“Help! My Child Doesn’t Like Reading Books!”– The Benefits of Making Adapted Books

June 24, 2013

What is an adapted book?

Adapted books are any reading materials which have been modified  to make a book more accessible to a child’s physical needs and style of learning. The most common adapted book consists of color laminated pictures attached by Velcro pieces within the book, so a child can remove and replace the attachments for exploration. Adapted books are resistant to tears and heavy push/ pull movements within the pages, and are usually made of large, durable cardboard stock.  Most large board books can be ordered on-line for discount prices.

Who would benefit from reading an adapted book?

Although any child will likely enjoy an adapted book, Children diagnosed with sensory deficits disorders (the inability to process information through the senses), and language delays (the inability to process and express words) will especially benefit.  Adapted books can be used in all environments, including home, classrooms, and play groups.

Why are adapted books beneficial?

Adapted children’s books provide interactive fun, sensory input, and opportunities to engage in social pretend play. When children remove and attach Velcro pieces from within the book, more small and large muscle groups are engaged with the learning process, and language is stimulated through actions. Large, densely weighted books are helpful because they provide pressure to the muscles and joints when lap reading. Also, thick Velcro strips can be challenging to push and pull together, so a child’s range of motions will regulate speech rate, and increase clarity of thought processes. Additionally, attachable pieces can be moved close to the face, which encourages eye contact.

How would I use an adapted book?

Children can be great teachers in knowing how to use an adapted book.  The attachable pieces can fly through the air, sing a song, land on a flower, talk to characters on the next page, ride in a truck to the next destination, or walk across a leaf stem. Children will often match attachable pieces with items in the book, build fine motor skills as they rotate items like a puzzle piece, or play hide and seek with the items in the room. For older children, the following skills can be taught: Identification of objects and colors, sequencing steps, looking for missing objects, and following directions. When used with two or more children, attachable pieces can be used for collecting, trading, and pretend play.

How do I make an adapted book?

Step #1:  Purchase any size Board Books on-line, or buy one at the local book store.

Recommended Starter Books:

Eric Carle—“The Very Quiet Cricket” (which features a cricket sound on the last page of the book)

Eric Carle—“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Step #2: Photo-copy (black and white—Image Photo quality) each page of the book. *Note: Commercial office supply companies will not make color photo copies of the book, due to Copyright laws. All copies in commercial companies must be in black and white, then adapted, which is permissible for use with children who have special needs. Adapted books are not permissible to be resold.

Step #3:  Uses Dot Markers (or Bingo markers, sold in craft and supply stores) to quickly color the black and white images.

Step #4: Use scissors to cut out preferred characters and objects .

Step #5: Laminate (Local office supply store)and cut out the pieces.

Step #6: Attach Velcro strips (on-line for bulk)  within the book, and to the attachable pieces.

Although it takes some preparation to make an adapted book, the books are very durable and serve multiple functions of learning. Your adaptable book  will out-live paperback books, and will stack nicely on a shelf.  Have fun using your imagination, and follow your child’s lead!

-April Kumlin, B.A., SLP-A

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Literacy Series Post #6: Supporting Your Child’s Reading At Home

April 10, 2013

“If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that little shall be much.” -Hesiod

Listed below are some general suggestions for things that parents can do to help support the reading growth of their children. These are general suggestions, meant to be useful for almost any child, and there may be other things your child’s teacher will want you to do that are focused on the specific needs of your child. All of these suggestions come from research on the way children learn to read. If you do some of them regularly in a motivating and supportive way, they will help your child make faster progress in learning to read. Many of these activities, such as those that build vocabulary and teach children to think while they read, will also help your child ultimately be a much better reader than he or she might otherwise become.

Kindergarten

1. Create a special workspace and schedule daily quiet time for your child to do his/her homework from school. Be sure this is a time you are available to help if needed.

2. Schedule 15 minutes of special time everyday to read to your child. Before you read each book, read the title and look at the cover and pictures inside. Ask your child what she thinks the book may be about (prediction). After reading the book, review her prediction. Was the prediction right? If not, what happened instead?

