Tips and Tricks for Back to School Success!

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Have you noticed all of the “Back to School” gear in stores already? Going back to school after a long summer break can be stressful for everyone! New teachers, new routines, new struggles… don’t worry! Granite Bay Speech is here to help you say “GOODBYE” to those lazy summer days, and “HELLO” to juggling homework, music lessons, sports, and social lives. We want to help you create a smooth transition to school with our tips and resources.

 

Establish a consistent location at home for backpacks and homework.

Make sure backpacks are filled with essentials and leave it in an obvious place the night before school. Develop a routine for after school activities and homework. Create written checklists to avoid miscommunication. Post daily or weekly schedules using a different color for each child. Use write-on wipe-off boards for items that change frequently.

 

Agree on a homework schedule.

Establish a set time frame for children to do their homework. Use a timer to set expectations.  Allow your child to sit in a chair, beanbag, or on their bed, as long as they are able to work successfully! Children are individuals and need individual accommodations. Some children work best sitting in their beanbag while listening to music. Some children need to sit at a desk with silence. Children need to learn how they learn best and by providing choices we encourage them to respect their individual needs. Children also need physical breaks to release energy and get the blood flowing! Set a timer and encourage your child to stretch, run or do a crazy dance every 10-20 minutes to maintain maximum attention. Use more frequent breaks if your child is tired. Adjust the time based on age and personality.

 

Eat protein rather than carbs/sugar.

Avoid the sugar rush and help your child pay attention all morning by providing protein for breakfast. Add proteins to your child’s lunches and snacks; protein provides consistent energy versus carbohydrate and sugar snacks. Here are a few of our favorite snack ideas: Trail mix, slices of turkey and cheese rolled up, beef jerky or carrots with hummus.

 

Support learning and reduce stress with visual aids and free help from Granite Bay Speech

Use reference cards or reminders to follow the step by step process for completing a task, (“first do __then do__”).  Use Diagrams, Tables and Checklists to break complex tasks into less stressful activities.

 

Do you need a few tips or want to chat about developmental concerns? Do you need help obtaining therapy services from your school or medical health plan? Call us. We offer free phone consultations for your educational and medical concerns. Individual and group therapy is available at convenient hours.

Visit our website www.granitebayspeech.com to access tons of free handouts and visual supports! We have spent hundreds of hours designing our website with you in mind! Why spend time going from site to site when we have it all organized for you?

Have a wonderful school year and know we are always just a phone call away to chat with you!

Meet Kelly and Paige!

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We are so excited to announce our wonderful team has expanded! We have two new therapists,

Kelly Anderson and Paige Jones!

 

Kelly Anderson

Kelly graduated from California State University of Sacramento with her Bachelors Degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. She has over 18 years of experience working with children and adults. When not providing therapy, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and dogs. She is a proud aunt to her niece and nephew. Kelly likes gardening, hiking and camping. In her spare time, she loves baking and trying out new recipes. We are thrilled to have Kelly as part of our team!

 

Paige Jones

Paige graduated from California State University of Sacramento with her Bachelors Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Growing up, she received speech services, so she knows firsthand the difficulties of not being able to communicate effectively. When not providing therapy, she enjoys spending time with her family and dogs. She has three nieces and two nephews, whom she loves! Paige loves basketball and anything Disney. We are excited to have Paige on our team!

 

Kelly and Paige look forward to meeting you and your family!

Q&A With Parents of Children Who Stutter

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These amazing parents have worked with their children and the Therapists at Granite Bay Speech to help their children effectively communicate in their community. It can be difficult when the world around us does not understand what it is like to stutter.

Aaron explains some important techniques that he has learned and implemented which help his son and his students who stutter.

  1. Lead by example and stretch your word first
  2. Repeat what the person says to let him know that you are listening
  3. Be patient
  4. Use non-verbal gestures demonstrating a stretch to remind him of his techniques

Watch the video to see how another parent explains her experience in the community with her son who stutters.

Most importantly, remember to respond to WHAT the person is saying, rather than HOW they are saying it. 

 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us!

