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Information About the Communication Continuum
Speech, Language, Literacy
Park Slope Communication & Learning Center News
Issue 2 - February, 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 "heart?" (Hint: we found 27.)

Riddles for Kids: Valentine's Day
Q: What did the Valentine envelope say to the stamp?
A: Stick with me and we'll go places!

Q: How do two Valentines talk?
A: Heart to heart!

Q: What happened when two dogs met on Valentine's Day?
A: Puppy love!

Q: What do snowmen do on Valentine's Day?
A: They throw a big Snow Ball!

Q: What do you call two pigs that send each other Valentines?
A: Pen pals!

Q: What did the boy banana say to the girl banana?
A: You appeal to me!

Q: What did the painter say to her boyfriend?
A: I love you with all my art!

Q: What do you call two birds in love?
A: Tweethearts!

Q: What did one oar say to the other?
A: Can I interest you in a little row-mance?

Answers to WordsInWords
A, ah, are, art, at, ate, ear, earth, eat, era, hare, hart, hat, hate, hater, he, hear, heart, heat, her, rat, rate, tar, tare, tea, tear, the.

In This Issue

  • Seminars
  • Congratulations Gus!!!
  • Early Developmental Milestones for Language - Part 2
  • Fun Language and Early Literacy Games
  • Is It Normal Disfluency or Stuttering in Preschoolers?
  • Question and Answer
  • For Fun: Trivia Quiz
  • For Fun: Some Interesting events in February!

In Upcoming Issues

  • Enriching Your Child's Vocabulary
  • How Stuttering is Treated, and What You Can Do to Help
  • Good Web Sites to Enhance Literacy
  • Developmental Milestones for Literacy
  • PECS - A Language Program for Children on the Autistic Spectrum

You're receiving this newsletter either because you have requested it, or because youíre 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 ďopt-out" with every email.

Our ongoing goal is to keep you informed about all matters related to the Communication Continuum: Speech, Language, and Literacy; to keep you updated on our seminars and other matters of interest; to answer questions you may have, and also provide some fun activities for your child, created by us, by colleagues, as well as syndicated content.


Please submit any questions you have regarding Speech, Language, and Literacy, and we'll be happy to reply in an upcoming issue of CC-News. If you do submit a question (to news@parkslopecc.com), be sure to let us know if you'd like your name (first and/or last) to appear, or if you'd prefer it left out.


In the past, we've held seminars and discussions on: Stuttering, Auditory Processing Disorders, How to Help Your Child Develop Reading Skills, Early Speech and Language Development (0 - 5), Speech/Language/Feeding Developmental Milestones, Using the Phonic Engineģ Reading Method to Facilitate Reading, Writing, and Spelling. Please let us know if you'd personally like any of these repeated, or have other topics that you'd like to hear about.

Congratulations Gus!!! (as well as his mom & dad, and his teachers at PS-321)
Gus is a Participant in Our Phonic Engine Reading Program
-- Names used with permission

From: Amy Crews
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:00 PM
To: Laura Reisler
Subject: Gus's Reading Assessment!

Hi Laura,

I canít wait until next week to tell you this! Today Gusís teacher came dashing out of school to tell me that she had done the mid-year reading assessments and Gus has jumped to an ĎNí level in reading from a J/K at the first report card in November. She was so excited and proud of him (as am I). Heís been working so hard he really deserves this! I have been seeing him making progress at home for so long but it is really wonderful that it is showing so clearly at school. It shows that his confidence is coming which is what I have been so concerned about.

Thanks again for all you have been doing for him and see you on Monday!
All the best,

From: Laura Reisler
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:45 PM
To: Amy Crews
Subject: Re: Gus's Reading Assessment!

Hi Amy,

That is such wonderful news and you know what, I am not surprised! He is such a hard worker.

Have a lovely rest of the week (and hopefully, a not too snowy one).

