The top 13 language toys for Christmas 2018 (part 1)

The countdown to Christmas has begun! Everyday until Christmas, I will be sharing some of my new favorite language toys and games. After 24 years of working in pediatrics, I have become a bit bored with the items and toys in my therapy room. I tend to get overly excited when I discover a new item that will enhance the language skills of my kiddos! I went in search of a new and exciting item to use in my therapy sessions with the preschool age kiddos that I work with. Imagine my excitement when I found 13 awesome items! I had a hard time cutting the list down to 13, but there are some great toys listed below. All of these toys were found on the shelves of a fairly new independently owned small toy store in Fayetteville, Kindness and Joy Toys. This shop is a kid’s (and speech-language pathologist’s) dream. Toys are displayed in every nook and cranny. Many items have been taken out of their containers so shoppers can get their hands on them in order to help make an informed decision before choosing to buy the items. The owner also hosts art projects for kids, meetings for parents, and more at her store. Stop by Kindness and Joy Toys and take a look around! I am listing the prices for several of the items that are pictured below. Out of town readers and shoppers, you can purchase many of these items on Amazon. The Amazon purchases appear to be approximately only a dollar or two less than the local toy store. I am including Amazon links in this post as well. Forgive the quality of the pictures, I am obviously not a photographer in my spare time. Let’s get started looking at these awesome toys!


eeboo pretend play

eeboo pretend play


pretend play 2.jpg
pretend play 3.jpg









PRETEND PLAY

These are my very favorite items on this list! Look at these wonderful items for Pretend Play! Pretend Play skills are vital for children learning coping skills for their social and emotional needs. Through pretend play, a child can learn HOW to act socially. He can learn how to cooperate, how to take turns, share responsibility, and how to problem solve. Pretend Play activities also can provide language stimulation such as new vocabulary, sequencing skills, questioning skills, and so on. These Pretend Play sets from eeboo include different sets such as Veterinarian, Best Pals’ DIner, School, and (my personal fave) Grown-up (complete with your own ATM). These are $14.99 per set.

https://amzn.to/2LdvShN/tag=?/fayettevilles-20/

My second choice is also a pretend play game from eeboo. From their Spin to Play collection is the Picnic Spinner Game and the Tea Party game. These Games also enhance social skills and language. These items are a more structured activity than the previous eeboo pretend play kits. The Picnic game includes a real picnic blanket and the Tea Party game includes a real tablecloth. These are $18.99 per set.

https://amzn.to/2rAKvTy/tag=?/fayettevilles-20/

I hope your kiddos enjoy these games as much as I would enjoy them in speech therapy. The Kindness and Joy Toys store makes me wants to donate all of my current therapy games and toys and gather a new therapy materials collection for myself (I mean….for my therapy kiddos). I hope you are able to purchase at least one of these pretend play items for the creative kid in your life! Let me know if you do. I would enjoy hearing how much your kids loved these items. I included Amazon links to these products for the out of town readers who cannot make it by my new favorite little toy store!

Visit my blog later this week for language stimulation and elicitation ideas using preschool/elementary games, games for teenagers, and a few fidget items.

Peace, love, and speech therapy! (And Season’s Greetings too!)

Stacy

The top 13 language toys for Christmas 2018 (part 1)

The countdown to Christmas has begun! Everyday until Christmas, I will be sharing some of my new favorite language toys and games. After 24 years of working in pediatrics, I have become a bit bored with the items and toys in my therapy room. I tend to get overly excited when I discover a new item that will enhance the language skills of my kiddos! I went in search of a new and exciting item to use in my therapy sessions with the preschool age kiddos that I work with. Imagine my excitement when I found 13 awesome items! I had a hard time cutting the list down to 13, but there are some great toys listed below. All of these toys were found on the shelves of a fairly new independently owned small toy store in Fayetteville, Kindness and Joy Toys. This shop is a kid’s (and speech-language pathologist’s) dream. Toys are displayed in every nook and cranny. Many items have been taken out of their containers so shoppers can get their hands on them in order to help make an informed decision before choosing to buy the items. The owner also hosts art projects for kids, meetings for parents, and more at her store. Stop by Kindness and Joy Toys and take a look around! I am listing the prices for several of the items that are pictured below. Out of town readers and shoppers, you can purchase many of these items on Amazon. The Amazon purchases appear to be approximately only a dollar or two less than the local toy store. I am including Amazon links in this post as well. Forgive the quality of the pictures, I am obviously not a photographer in my spare time. Let’s get started looking at these awesome toys!


eeboo pretend play

eeboo pretend play


pretend play 2.jpg
pretend play 3.jpg









PRETEND PLAY

These are my very favorite items on this list! Look at these wonderful items for Pretend Play! Pretend Play skills are vital for children learning coping skills for their social and emotional needs. Through pretend play, a child can learn HOW to act socially. He can learn how to cooperate, how to take turns, share responsibility, and how to problem solve. Pretend Play activities also can provide language stimulation such as new vocabulary, sequencing skills, questioning skills, and so on. These Pretend Play sets from eeboo include different sets such as Veterinarian, Best Pals’ DIner, School, and (my personal fave) Grown-up (complete with your own ATM). These are $14.99 per set.

https://amzn.to/2LdvShN/tag=?/fayettevilles-20/

My second choice is also a pretend play game from eeboo. From their Spin to Play collection is the Picnic Spinner Game and the Tea Party game. These Games also enhance social skills and language. These items are a more structured activity than the previous eeboo pretend play kits. The Picnic game includes a real picnic blanket and the Tea Party game includes a real tablecloth. These are $18.99 per set.

https://amzn.to/2rAKvTy/tag=?/fayettevilles-20/

I hope your kiddos enjoy these games as much as I would enjoy them in speech therapy. The Kindness and Joy Toys store makes me wants to donate all of my current therapy games and toys and gather a new therapy materials collection for myself (I mean….for my therapy kiddos). I hope you are able to purchase at least one of these pretend play items for the creative kid in your life! Let me know if you do. I would enjoy hearing how much your kids loved these items. I included Amazon links to these products for the out of town readers who cannot make it by my new favorite little toy store!

