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Information About the Communication Continuum
Speech, Language, Literacy
Park Slope Communication & Learning Center News                                                  Issue 1, January 1, 2011
You can sometimes make words using the letters in a larger word. For example, from the word "tube" you can make "be," "bet," "but," and "tub." Now onto a harder one: how many words can you make from the word "kitchen"? (Hint: we found 41 - scroll down to see answers.)

Riddles for Kids
Silly Animals!
Q. Did you hear the story about the skunks?
A: Never miind, it stinks!
Q: What did the duck say when he finished shopping?
A: Put it on my bill please!
Q: What do you call a crate of ducks?
A: A box of quackers!
Q: Why did the dolphin cross the beach?
A: To get to the other tide!
Q: Why are giraffes so slow to apologize?
A: It takes them a long time to swallow their pride!
Q: Why are elephants never rich?
A: Because they work for peanuts!
Q: What is the difference between a fish and a piano?
A: You can't tuna fish!
Q: Why did the lamb run over the cliff?
A: He didn't see the ewe turn!
Q: Why did the turkey cross the road?
A: To prove she wasn't chicken!
Q: What bird can be heard at mealtimes?
A: A swallow!

Answers to WordsInWords
Cent, chin, chink, cite, etch, ethic, ethnic, he, hen, hi, hike, hint, hit, ice, in, inch, ink, it, itch, kin, kit, kite, knit, neck, net, nice, niche, nick, ten, the, then, thick, thicken, think, think, tick, tick, tie, tike, tin, tine
In This Issue

  • Our Presentation to the American Speech-Language-Hearing (ASHA) National Convention on Evidence Based Reading Practice and the Phonic Engine Reading Method
  • How to Help Your Child Learn to Read
  • Early Developmental Milestones for Language
  • Question and Answer
  • For Fun: Trivia Quiz
  • For Fun: Some interesting events in January!
In Upcoming Issues
  • Enriching Your Child's Vocabulary
  • Fun Language and Literacy Games
  • Is it Normal Disfluency or Stuttering?
  • More On Early Developmental Milestones for Language
Welcome to the first issue of CC-News. You are receiving this newsletter either because you have requested it, or because you’re a current or former client or associate of Park Slope Communication & Learning Center. If you do not wish to receive any further newsletters, please click "Unsubscribe" at the bottom. You'll have the opportunity to “opt-out” with every email.
Our plan is to keep you informed about all matters related to the Communication Continuum: Speech, Language, and Literacy; to keep you updated on seminars and other matters of interest; to answer questions you may have in a Q & A section; and also to provide information about programs, other happenings at our center, interesting facts, and all sorts of things. Any suggestions? Questions? About speech, language, literacy, or this newsletter? Please let us know! At news@parkslopecc.com.
Presentation to ASHA
In November, we were invited to give, and gave, a presentation of our Phonic Engine Reading Method, and how it's used to facilitate reading, writing, and spelling, using Evidence Based Practices (EBP). Do you wonder what EBP are with respect to reading? Do you think that one reading approach, such as Phonics vs. Whole Language, is better? You may be surprised. To view the presentation handouts, please click here.
Helping My Child Learn to Read

