacher’s Day
May 11 – Eat What You Want Day
May 13 – Mother’s Day
May 15 – National Chocolate Chip Day
May 16 – Love a Tree Day
May 30 – Water a Flower Day
Autism After-School Program Update
In April, the Autism After-School Program was fortunate enough to provide weekly field trips to various community locations, including bowling. This was possible with the funding provided from Los Alamos National Labs. The group practiced their money management skills and enjoyed the games played. Our recreational respite will continue with swimming on the first Thursday of June. We are actively seeking further funding for our recreational respite program, and seeking qualified respite providers to meet our family’s needs.
For more information about becoming a respite provider, please contact Richard Flores at 505-404-8502.