With Warm Regards,


From: Laura Reisler
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 9:36 AM
To: Amy Crews
Subject: a question

Hi Amy,

Would we be able to use your wonderful note to me on our website? It is typical that initials are used unless you feel comfortable with actual names being used. Anyway, we were advised by a marketing person that we need to use testimonials and the like in order to grow the reading portion of our practice, so if it is okay with you, I would be very appreciative.

Thanks and have a great day!

Warm Regards,

From: Amy Crews
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 2:46 PM
To: "Laura Reisler" laura@parkslopecc.com
Subject: RE: a question
Hello Laura,

Of course!! Anything we can do to help you is a pleasure. Feel free to use our full names or initials - whatever is best for your purposes. We are very happy to have our names associated with you and your practice

I definitely talk you up to anyone who will listen!

See you Monday,

Early Developmental Milestones for Language - Part 2

We finished our last newsletter at the age of approximately one year. Your baby has just begun to use a single word or two. How do you know it's a real word? Well, if you notice the same sound or set of sounds (like baba for bottle) consistently, then it is a word, even if it doesn't sound just like the adult pronunciation. And, you know what? Even if you're not sure, you might as well act as if your child did say a real word. If you give your baby her bottle when she says "baba", then she comes to realize that, sounds have meaning and they get results! At this age, she will also look at familiar objects when you name them. She might also touch her nose or mouth when you ask her to.

While your baby is acquiring single words, you may also notice that he still uses sounds that have no meaning. For example, you might hear, "Ahgagabagacookie". This is called jargon; a series of sound combinations with true words interspersed. That's his way of showing you that he understands that one thing that we humans do is produce strings of sounds, with lots of expression, directed towards a listener. This behavior will continue until the ages of 18 to 24 months, as your child's vocabulary of true words continues to develop.

By the age of about 18 months, children can say an average of 25 to 50 single words. Right around this time, they will start to use word combinations. First, you'll hear two words together, such as, "no more" or "go bye-bye" or the ever popular "give me". Your child will also expand his repertoire of sounds. He'll also imitate words that you say including animal sounds.

Over the course of the next six months, your child will begin to combine three words, then four, and so on. It may seem as though he is learning new words every week. He may even point to a picture in a book and really pay attention when you read to him. As your child's language becomes more complex, you will also notice that his play will be noticeably more complex. He'll feed a baby doll, pour make-believe juice in a cup and then give the baby doll a drink.

The first two years of your baby's life are a time of tremendous growth and change. His vocalizations that began as cries are now true words and sentences.

Fun Language and Early Literacy Games (you can play during bath time, etc.)

Teaching your child language and early reading skills can be (and should be) great fun for you and your child. With a little coaching, you'll see how easy it is to enrich your child's vocabulary, comprehension, sound and letter association and phonemic awareness. Bath time is one of many times during the day that you have the opportunity to optimize all of the above.

Let's begin with the morning; a time when most parents feel really rushed. Without taking one additional millisecond, here's how you can work on vocabulary, and all of the above. Okay, it's time to get dressed, so you say, "First, we put on your sock. Socks on! Then, we put on your shoe. Shoe on your foot. Two shoes on your feet! Here's your shirt. (Your child's name here)'s shirt is green. See the green frog. The frog is on the rock. The frog is happy.

So what did your child learn about here? It's a surprisingly long list, compared with how little you needed to say. We have object labels, regular and irregular plurals, prepositions, color as well as other describing words, sentence structure, and sequential events, which we demonstrated by using the words "first" and "then".

Now, it's time for breakfast. You say, "Here's (Your child's name here)'s breakfast. First, we pour our juice. Juice in the cup. Mmm. The juice is sweet and cold. It's orange juice. The glass is full of orange juice. MMM, drink the juice. Ooh, the glass is empty now. Let's have some more. Now, the eggs are ready. Let's put the eggs on your plate and then we'll put the toast on your plate. What a yummy breakfast! Let's eat now. We're not hungry anymore. Now, we're full. Our tummies are full! (as you pat your stomach).