3. Plan to go to the school library, public library, or the local bookstore once each week and read a new book together. After reading each book, talk to him about what happened at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story.

4. Play rhyming games. Say two words that rhyme (e.g. cat, sat) and ask your child to say a word that rhymes with your words. Take turns. Ask your child to say a word and then you respond with a rhyming word. For example, child says “cat”, parent says “hat”; child says “chair”, parent says “pair”.

5. Take turns thinking of two words that begin with the same sound. Examples: mom, moon; dog, door; fun, fast; paper, pet.

6. Play the “say it fast” game. Say a word, one sound at a time and have your child say the word at a normal rate. For example, you say each sound in the word cat, “/c/ /a/ /t/.” Then your child says the word at the normal speed, “cat.” Play this game with about five to ten short words (e.g. am, is, it, in, on, sit, pan, sun, top, net, fin) each day.

7. Take every opportunity you can to help increase your child’s vocabulary. You can do this by pointing to things and asking the child to tell you what they are, or you can stop and explain the meaning of any words in your reading that the child may not understand. The more you talk to your child, the faster their vocabulary will grow.

First Grade

1. Create a special workspace and schedule daily quiet time for your child to do his/her homework from school. Be sure this is a time you are available to help if needed.

2. Schedule 15 minutes of special time everyday to read with your child. Take turns reading a page at a time. Or, read a sentence and then have your child reread that same sentence until you read through the whole book.

3. Plan to go to the school library, public library, or the local bookstore once each week and read a new book together. After each story is read, ask her to retell the story to you. Go back to the story to reread sections if she needs help retelling the story in sequence.

4. Play the “say the word slowly” game. Say a word at normal rate and then have your child say that same word slowly, one sound at a time. For example, say the word, “mat.” Then your child will say that same word slowly, one sound at a time, “/m/ /a/ /t/.” Play this game using about five to ten short words each day.

5. Fold a piece of paper into three parts. Let your child draw a picture of something he did in sequence. Then help your child write one sentence under each picture explaining what he did first, next and last.

6. Take turns thinking of two words that end with the same sound. Examples: mom, some; dog, rug; fun, ran; paper, feather.

7. Take every opportunity you can to help increase your child’s vocabulary. You can do this by pointing to things and asking the child to tell you what they are, or you can stop and explain the meaning of any words in your reading that the child may not understand. The more you talk to your child, the faster their vocabulary will grow.

Second Grade

1. Create a special workspace and schedule daily quiet time for your child to do his/her homework from school. Be sure this is a time you are available to help if needed.

2. Schedule 15 minutes of special time everyday to listen to your child read.

3. Go to the school library, public library, or to the local bookstore once each week and read a new book together. Read the title then look at the cover and pictures inside. Ask your child to predict what the book is about. After reading the book, review prediction then ask about the characters, setting, problem and solution.

4. Fact or Opinion Game: The parent says a sentence to the child then asks whether it is a fact or opinion. Ex: The weather is nice. (Opinion) A dog can bark. (Fact)

5. Encourage reading fluency by having your child read and reread familiar books. It can also be helpful to have your child read a short passage over several times while you record the time it takes. Children often enjoy seeing if they can improve their time from one reading to the next, and the repeated reading helps to establish a habit of fluent reading.

6. Pick out a new vocabulary word from one of the books you are reading with your child. Talk about what it means then make up a sentence with the new word. Try to use the word again that week.

If your child is a struggling reader and you want professional support in helping your child read, please visit our website to make an appointment for an evaluation.


Literacy Series Post #5: Multi Sensory Language Education (MSLE), Reading Instruction, and the Orton-Gillingham Method

April 2, 2013

Studies show that children with dyslexia or related speech sound disorders need a multi-sensory approach to reading. Multi-sensory education incorporates three learning pathways, which are: auditory (hearing), kinesthetic (touching or moving), and visual (seeing). This approach is beneficial not only for students with dyslexia, but for all learners. It can be implemented in a large group setting as well as with individuals, small groups and at-risk populations.

