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Information About the Communication Continuum
Speech, Language, Literacy
Park Slope Communication & Learning Center Newsletter
Issue 21 - September, 2012
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 "notebook?" (Hint: we found 27.)

Riddles for Kids: School Daze
Q: What do you get when you cross a teacher and a vampire?
A: Lots of blood tests!

Q: Why does the teacher think of an empty classroom when she closes her eyes?
A: Because there are no pupils to see!

Q: Why did the teacher put the lights on?
A: Because the class was so dim!

Q: What kind of food do math teachers eat?
A: Square meals!

Q: Where do you go to learn how to make ice cream?
A: Sundae school!

Q: What is the smartest animal?
A: The skunk, because it makes a lot of scents!

Q: Why was the scissors thrown out of school?
A: It kept cutting classes!

Q: Why did the balloon get good grades?
A: It went to the top of the class!

Q: What is the difference between a school bus driver and a cold?
A: One knows the stops and the other stops the nose!

Q: Why did the firefly get good grades?
A: It was very bright!

Answers to WordsInWords
Be, bent, bet, bone, boo, book, boot, eon, knob, knot, net, no, nook, not, note, oboe, on, one, onto, ten, to, toe, token, ton, tone, too, took.

In This Issue

  • CAPD (also called APD) testing
  • Stories from the Kids: Rowan, Jack, Ryan (with videos!)
  • Monthly Feature: Phonic Engine Reading Method & KidsVoyager Online: What happened last month?
  • For Fun: Trivia Quiz
  • For Fun: Some Interesting Events in September!

In Upcoming Issues

  • Bilingualism, is it a positive or a negative?
  • Speech vitamins: do they work?
  • Causes for hearing loss
  • How to help your child write short stories

You're 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 e-mail.

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 Engine® 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.

Testing for Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD)

Parents often ask us whether we think their child has an auditory processing disorder. Central auditory processing is defined as how the brain interprets what the ear hears. A central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is diagnosed by an audiologist, although a deficit in auditory processing is not the same thing as a hearing loss. In addition, it specifically precludes higher order cognitive disorders such as mental retardation, or specific language impairments.

Children are generally referred for CAPD testing for specific behaviors that are noted by parents, teachers or speech-language pathologists while performing an evaluation. These children often have difficulty hearing with background noise, as in a noisy classroom. They may have difficulty discriminating one sound or word from another. Following directions, especially multi-step directions may be difficult. Even though there is no hearing loss, difficulty with sound discrimination may result in frequent requests for repetition ('huh?'). Academic difficulties, especially in the area of phonics, as well as other aspects of reading, may be observed. Interestingly, some children with auditory processing impairments have no obvious deficits at all. This points to the fact that auditory processing is not any one thing; there are numerous auditory processes. Here is a list of some auditory processes:

  • The ability to localize or lateralize sound; that is, to be able to tell where the sound is coming from. Think about children in school having to focus on their teachers' voices, while tuning out the voices of their classmates.
  • Auditory discrimination: the ability to differentiate similar sounding phonemes, such at file and pile or zoo and shoe. In the school setting, as well as in other settings, children, especially during the language and literacy learning years, must internalize an accurate and undistorted message.
  • Auditory processing with a degraded signal. A good example of this would be talking on a cellular phone. Even though many frequencies are filtered out, most of us still understand the message. It is important that as language users, we fill in the missing bits of sound and perceive the message correctly.
  • Dichotic listening, which is the ability to hear a signal in both ears, even if they are different from other. An individual with CAPD might hear 9-3 in the right ear while simultaneously hearing 6-4 in the other, and then be unable to repeat all four digits correctly. Or they might be asked to state what they heard in one ear or the other, and not be able to do so.

Testing to discern all of the above processes is performed by an audiologist. If any area is deficient, that will generally equate with a specific difficulty in the school setting.

During a speech/language evaluation, the tester may perform screening tests to determine the need for more in-depth testing by an audiologist. One test is the Differential Screening Test for Processing, by Gail Richards and Jeanane Ferre. This test is given using a computer and headsets. One of the subtests presents two numbers in one ear and two different numbers in the other ear and the student has to name all four numbers. Another subtest requires students to repeat a nonsense word that is being heard in the presence of background noise. This testing is similar to what the audiologist does but results in a pass/fail score and merely points to the need to more in-depth testing by an audiologist.