So again, without spending one additional second, you've talked to your child about object labels, describing words including an opposite pair (full and empty and hungry and full), recurrence (more), negation (not hungry), sequencing events, sentence structure; the list goes on and on. You and your child have had fun, she's learned a lot and you still made it to Gymboree, or to Day Care right on time.

Now, so far, we've only (only!!) talked about language per se, not pre-literacy skills. Again, we're not doing anything extraordinary; we're using everyday opportunities to facilitate letter awareness, and sound awareness. In the bath, it's fun to sing together. So, why not sing the alphabet song. Then, "'b' is for bubble, 'b' says "buh", s is for soap, s says ssssss" Play a rhyming game that helps kids develop phonemic awareness. In our house, we used to have a "rhyme-off". You say a word and your child (maybe, with your help) says a word or a nonsense word that rhymes with it. Then you rhyme and then your child makes a rhyme. When one of you is stuck, you move onto a different word.

Another game that helps your child develop pre-literacy skills goes like this. Your child says a letter he knows and you say the letter, the sound it makes and a word that begins with that letter. He says "the letter 'n'." Then you say, "'N' says nnnnnn like in the word 'nose'". "An older preschooler will also be able to take turns. Another game is a variation on Twenty Questions. You say "I'm thinking about something that says woof-woof and begins with the sound 'd'." You can move on to ending sounds when your child seems ready.

With these simple talking games, your child learns about letters, the sounds the letters make, beginning sounds and ending sounds. Practicing rhyming word families, she learns skills that prepare her for decoding and spelling. You can do these at the dinner table or in the bath.

So, you strengthen your connection with your child while he learns vocabulary, grammar, concepts, sequencing, and language comprehension. You've gotten your child ready for reading by playing letter/sound and rhyming games. It doesn't take one additional minute out of your day either. A definite win-win situation!

Is It Normal Disfluency or Stuttering in Preschoolers?

Parents frequently call in a state of great concern when they believe their youngster might be stuttering. So the question is, how do we determine when the child is exhibiting normal disfluency or stuttering?

First, let's define our terms. Disfluency is anything that impedes the forward movement of speech. So, when you stop in mid-sentence and say "Um" or "Er" that is disfluency. Or, if you say, "I want, um, I want that", that is disfluency. Stuttering differs from disfluency in both quantity and quality.

Research indicates that preschoolers tend to be highly disfluent. They back up, repeat words and restate much of the time. In fact, one study found that in a language sample taken from a group of 3 year olds, every third word was repeated. What underlies this high degree of disfluency is the child's developing language system.

In other words, the preschool child is developing vocabulary, grammatical structures and the ability to talk about abstract ideas and events. Because these skills are not yet fully developed, there is a lack of automaticity. The child might struggle to find the word he wants to say or the structure needed (as in past tense 'ed') to fully express his idea. So, it appears that for most youngsters, disfluency is part of the developmental process.

Now, we call these "normal" disfluencies, not stuttering. So what disfluencies raise a red flag during a speech evaluation? Sound repetitions (b-b-book) or prolongations (sssssoup) are indicative of a possible fluency disorder. Part word repetitions (be-be-because) are also not typical of developmental disfluencies. Remember, we also said quality and quantity. If a child occasionally repeats or prolongs a sound, that should not be a cause for concern.

However, if you notice that your child is exhibiting speech behaviors such as repetition of sounds, prolongation of sounds in words (as mentioned above), seems "stuck" and cannot get his words out, or exhibits facial tension during speech, this behavior is a cause for concern.

In the next issue of CC-News, we'll talk about how you can help a disfluent or stuttering child become more fluent, and discuss the therapeutic treatment for stuttering.

Trivia Quiz: Hearty Trivia

Hearts are associated with love and romance. But there is a practical side to these organs. Test your heart knowledge with this trivia quiz.