916-797-3307

How to Effectively Communicate with People Who Stutter

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With National Stuttering Awareness day coming up on October 22nd, Granite Bay Speech has developed bookmarks and wallet cards that you can share to help spread awareness in your community. Each bookmark and wallet card outlines 5 tips to effectively communicate with people who stutter to ensure that all communication experiences are good experiences. These can be shared with classmates, friends, family members and teachers that may be unaware of some actions that might lead to a communication breakdown with a person who stutters.

 

Follow the link below to grab your free bookmarks and wallet cards!

 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-to-Effectively-Communicate-with-People-Who-Stutter-4136807

Surviving a Technology-Driven World

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Screenshot (3)

We are using electronic forms of communication more than ever, but do mediums such as texting, emailing and posting on social media truly count as “communicating?” Technology has changed our lives in many ways. While it has helped us accomplish great things, it has also changed how we communicate with others. Experts in the field are concerned about the current communication trend as the overuse of popular technology may lead to diminished speech, language and hearing abilities.

 

Statistics

 

  • 68% of 2 year olds use tablets at home
  • Every 30 mins of daily screen use increased the risk of expressive speech delay in children ages 6 months to 2 years by almost 50%
  • 44% of kids under 6 would rather play a game on a technology device than read a book or be read to
  • 48 minutes is the average amount of time spent on a mobile device per day by children under 8
  • 78% of teens check their devices at least hourly
  • 4 out of 5 smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up

While the statistics are alarming, there are ways we can help combat the issue.

 

Tips For Managing Tech-Time

  • Find at least one or two opportunities during the day to create tech-free times
  • Plan activities to keep children entertained rather than relying on technology
  • While educational apps do teach new skills, remember that children learn best through talking, conversing and reading
  • Social interaction is important so try to make tech use a group activity, such as while playing with family members or an online game with others
  • If young kids need their own tech devices for certain reasons, consider using one with features that provide extra security and limit content
  • Set screen time limits and keep track of the usage yourself or use devices that turn off automatically
  • Be consistent in implementing the rules you set for tech usage
  • Be sure to model the safe tech habits you want your kids to take after
  • Learn signs of communication disorders and ask for help from a Speech Language Pathologist if you notice something that may spark any concerns or questions.

Do you have any questions or concerns? Please contact us at 916-797-3307 or visit our website at www.granitebayspeech.com 

Sources:
Healthy Communication & Popular Technology Initiative
National Association for Hearing and Speech Action
ASHA: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 198,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students.

Spring into Fluency with this great deal!

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speecheasy

Spring Into Fluency!

Spring is the season of renewal – and it’s the perfect time to stop, reflect, and reassess where you are with your goals.  If improving your fluency is one of those goals, we can help!

For a limited time SpeechEasy is offering a $500 discount on ANY SpeechEasy model, AND a $250 rebate on your SpeechEasy evaluation.  That’s a combined $750 in savings!  There has never been a better time to take the next step in reaching your goals.

These amazing offers end on July 15th, so act fast.

Contact us at Granite Bay Speech for more information!

916-797-3307

 

 

 

My child has difficulty remembering and paying attention. What do I do?

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My child has difficulty remembering and paying attention. 

What do I do? 

We are excited to feature this blog on the Granite Bay Speech website written by our colleague and friend, Kathie E. Ekemo, Ph.D. CA Licensed Psychologist PSY29127. Dr. Kathie Ekemo specializes in psychological evaluations for children, adolescents and adults.

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

Children with attention difficulties may:

  • Have a short attention span or difficulty paying attention
  • Be distracted or have trouble focusing if there is a lot of noise around
  • Be fidgety
  • Be easily frustrated
  • Have negative feelings about school or difficulty with academic performance.