If the CAPD test results are positive, there are a number of treatment modalities that can be utilized. One, that many of our parents are familiar with, is an FM Unit. An FM unit amplifies the teacher's voice and directs it into the student's ear. This is most helpful in the student who is unable to tune out background noise.

It is also very helpful for the child to be given preferential seating in school. It would be most helpful if the teacher would break down complex directions into smaller parts. Perhaps, the teacher could say, 'First, I want you to ...' Then,Ö. And finally, Ö'

It is also extremely important that the student him/herself know how to ask for what is needed in order to be able to understand the teacher and follow directions in the classroom. This is probably one of the most important things we can teach our students: to figure what they need to function well and then ask for whatever it is.

Speech/Language Pathologists work with students with CAPD, both before and after the diagnosis is made. There are a variety of activities that are done in therapy to enable these students to function most effectively in the school setting. We work to strengthen the skills the students already have, while increasing the repertoire of skills that are required to function in a world filled with sound.

For parents, whose children have received this diagnosis, Like Sound Through Water: A Mother's Journey Through Auditory Processing Disorder, by Karen Foli, may be helpful to read. When the Brain Can't Hear : Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder, by Teri Bellis, may also be interesting and informative.

If you have questions or concerns, please call us at 718-768-3526 x 1, and we'll be happy to discuss things with you.

Stories from the Kids

The students in our reading groups produce writings using KidsVoyager Online with KidsVoyager Animated Storywriter. The writings may be imaginative stories, summaries of things they've read online, writings to teach higher level skills, such as persuasion, and so on. They are composed by children from Kindergarten on up, including children who have never written things before without a teacher's assistance. The stories are entered into the Online Storywriter's text box using typed spelling, combined with Phonic Engine Encoding (i.e. selecting initial & final phonemes for a word, then clicking a matching word displayed in a multisensory word grid). Writing is a terrific way to learn, teaches numerous skills, and kids love it. We hope you enjoy them.

The Last Mimzy - A Movie Review, by Rowan

I really loved The Last Mimzy. It was about a box and a little girl and a big boy and a Mimzy.

A Mimzy is a science-y toy rabbit. It is full of science and once they looked inside, they saw that the last Mimzy wasn't a normal toy. It was a very strange one because it had something very important. It had something in it they had never seen before, and they thought it was strange.

When it was night, his sister had this talk that she talked to her brother about, because they had to save the last Mimzy. It was great. His sister almost got caught and boys and girls would die.

Her big brother pulled her out of the big circle where Mimzy was supposed to go home. She yelled "this is not the place for girls and boys!" It wasn't for anybody!! No one can travel through time in Mimzy world. The last Mimzy went up to the stars and made a hexagon shape.

The sister talked to the Mimzy in a special way of talking and they saved the last Mimzy. The people in another area would be dead if the Mimzy was not there. It was late, but not too late, and the people were saved. I loved it. I give it 100 stars!!!

You can see and hear Rowan's original story here!

To Facebook or Not? by Jack

Facebook I have read your age requirement and I know many people under thirteen years old that have a facebook account.

I think if you have an age requirement you should make sure you keep that rule.

You can see and hear Jack's original story here!

Trick or Treat, by Ryan

It was a dark and stormy night when I started going trick or treating. We were walking into the cemetery when we heard something...

Oohh, I heard the "oohh" coming from behind me; it was my friend. She was saying to me, "Go open the crypt."

I said, "Why would I open the crypt? It's not allowed and if someone catches me, I'll be in big trouble." Tracy replied, "Fine, you scaredy cat, let's leave."

At the house, we split up and waved goodbye.

You can see and hear Ryan's original story here!

Monthly Feature: Phonic Engine Method & KidsVoyager Online: August, 2012

August was a quieter than typical month because several of our students were away and, in addition, we were closed for the last two weeks of the month. One of our major goals was getting our Kindergarten students ready for September and beginning first grade. We reviewed the sounds of all of the short vowels, and then we added "e" to hear our short vowel become long vowels.

Using the KidsVoyager Animated Storywriter program, we listened to "not" become "note" and "dim" become "dime." We then wrote sentences with these words to help solidify these images in our students memories. We really do remember the way a word looks, almost like a picture. We often say to our students, "Look at that word and take a picture of it with the camera in your brain." Then we pantomime taking a picture and make a click noise with our tongues. We reviewed this task over and over.