1. How many gallons of blood does your heart pump every day: 500, 3600 or 8000?
2. Your blood contains about 250 trillion red blood cells. How many die off and are replaced by new ones every second?
3. True or False: Your blood makes 1000 complete trips around your body every day.
4. How many chambers does your heart have?
5. How large is your heart?
6. How long does it take for your blood to return to your heart after making a complete trip through your body: 5, 20 or 60 minutes?
7. What percentage of a person's body weight is blood?
8. The human heart beats about 70 times per minute. A hummingbird's heart beats up to 1300 times per minute. How many times does a blue whale's heart beat in a minute?
9. What is the most common blood type in the world?
10. How many times does your heart beat in an average year?


1. 8000.
2. 8 million.
3. True.
4. Four--the left and right atrium, and the left and right ventricle.
5. It is just slightly larger than the size of your fist.
6. 20 minutes.
7. 7 percent.
8. 10 times per minute.
9. Type O.
10. 44 million times.

February 2011 Holidays and Events

AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month
American Heart Month
Bake for Family Fun Month
Canned Food Month
Creative Romance Month
Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month
Great American Pie Month
International Boost Self-Esteem Month
International Expect Success Month
Jobs in Golf Month
Library Lovers' Month
Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month
National Bird-Feeding Month
National Black History Month
National Care about Your Indoor Air Month
National Cherry Month
National Children's Dental Health Month
National Grapefruit Month
National Mend a Broken Heart Month
National Parent Leadership Month
National Pet Dental Health Month
National Time Management Month
National Weddings Month
Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month
Pull Your Sofa Off of the Wall Month
Relationship Wellness Month
Return Shopping Cars to the Supermarket Month
Spunky Old Broads Month
Star Fruit Month
Wise Health Care Consumer Month
Worldwide Renaissance of the Heart Month
Youth Leadership Month

1 African-American Coaches Day
1 Hula in the Coola Day
1 Robinson Crusoe Day
1 G.I. Joe Day
1-7 National Patient Recognition Week
1-7 Solo Diners Eat Out Week
1-7 Women's Heart Week
2 Groundhog Day
2 Hedgehog Day
2 National Girls and Women in Sports Day
3 Chinese New Year
4 Bubble Gum Day
4 National Wear Red Day
4 Thank a Mailman Day
5 Weatherman's Day
5-11 Dump Your Significant Jerk Week
6 Super Bowl XLV
6-12 Children's Authors & Illustrators Week
6-12 Freelance Writers Appreciation Week
6-12 International Coaching Week
6-12 Jell-O Week
6-12 National Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Week
7 Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbors Day
7-13 Publicity for Profit Week
7-14 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week
7-11 International Networking Week
7-11 Just Say No to PowerPoint Week
7-11 National School Counseling Week
7-14 Risk Awareness Week
8 Laugh and Get Rich Day
8 Boy Scouts Day
9 National Stop Bullying Day
10 Umbrella Day
11 Be Electrific Day
11 Pro Sports Wives Day
11 Satisfied Staying Single Day
12 Darwin Day
13 Employee Legal Awareness Day
13 Get a Different Name Day
13 Madly in Love with Me Day
13 Man Day
13-19 PTA Take Your Family to School Week
13-19 International Flirting Week
14 Valentine's Day
14 National Donor Day
14 National Have-a-Heart Day
14 Race Relations Day
14-20 Love a Mensch Week
14-21 National Nestbox Week
15 Susan B. Anthony Day
16 Do a Grouch a Favor Day
17 My Way Day
17 World Human Spirit Day
17 Random Acts of Kindness Day
18 National Battery Day
19 National Chocolate Mint Day
20 Cherry Pie Day
20 Love Your Pet Day
20-26 Build a Better Trade Show Image Week
20-26 National Engineers Week
21 Presidents' Day
21 International Mother Language Day
22 Single-Tasking Day
22 Spay Day
23 Curling is Cool Day
23 Inconvenience Yourself Day
23 International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
23 Tennis Day
24 Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
24 National Chili Day
24 National Tortilla Chip Day
24 National Personal Chef Day
26 For Pete's Sake Day
26 Open That Bottle Night
26 National Pistachio Day
27 Polar Bear Day
27 No Brainer Day
27-Mar 5 Telecommuter Appreciation Week
28 Floral Design Day
28 National Tooth Fairy Day

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