Happy Better Hearing and Speech Month!!

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and summer break is approaching! Time for family vacations, day trips to local attractions, and who can forget about all the swimming!!! With all the fun things planned, it is important to remember that children need continued language-enriched activities to keep their minds active while they’re not in school. Think of it as exercising….if you do it daily, or even weekly, it is much easier for your body to respond to all of the physical activity. On the other hand, if you stop for a month (or two, or three) your leg muscles will have a hard time remembering how to run on the…what’s that thing called again??? The same goes for our brains. Here are some suggestions on how to stay mentally active for the summer…

  • Read! Read! Read! Read what? Anything! Everything! Depending on the age of your child, it could be books, magazines, newspapers, comic strips, etc. Whatever would keep your child interested. Older children can read to themselves, and then tell you what they read about. You can read to your younger child and talk about what’s happening as you read the story. 10-20 minutes at least 3-4 times a week would be ideal.
  • Play entertaining memory and question/answer games during car trips.  You’d be amazed at how fun they are. For a list of car games and suitable ages, visit  http://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/ideas/8-fun-car-game-ideas/
  • Go for walks in the neighborhood and talk about your environment. This is especially great for the little ones, aged 3 and younger. Talk about everything you see and narrate what is happening (“Oh look! I see a dog. That dog is big. I like dogs.”).
  • Create a writing journal. This is great for our school-aged kiddos, 7 years and older. They could write about anything they want. I would suggest writing at least 4 or 5 sentences daily, though 3-4 times a week would be great.
  • For our kiddos in speech therapy, it is best to keep them in treatment during the summer break. Summer is a great time for boosting those speech and language skills. It could also help to get them involved in some interactive summer camps.
  • Try to limit the use of electronic devices and increase family time to play board games, have backyard picnics, or even cook together. For more information on children and use of electronic devices, please visit http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7802751-asha-risks-of-tech-overuse-poll/ and http://www.asha.org/uploadedImages/BHSM-Infographic.jpeg