With some of our students, we began working on vowel pairs for long vowels. The children learned various rules (some of which are also taught in school), such as "when two vowels go a-walkin, the first one does the talkin." We focused on ay and ai, as one example. Looking at lists of words and finding them in KidsVoyager Online, we quickly noticed that if a word ends in the long a sound, it is spelled "ay" as in birthday. We also made a list of words using KidsVoyager Online, taking notice of spelling patterns in the KidsVoyager word grid. We talked a bit about eigh and ey. With some of the students who were ready to move on, we began to talk about the ee and ea spellings for the long e sound.

In addition, the students read short stories online. Writing using KidsVoyager Online Storywriter was incorporated into many of our sessions. The children wrote about their summer vacations as well as their expectations for the coming school year. As the summer wound down, our students continued to do excellent work. We are looking forward to September and seeing how our students adjust to the next grade and their new teachers.

Trivia Quiz: September is National Honey Month. Test your honey knowledge with this trivia quiz!

September is National Honey Month. Test your honey knowledge with this trivia quiz!

1. How many eyes does a honey bee have?
2. What is another name for honey wine?
3. How many sides does each honeycomb cell have?
4. How many wings does a honey bee have?
5. What are male bees called?
6. How many flowers does it take for honey bees to produce one pound of honey?
7. How far does a hive of bees fly to collect enough nectar for that one pound of honey?
8. True or False: Bees don't sleep.
9. How fast do bees' wings beat?
10. What is the average number of bees in a hive?


1. Five.
2. Mead.
3. Six.
4. Four.
5. Drones.
6. Two million.
7. Over 55,000 miles.
8. True.
9. 180 beats a second.
10. 30,000 to 60,000.

September 2012 Holidays and Events

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month
Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month
Baby Safety Month
Backpack Safety America Month
Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
College Savings Month
Fall Hat Month
Happy Cat Month
Healthy Aging Month
International People Skills Month
International Self-Awareness Month
International Strategic Thinking Month
Library Card Sign-Up Month
Mold Awareness Month
National Chicken Month
National Coupon Month
National Head Lice Prevention Month
National Home Furnishings Month
National Honey Month
National Mushroom Month
National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
National Piano Month
National Preparedness Month
National Prosper Where Youíre Planted Month
National Recovery Month
National Rice Month
National Skin Care Awareness Month
One-on-One Month
Sea Cadet Month
Shameless Promotion Month
Sports Eye Safety Month
Subliminal Communications Month
Update Your Resume Month
Whole Grains Month
Womenís Friendship Month
World Animal Remembrance Month

1-7 Self-University Week
1-8 International Enthusiasm Week
2-8 National Waffle Week
3-7 National Payroll Week
9-15 Dating and Life Coach Recognition Week
9-15 National Assisted Living Week
9-15 National Historically Black College and Universities Week
9-15 National Suicide Prevention Week
10-15 National Line Dance Week
15-21 National Singles Week
16-22 Build a Better Image Week
16-22 International Clean Hands Week
16-22 National Farm Safety and Health Week
16-22 Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week
17-23 Constitution Week
22-29 Banned Books Week

1 National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day
3 Labor Day
4 Newspaper Carrier Day
8 International Drive Your Studebaker Day
8 Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day
8 International Literacy Day
9 National Grandparents day
9 National Hug Your Hound Day
9 Wonderful Weirdos Day
10 Swap Ideas Day
10 World Suicide Prevention Day
11 Patriot Day
12 Video Games Day
13 National Celiac Awareness Day
15 International Eat an Apple Day
15 International Day of Democracy
17 Citizenship Day
18 Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day
18 World Water Monitoring Day
19 International Talk Like a Priate Day
21 National Tradesmen Day
21 International Day of Peace
22 AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day
22 American Business Womenís Day
22 First Day of Fall
22 Dear Diary Day
22 Elephant Appreciation Day
22 Hobbit Day
22 National Centenarianís Day
22 National Hunting and Fishing Day
23 Innergize Day
24 National Punctuation Day
25 National One-Hit Wonder Day
25 National Woman Road Warrior Day
26 National Womenís Health and Fitness Day
26 World Maritime Day
27 Ancestor Appreciation Day
27 World Tourism Day
28 Hug a Vegetarian Day
28 Love Note Day
28 World Rabies Day
29 Family Health and Fitness Day
29 National Attend Your Grandchildís Birth Day
29 National Public Lands Day
30 Gold Star Motherís Day

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