Welcome to Speech
Phyllis Penkethman, M.S.,CCC-SLP
Mandy Schwarz, M.A.,CCC-SLP
What to expect at Brielle Preschool
In the Brielle Integrated Preschool, our speech program concentrates on improving phonemic awareness, vocabulary/concept development, socialization and individualized speech and language goals. Research has shown that children who have difficulty acquiring speech may have more difficulties learning how to read. Children are given a head start through developmentally appropriate activities to stimulate phonemic awareness. We work closely with the preschool teacher to make this happen.
Here are some simple ideas to promote language with your child. The most important thing is to talk with your little one using short, simple sentences. Talk about activities that interest him/her; talk about family members; talk about what's going on during the day; talk about books you are reading together. Try to refrain from asking questions. Family photo albums are always a great way to stimulate language. Many young children love to look at photographs of familiar people (and themselves!). You can encourage alot of language growth in this way.
Your child learns through play. When playing together, follow your child's lead, repeating what he says and "expanding" his/her language. Wait for your child to make another comment, even if it's one word! You are teaching him/her how to take turns with words when you model language in this way. You are beginning to teach shared attention plus you are deepening the bond you have with your child! Let's face it: your attention is what your little one desires the most!
When you limit access to preferred things such as toys and food, you create an opportunity for your child to request. Offer verbal choices when your child just points to indicate what s/he wants. Even if your child makes a grunt or approximates a word, grant him/her access to what he wants. S/he will eventually learn words and sentences.
Get your child involved in play with his/her peers. Children can learn valuable communication skills when playing with others.
A fabulous websource that will help you work with your child can be found at
What to look for in your toddler's speech
Here are some milestones in the development of communication skills, courtesy of Lanza and Flahive (2009). If your child is not demonstrating the following behaviors before three years old, you may want to talk with your pediatrician about a referral for a communication evaluation. If your child is between three and five years old and you are a resident of Brielle, you might want to contact Colin Sabia at ext 201 or Phyllis Penkethman at ext 111 for more information.
- At 12 months, your child should point to objects and/or use gestures.
- At 15 months, your child should say his/her first word and respond to "no" or "bye bye."
- At 18 months, your child should say at least six to ten words consistently, and hear well.
- At 20 months, your child should use at least six consonant sounds and follow simple directions.
- At 24 months, your child should have a vocabulary of more than 50 words and should have an interest in social interaction.
- At 36 months, your child should use simple sentences.
- At 48 months, your child should answer WH questions and be able to recite simple songs and rhymes.
- At 60 months, your child should be able to tell a familiar story while looking at a book, name colors and produce sentences of five to seven words.
What is a speech sound disorder?
A speech sound disorder occurs when a child has difficulty producing speech sounds beyond the age when one would expect the sounds to develop. S/he may distort or substitute speech sounds, for example, "peash" for "peach" or "Tahtoh" for "Costco." A child with a speech sound disorder may be more difficult to understand than a typically developing child. In addition, some children may need help learning how to say their speech sounds correctly.
We work with the classroom teachers throughout the year to address any concerns they may have regarding their students' communication skills, including articulation, auditory processing, listening and following directions, expressive language issues. Referrals for speech screenings can be made through your child's teacher or at your own written request. Please contact the Speech Department 732-528-6400 ext 171 or ext 111, Monday through Friday.
Our newest program in Speech
To promote changes in your child's speech and get them quickly back into the general education classroom, we have implemented a "Quick Artic" program. Based on evidence-based practice, Quick Artic is designed to have your child practice more speech sounds in less amount of time more often with brief individual sessions. A typical Quick Artic program consists of a five minute individual session, three times per week. We have seen great success using this type of intervention. Your child learns to become the boss of his/her own mouth more quickly!
We are partners,
working for the success of your child!
It is essential that your child practices the correct production of his/her speech outside the speech room, especially during the summer months! If your child is at the point where s/he is able to produce her/his speech sounds consistently, try these suggestions adapted from Speech-Language-Development.com:
- Have your child read to you for 5-10 minutes each day (just before bed is a great time for this!). Pick a book that your child can read easily so that s/he will not have to put a lot of mental energy into reading.
- Before your child begins reading, offer a reminder to self-monitor his/her target speech sound. For example, if your child is working on the /S/ sound, you might say: "Remember we're going to be listening for words with the /S/ sound. When you come to a word with S, really try to make the best /S/ you can."
- Encourage your child to read slowly. It's alright for her/him to slow down or exaggerate words with the target sound at a certain point in therapy. You may also have your child point to words with his/her target sound as a gentle reminder.
- Remember that you're a fan, not a critic. Give lots of praise for making the effort to practice speech. Please let me know if your child is doing this type of activity and we will make sure to give him/her extra credit.
- Don't expect 100% correct production. The goal here is to help your child develop the habit of listening to his/her own speech to become the boss of his/her own mouth.
Doing activities like this on a regular basis can help your child retain and generalize the skills s/he is learning in speech therapy. By working with your child and keeping up with speech homework assignments, we will achieve our goals together!