Multi-Sensory Language Education

The content of Multi-Sensory Language Education (MSLE) includes phonology and phonological awareness; sound-symbol association; syllable instruction; morphology; syntax; and semantics.  The method of instruction includes techniques that are simultaneous and multisensory; systematic and cumulative; directly taught; diagnostically taught; synthetic and analytic in principle.

Content

  1. Phonology and Phonological Awareness: this means the study of sounds.  A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language; to understand the internal linguistic structure of words one has to be able to distinguish these discrete pieces.
  2. Sound-Symbol Association: this is the understanding that arbitrary marks on a page stand for particular sounds in a language.
  3. Syllable Instruction: a syllable is a single burst of phonemes which must include one – but only one – vowel sound and a single consonant or consonant cluster, e.g., /sp/.
  4. Morphology: a morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a language.  Any suffix or prefix is a morpheme, carrying its own meaning, as is the base word or root word.  Thus, “run” is one morpheme; “running” has two morphemes.
  5. Syntax: this is the set of principles that dictate the sequence of words in a sentence a well as their function.  Grammar, sentence variation and the mechanics of language are syntactical elements.
  6. Semantics: the aspect of language that concerns itself with meaning.  Since comprehension is the goal of literacy, semantic information is included at every level of a lesson from the very beginning.

Method

  1. Simultaneous, Multisensory:  this teaching uses all available sensory pathways – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile; all are employed together to enhance memory and learning.
  2. Systematic and Cumulative:  teaching material must be organized to follow the natural order of language, beginning with the easiest and progressing methodically to subsequent elements.  Learning builds from simple to complex, never skipping steps.
  3. Direct Instruction:  instructors never assume something will be inferred.  Every element is presented directly, and involves continuous student-teacher interaction.
  4. Diagnostic teaching:  every instructional session is in a sense an assessment, and based on the daily assessment of a student’s needs, the teacher knows what to prescribe for the following lesson.
  5. Synthetic and Analytic Instruction:  teachers show how to bring the elements of language together to form a meaningful whole (synthetic – bringing together) as well as separately presenting the whole and showing how to break it into its parts (analytic – taking apart).  This is “critical thinking”.

Using the Orton-Gillingham approach, a multi-sensory reading method, our reading teacher systematically builds your child’s reading skills through tactile, kinesthetic, oral, visual, and auditory modalities. The Orton-Gillingham approach incorporates the five components essential to effective reading intervention: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension strategies. These are essential skills to prepare for school and life-long learning. Your child will learn:

Left-right orientation

Spelling patterns

Word order

Encoding (writing)

Letter and sound association

Sight words

Word parts

Fine motor skills*

Sequencing

Sound and word patterns

Fluency

Letter formation

*CSLOT occupational therapists are available to provide support/consultation in these areas.

If you think your child needs Multi-Sensory Language Education, visit our appointment page to book a literacy evaluation.


Literacy Series Post #4: Fast ForWord

March 26, 2013

Fast ForWord
A critical first step in CSLOT’s literacy program is Fast ForWord, from Scientific Learning, Inc. Fast ForWord is a computer-based program that that takes your child through a series of age-appropriate, highly motivating computer games, building skills necessary for learning to read. Many speech- and language-impaired children have difficulty with the auditory perceptual task of discriminating between speech sounds. To remediate these foundational discrimination problems, the Fast ForWord software slows down speech so the brain has more time to perceive the acoustic differences between the speech sounds. Playing the games at home for 8-12 weeks, supported by weekly parent consultations with CSLOT’s Fast ForWord specialist, your child will learn to discriminate speech sounds, and as he progresses, the software gradually returns to natural sounding speech.

Fast ForWord Language v2

The Language series develops listening accuracy, phonological awareness, and language structures and moves elementary students who are reading below grade level toward grade level reading skills.