Parents want to know, “When should I start reading to my child?” The answer is very simple…as early as possible. When you are sitting and holding your baby on your lap, open a book. Pick a book that’s large, with bright, colorful pictures and just a little bit of text, or no text at all (even a child at one or two months will enjoy being held and looking at colorful pictures -- but remember, at this age, attention span is short, so if they lose interest, put the book down). Point to the pictures and name them. Even a family photo album is fine. It’s just that simple. You can even take your little one’s hand and point together.
When your baby becomes a toddler, you can emphasize the text (as long as it is simple) a bit more, as in “See the dog? The dog is running.” Then, as your toddler becomes more of a talker, rather than just the listener, you can take it a step further. Start pointing out the sounds in the words. Let’s say you have a picture of a horse in your picture book. So you say, “Horse, h…h…horse” and you can even point to the letter “h” if it’s on the page. One very important pre-reading skill is the awareness that words are made up of sounds. That ultimately leads to sound blending, the ability to see h/a/t and form the word “hat”. Rhyming books, like those by Dr. Seuss, also help develop that awareness, because the child can hear that by changing one little sound, you make a whole, new word.
Now, let's say you have a little preschooler, a child of 3 or 4 years of age. Pick books that are developmentally appropriate and read, read, read. Pick short books -- chapter books are not necessary. Talk about the story, act it out, take turns re-telling parts of it. This will enhance your child’s understanding of the story and is also a great way to learn new vocabulary words. But, most of all, you both should have lots of fun. Your child should learn from you that reading is pleasurable, especially when you share it.
As your child gets closer to starting kindergarten, you can emphasize how the letters and sounds go together even more. You can play lots of letter-sound games with your child. For example, you can play a "20 Questions" kind of game. "I am thinking of a fruit and it begins with /a/ (short a as in alligator), then give more clues until your child figures out that you are talking about the a in apple. Another way to help your child learn about letter-sound combinations is to play a matching game, using pictures or objects that begin or contain the same sound such as "bunny" and "baby". Another activity could be going on a "search" for objects beginning with the same letter-sound. Selecting /t/ as your beginning letter-sound combination could yield words like towel, toaster, and TV. Write the words down and draw or find pictures of the items that you find. Practice writing the letters as you talk about the sounds they make. You can write with pencil and paper, and you can also use a whiteboard or rice or even spaghetti!
Expectations of what a child should know upon entering Kindergarten vary. The more your child knows about the fact that words are made up of sounds, that sounds are represented by letters (and what those sounds and letters are), that reading is from left to right...and so on, the better off your child will be. As always, make it fun and be patient!
Early Developmental Milestones for Language (part 1 of 2): First Year

Language development begins well before you hear your child’s happily awaited first word. When your child looks at your face, that is the beginning of communication skills. When your child smiles in response to your smile, that is the beginning of communication. When your child vocalizes and you can tell that she’s happy or sad or hungry, that is the beginning of communication skills. We have approximate ages when parents should expect to see various communicative behaviors. It is important to keep in mind that there is range of ages that is considered typical for any language behavior.
Babies generally begin to look at their parents’ faces within the first month of life. You may also notice that your child's cries are quieted by the sound of your voice. It may be a surprise to know that your child has actually been hearing your voice for many months since hearing is developed before your child is born.
Over the next couple of months, your child begins to vocalize in a variety of ways, not just crying (thank goodness!) and you may be able to tell when he is hungry, tired or contented. You will hear squeals and chuckles. He'll vocalize in response to your voice, too and you'll see his social smile. Gradually, you'll begin to notice some consonant sounds and then, the beginning of babbling behavior, what is commonly known as “baby talk”.
At around the age of 6 months, sounds that are not in the baby’s native language begin to drop out. This does not occur in children that cannot hear. The repetition of syllables (as in ba-ba-ba) decreases, as your baby begins to use more single syllables, and it might sound more like ba-di-nu. Your baby will begin to vocalize in response to talking, almost like she’s participating in the conversation. Your child’s vocalizations should increase in quantity and variety. And of course, we all hear that meaningful first words occur at around the age of one year.
The important thing to remember is that these ages are approximate, but one thing you SHOULD see, is your child's interest and awareness of the speech around her. Whether your child looks at you when you talk to her and whether or not she enjoys vocalizing with you are more important than all of the aforementioned numbers. Often, when parents call me to find out if they should be concerned that their 15 month old is not talking, one of the first questions I ask is, “Does your child interact with you in other ways and is she interested when you speak with her?" More on early language development in our next issue.
Age 2 covered in the next issue of CC-News.

Question and Answer

Q. Should I correct my child's’s speech when he's not doing his speech homework?

A. This is one of the most frequently asked questions from parents of children who have articulation (i.e. pronunciation) problems. They want to know whether they should correct their children’s speech during times other than when they are doing their speech homework.

Generally, it works best to correct children only during speech homework time. For many children it becomes a source of frustration and irritation to have how they spoke become the focus of their parents' attention, rather than what they said. It's fine to model the correct production, so if a child says, "I want thoup", the parent may respond by saying, "You want sss-soup (prolonging the /s/sound)? What kind would you like?" So here, the parent models the correct production but keeps the focus on what the child intended to communicate.

