I LOVE this time of year! In the speech-language world we call it Screening Month.iStock 000001691692Small

Parents are contacting me to book screening sessions for their preschoolers. It’s crazy busy!

It’s exciting to meet loads of fabulous kids. It was my third packed screening day when Ethan arrived with his parents – Jan & Samir had both taken time off work to ask their questions and to show off Ethan’s communication skills.

Ethan was filled with energy and he was easy to talk and engage with. I followed Ethan’s lead as he played with me using some farm animals for a few minutes, and then a pop-up book, next a couple of turns with a board game, and back to the farm toys.

I was exhausted trying to keep up with Ethan’s busy mind. He liked to jump around a lot from toy to toy. I knew immediately one of the areas Ethan needed help with. (And this is even before I did a detailed assessment)

I asked Jan & Samir about Ethan’s listening skills at home. It turned out that Ethan’s listening skills and focus weren’t that great at home either.

And you may be experiencing the very same thing with your child.

Ethan Needs Practice With Listening. Does Your Child?

The first and most important skill for Ethan to learn is to Listen!

It will be much easier for Ethan to learn other speech-language skills – comprehension, expressive language and speech once he has better listening skills. This is a common problem I see with kids and it definitely is an area that needs to be addressed right away.

When You Listen – Life Gets Easier

Here’s A Listening Tip For Your Child:

Act out these words you say to your child:

STOP

LISTEN

THINK

DO

It’s even more helpful when you physically stop your child and then re-direct their attention BEFORE you give a direction or message. Kids aren’t going to do what you want if they haven’t really heard it.

Fast Forward 30 Days Later!

When Ethan returned for his assessment, he focused and listened for a full 10 minutes while he answered questions about pictures. (Samir was beaming!)

I praised Samir ...

“What activities did you do with Ethan to pump up his listening skills?’

Samir & Jan Did Daily Activities:

  • Listening to stories – They took turns reading stories and having Ethan listen for a special word – Ethan delighted in clapping his hands every time he heard this special word
  • Following directions to learn to play a fun card game
  • Playing “Simon Says”

Ethan was now able to sit quietly while listening to stories, game directions, playing cards and so much more.

Your Communication Take Away...

Spend 1- to 15 minutes daily using the Stop. Listen. Think. Do. Paired with a listening activity or even some fun directions– you’ll be surprised at how quickly children respond!

To your Success with Creating Speech-Language Fun for Kids,

“Speech” Keri
myspeechparty.com