Fast ForWord Language to Reading v2

The Language to Reading series emphasizes the link between spoken and written language to guide young students to become proficient grade level readers.

For more information about Fast ForWord, please visit the Fast ForWord page on our website by clicking here.


Literacy Series Post 3: Speech Sound Disorders

March 19, 2013

Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation and Phonological Processing

A speech sound disorder (SSD) is a broad classification of disorders affecting a child’s (and sometimes adult’s) ability to communicate. Though all children make mistakes when learning new words and sounds, a disorder occurs when the child reaches a certain age and is still making certain mistakes. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can help treat and possibly cure SSDs. The two main types of SSDs are articulation and phonological disorders.

Articulation Disorders

Articulation disorders are characterized by substitution, distortion, omission or addition of sounds in words. A child with an articulation disorder will have difficulty learning how to physically produce certain sounds. One of the more common articulation problems is the inability for a child to produce the “r” sound. The “r” is often substituted with “w,” like saying “twee,” instead of “tree.” A lisp also is a common articulation distortion.

An SLP can teach a patient new ways to produce sounds (for example, changing the placement of the tongue when making certain sounds). Sounds in different words are practiced in repetition, until they become natural for the speaker.

Phonological Process Disorders

Phonological process disorder is marked by a set pattern of sound errors. A child with a phonological process disorder will have difficulties learning the sound system. He or she may not realize that certain different sounds have different meanings. A common example is replacing the “d” sound with a “g”; saying “dot,” for example, instead of “got.” Children with this disorder may be able to hear the sound distinction in other peoples’ voices, but be unaware when they make the distortion.

An SLP will design a program involving studying and repeating words that differ only by one sound to indicate how different sounds signify different meanings. The suggested exercises will generalize age-appropriate phonological patterns.

In many cases, the reason that speech sound disorders occur is unknown, but recent research has shown that weaknesses in phonological awareness and word reading demonstrated by children with SSDs could be at least partially explained by their difficulties with phonological representation, implicating the brain’s auditory processing system.

Many children outgrow the problem, but those who cannot learn to produce sounds correctly, or do not learn the rules of speech on their own, need intervention.  A speech evaluation by an SLP will help decide if the child if the child will outgrow the problem.  There are many factors which will help decide if a child is in need of therapy.  One important consideration is the child’s degree of unintelligibility and how it restricts him from communicating with his family and peers.  A very verbal child who is difficult to understand can often feel frustrated and may respond by withdrawing from the effort of communication.

At CSLOT, we believe it is critical for our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)to provide interventions that comprehensively integrate training in speech perception, speech production, phonological awareness, phonics, and direct reading instruction.

Your child’s speech therapist will support your child’s auditory processing in the area of phonemic awareness by teaching your child how to play with sounds in words, manipulating and changing them in many ways, while speech therapy will show your child how to produce the speech sounds correctly.

To set up an evaluation for your child, please visit our appointment page.


Literacy– Speech Sound Disorders and Reading Problems

February 20, 2013

Most children who struggle with reading are those with a history of Speech Sound Disorders (SSD). In addition to having difficulty saying the speech sounds of the language, children with Speech Sound Disorders need more time to process speech sounds and tend to have difficulty identifying and manipulating them, important aspects of phonological awareness. When it comes to learning to read, children with SSD have difficulty decoding words because they do not have mental representations of how to make the associated sounds for the symbols of the alphabet. Learning to read, for these children, starts with learning to make speech sound distinctions and recognizing patterns in the words they hear.

A speech sound disorder (SSD) is a broad classification of disorders affecting a child’s (and sometimes adult’s) ability to communicate. Though all children make mistakes when learning new words and sounds, a disorder occurs when the child reaches a certain age and is still making certain mistakes. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can help treat and possibly cure SSDs. The two main types of SSDs are articulation and phonological disorders

Articulation and Phonological Processes

Articulation disorders are characterized by substitution, distortion, omission or addition of sounds in words. A child with an articulation disorder will have difficulty learning how to physically produce certain sounds. One of the more common articulation problems is the inability for a child to produce the “r” sound. The “r” is often substituted with “w,” like saying “twee,” instead of “tree.” A lisp also is a common articulation distortion.