As therapy progresses, the child’s homework may include saying the /s/ sound (for example) correctly from 3-4 PM daily, in which case he or she will expect that corrections will (or may) occur during conversational speech; but parents still have to remember to also respond to what their child said.

Throughout the course of speech therapy, keep in mind that the manner and frequency of correction is something that should be discussed with your speech therapist.

Trivia Quiz: Trivial Trivia!

1. How many minutes does it take for light from the sun to reach Earth?
2. Where is the volcano Erebus located?
3. What is the name of the Toys R Us mascot giraffe?
4. In what year did the first casino open in Atlantic City?
5. What was the first U.S. state to join the Union after the original 13?
6. Which state has the most 7-11 stores?
7. Which planet has the largest volcano and the largest valley in the solar system?
8. What institution is responsible for measuring and distributing correct time in the United States?
9. How old was actress Judy Garland when she filmed “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939?
10. How many grooves are on the edge of a quarter?


1. Eight minutes.
2. Antarctica.
3. Geoffrey.
4. 1978.
5. Vermont.
6. California.
7. Mars.
8. The U.S. Naval Observatory.
9. 16 years old.
10. 119.
January 2011 Holidays and Events

Book Blitz Month
California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month
Celebration of Life Month
Financial Wellness Month
International Change Your Stars Month
International Creativity Month
International New Year’s Resolution Month for Business
International Quality of Life Month
International Wayfinding Month
International Wealth Mentality Month
National Be On Purpose Month
National Clean Up Your Computer Month
National Get Organized Month
National Glaucoma Awareness Month
National Hot Tea Month
National Mailorder Gardening Month
National Mentoring Month
National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month
National Poverty in America Awareness Month
National Radon Action Month
National Skating Month
National Volunteer Blood Donor Month
Oatmeal Month
Rising Star Month
Self-Help Group Awareness Month
Shape Up US Month

1 New Year’s Day
1 Z Day
1-7 Diet Resolution Week
2 Happy Mew Year for Cats Day
2 National Motivation and Inspiration Day
2-8 Someday We'll Laugh About This Week
3 Fruitcake Toss Day
3-9 New Year’s Resolutions Week
3-9 Women’s Self-Empowerment Week
4 Dimpled Chad Day
4 Trivia Day
4 World Hypnotism Day
5 Twelfth Night
5 National Bird Day
6 Epiphany
6 Cuddle Up Day
7 I’m Not Going to Take It Anymore Day
8 National Joygerm Day
8 Bubble Bath Day
8 Show-And-Tell Day at Work
9-15 Home Office Safety and Security Week
10 National Clean Off Your Desk Day
11-17 Cuckoo Dancing Week
12 National Pharmacist Day
13 Make Your Dream Come True Day
13 International Skeptics Day
14 Dress Up Your Pet Day
15 National Hat Day
16 Appreciate a Dragon Day
16 National Nothing Day
16 Religious Freedom Day
16 World Religion Day
16-22 Healthy Weight Week
16-22 Hunt for Happiness Week
17 Judgment Day
17 Kid Inventors’ Day
17 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
18 Thesaurus Day
18-25 Week of Christian Unity
19 National Popcorn Day
20 Get to Know Your Customer Day
20 Women’s Healthy Weight Day
20 Penguin Awareness Day
21 National Hugging Day
21 Squirrel Appreciation Day
22 Answer Your Cat’s Question Day
22 Celebration of Life Day
22 National Blonde Brownie Day
23 National Pie Day
23 Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day
23 National Handwriting Day
23-29 National Handwriting Analysis Week
23-29 National Nurse Anesthetists Week
24 Belly Laugh Day
24 National Compliment Day
24-28 Clean Out Your Inbox Week
24-28 National Medical Group Practice Week
24-28 National Nuclear Science Week
25 National Speak Up and Succeed Day
25 A Room of One’s Own Day
26 Spouse’s Day
27 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
27 Punch the Clock Day
28 Fun at Work Day
28 National Kazoo Day
29 Curmudgeons Day
29 Freethinker’s Day
29 National Seed Swap Day
29 National Puzzle Day
30 Inane Answering Message Day
31 Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
31 Inspire Your Heart With the Arts Day
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