These symptoms of inattention are shared by multiple disorders, and

may be the result of:

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • A visual processing disorder
  • Sensory integration difficulties
  • Language Disorders
  • A central auditory processing disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Various medical conditions/syndromes or injuries (e.g. brain injury)
  • Learning disability (attention)
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Other causes

A psychologist can help parents to figure out any difficulties that may be causing attentional problems, as well as providing treatment recommendations.  These screenings typically include checklists, and/or testing.  Once the source/s of the attentional problems are identified, Kathie Ekemo, Ph.D and Granite Bay Speech coordinate treatment to benefit clients and achieve better outcomes.  Many auditory challenges, for example, can be assessed and are successfully treated by a speech language pathologist.  Care may also be coordinated with your medical doctor, a visual therapist or occupational therapist.

We would be happy to answer any of your questions!

Please feel free to contact Kathie E. Ekemo, Ph.D. at 425-308-7982 or message Kathie through www.Psychologytoday.com 

You may also contact Nancy Barcal M.A. CCC-SLP at Granite Bay Speech at 916-797-3307 or visit the website at http://www.granitebayspeech.com 

Why is Pretend Play Important?

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  mila pretend play 2

As adults, we often reference the occurrence of pretend play as just that… play! But, we may fail to recognize the critical role that play has in the cognitive, social-emotional, and motor development of our children. Let’s take a closer look at pretend play’s benefits and the positive effect it has on our little ones!

Imagination utilized in play activities requires strong problem-solving skills – higher level, cognitive thinking is necessary to not only imagine, but bring characters, settings, and plots to life! When children are setting the scene for their pretend play scenarios, they pull information from their experiences, which allows for the creation of memories and improves their memory-recall abilities.

Research shows that pretend play promotes the development of social-emotional skills, where children are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles that they witness in everyday life. It provides opportunities for children to make sense of the situations they observe and to ‘test out’ new ones that may be confusing, scary, or anxiety-provoking.  Through imaginative play, dolls or figurines can become a ‘version’ of a child, providing a safe way for them to express new ideas, feelings, and emotions.

Our children incorporate language in play and feel the power of their words. They learn to read social cues, take turns, initiate and engage in reciprocal conversation, control impulsivity, and recognize emotions. Through the development of these abilities, they are also increasing their ‘theory of mind’ – the capacity to take another’s perspective and understand the feelings of others to feel empathetic.

Amazingly enough, motor skills are also enhanced through pretend play. Gross motor skills are required for actions such as, making animal figurines jump or airplanes fly through the sky, and fine motor skills are needed for activities such as dressing dolls, carefully placing items in dollhouses or building, or piecing together tracks for a train. The concepts of grouping and categorizing are also enhanced, which can be demonstrated through scenarios of grouping food items together to create a meal or a grocery store.

Granite Bay Speech believes in the power of pretend play and we encourage its’ utilization for all children. Contact our office for more information and tips for expanding your child’s imagination.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” -Albert Einstein

Call our office at: 916-797-3307

Meet Mike Molino… The Newest Addition to Our Wonderful Team!

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Mike Picture Final

Michael Molino, M.S., CF-SLP

Michael is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. He received his Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). Prior to earning his Bachelor’s degree in 2014 from CSUS, he served in the US Navy for more than 20 Years.

Michael’s clinical skills encompass many facets of speech and language disorders, such as:  expressive and receptive language delay, articulation, apraxia, phonological processing, accent modification, Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Social Pragmatics, Stuttering, and Cluttering. He also has experience with aphasia, dysarthria, dysphagia, mTBI, and neurogenic disorders. Michael holds a letter of clinical competence for Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing and is licensed as a Schools Audiometrist.

Michael has personal experience with communication disorders and received speech therapy services for many years as a child/adolescent for stuttering. His passion has always been to provide clients with skills that will help them communicate effectively in academic, work and social settings.

Michael has received specialized training in Stuttering disorders from Eastern Virginia Medical School Fluency Shaping Program. He has been an advocate and mentor for individuals who stutter for more than 20 years. He is the Southwest Regional Chapter Coordinator and Sacramento Chapter Leader for the National Stuttering Association. He has attended numerous stuttering conferences and workshops. Michael is currently an online host for Stutter Social, which connects people who stutter from around the world. Discussions often revolve around stuttering-related issues, but sometimes they just chat about their day or a good movie. He is highly respected in our field and we are honored to have him join Granite Bay Speech.