An SLP can teach a patient new ways to produce sounds (for example, changing the placement of the tongue when making certain sounds). Sounds in different words are practiced in repetition, until they become natural for the speaker.

Phonological process disorder is marked by a set pattern of sound errors. A child with a phonological process disorder will have difficulties learning the sound system. He or she may not realize that certain different sounds have different meanings. A common example is replacing the “d” sound with a “g”; saying “dot,” for example, instead of “got.” Children with this disorder may be able to hear the sound distinction in other peoples’ voices, but be unaware when they make the distortion.

An SLP will design a program involving studying and repeating words that differ only by one sound to indicate how different sounds signify different meanings. The suggested exercises will generalize age-appropriate phonological patterns.

In many cases, the reason that speech sound disorders occur is unknown, but recent research has shown that weaknesses in phonological awareness and word reading demonstrated by children with SSDs could be at least partially explained by their difficulties with phonological representation, implicating the brain’s auditory processing system.

Many children outgrow the problem, but those who cannot learn to produce sounds correctly, or do not learn the rules of speech on their own, need intervention.  A speech evaluation by an SLP will help decide if the child if the child will outgrow the problem.  There are many factors which will help decide if a child is in need of therapy.  One important consideration is the child’s degree of unintelligibility and how it restricts him from communicating with his family and peers.  A very verbal child who is difficult to understand can often feel frustrated and may respond by withdrawing from the effort of communication.

At CSLOT, we believe it is critical for our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)to provide interventions that comprehensively integrate training in speech perception, speech production, phonological awareness, phonics, and direct reading instruction.

Your child’s speech therapist will support your child’s auditory processing in the area of phonemic awareness by teaching your child how to play with sounds in words, manipulating and changing them in many ways, while speech therapy will show your child how to produce the speech sounds correctly.

To set up an evaluation for your child, please visit our appointment page.


Choosing the Right Book for Your Child

November 30, 2012

Finding the right book for your child can be a difficult task! With bookstores and libraries full of books, it can be overwhelming. It is crucial to find the book your child wants to read AND make sure it’s at the right reading level for your child. Listed below are some guidelines to help you:

  • Choose topics your child enjoys (e.g., butterflies), or is curious about to keep him or her interested and engaged.
  • Let children choose their own books, from an appropriate selection. This helps build a lifelong love of reading.
  • Consider pictures and words. Younger children enjoy more illustrations and fewer words. For preschool-aged children, you can choose slightly more complex texts with good rhythm, word repetition, and stories.
  • Choose books to help explain an upcoming experience or outing. If your child is anxious about an event coming up (trip to the zoo, a play date), choosing similar themes in a book will help the child to get excited and feel more comfortable with the idea.
  • Choose books that reflect your child’s everyday activities, such as playing with friends, brushing teeth, visiting family, and going-to-sleep routines. They can help you teach valuable lessons and routines.
  • Choose books that reflect your child’s concerns, such as the start of new daycare or a fear of the dark. These books help children realize that their feelings are normal and that they’re not alone. These books also help your child learn how to handle their anxiety in a positive way.
  • Select a wide variety of books and reading materials, including fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, chapter books, graphic novels and comics, folk and fairy tales, and joke and riddle books…this will also help your child build a wider vocabulary.
  • Shared reading time should be enjoyable. If your child does not like a book you are reading together, put it away. Reading is a fun time to share, not a time to fight.

Also remember that your local library is also a great place! The librarian is available to assist you, and may be able to help you find something you are looking for. The library also gives your child a time to explore and find other books that they may find interesting. Many libraries also offer a free story time. Check out your local library schedule for possible upcoming story times!

Katey Sellers, M.A., CCC-SLP

Information was gathered from the following website: http://bblocks.samhsa.gov/family/time/choosing_right_books.aspx