Visit my blog later this week for language stimulation and elicitation ideas using preschool/elementary games, games for teenagers, and a few fidget items.

Peace, love, and speech therapy! (And Season’s Greetings too!)

Stacy

TONGUE TIE: THE REVISION

This is the follow-up of my previous blog post “Tongue Tie Identification: Whose job is it?”. If you have not read that post, please read previous blog post featured below.

Several types of professionals can perform tongue tie revision surgery such as a dentist or an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor. Ask around your area to find out which provider has the best reputation with other parents. Call a local Speech-Language Pathologist for a recommendation. Ask other parents’ opinions on a recommended provider via a Facebook local parenting page. As always, if you meet the provider for a consult and do not feel comfortable with him/her performing the revision, do not schedule the surgery at that office.

There are two primary procedures (frenectomies) that are utilized to remove the tongue tie. There is the surgical release procedure under brief general anesthesia and there is the laser procedure without general anesthesia. There are positives and negatives to each of these procedures. Once again, arm yourself with knowledge and ask questions.

After the identification of my little guy’s tongue tie, I made a referral to a pediatric dentist in town who performs laser frenectomies. I have not met this dentist- but he was recommended to me by my daughter’s orthodontist when I met with him to discuss tongue ties and other orofacial myology problems. I felt this was a solid, reliable recommendation based on the fact that the orthodontist sends his own children to this pediatric dentist. My client had his first appointment with the pediatric dentist on September 20th and a laser frenectomy (tongue-tie revision surgery) was scheduled for September 25th. His mother reported that the dentist took one look in the child’s mouth and stated that it was very obvious that he needed the surgery and it would be scheduled very soon. After the appointment, the child told his mother that he “liked the tongue doctor because he is nice and going to fix my tongue to normal”.

The child’s parents were both understandably anxious about the procedure. The child was a little hesitant of the unknown, but excited to be getting “a new tongue”. His mother reported that she couldn’t believe how quickly the procedure was over. The mother returned to the treatment room and the staff immediately told the child to show his mom his new tongue. This is the first time that the child’s tongue tip has ever made it to the top of his mouth.

tongue post rev.jpg

The dentist suggested that the child eat an ice cream cone soon because the cold temperature would feel good in his mouth. After leaving the dentist office, the family stopped for ice cream. The mother was amazed how quickly her son was able to eat the ice cream and that he consumed all of it. She reported that she had never put much thought into it before but that her son never ate much of his ice cream because it would melt before he could eat it. His short, restricted tongue had been unable to properly lick ice cream! Of course, as a Speech-Language Pathologist, my primary concern with his tongue has been how it affects his speech sounds. But, the ability to enjoy an ice cream cone is a pretty cool extra benefit!

Here is a picture of his tongue one week after the laser revision.

tongue post rev two.jpg

Speech-language therapy is continuing several times per week. He is making progress but continues to require oral motor exercises and articulation drilling to increase his production of specific sounds. His tongue has to get used to being able to move frequently in all different directions. He loves his “new tongue” as he calls it. He has been quite the Speech Rockstar and is so much fun to work with! I am excited about the progress he can make before he enters Kindergarten next Fall!

I will leave you with a picture collage that his mother created of his “old” and “new” tongue.

tongue post rev3.jpg

Peace, love and speech therapy!

Stacy

Tongue Tie Identification: Whose job is it?

I received a message from a concerned mother four days after her son’s 4th birthday. She told me that her son’s pediatrician had referred him for a speech evaluation. We scheduled an evaluation and I planned for it like I typically plan for a preschool evaluation- PLS-5, TELD-3. GFTA, observe interaction and play skills, etc. At the beginning of the evaluation, I gathered some information from his mother regarding his developmental history. During this conversation, she reported that she had been discussing her concerns with his pediatrician since her son was 2. Her primary concern had been that she cannot understand her son when he speaks. She voiced her concern that extended family members made fun of him for the way he pronounces words. The popular PCP told her that he would not refer him for speech evaluation until he was 4 alluding to the reason behind his unintelligible speech being a result of the family (including child) being bilingual. Mom trusted the well-respected PCP and patiently waited on her son’s 4th birthday to arrive.

Meanwhile, during the same time period, the mother took her son to the biggest and most popular pediatric dentist office in town. He received cleanings and check-ups right on schedule.

Back to present day… During the first part of the evaluation, the child did not produce many vocalizations. I administered the language assessments. I administered the articulation single-word assessment which did not qualify the child for articulation therapy. I took data on his speech intelligibility at the sentence and conversation level. I grabbed some gloves and a flashlight and began to examine his oral mechanism. Guess what I found? I will let the pictures (published with mother’s permission) tell the story…

tongue tie.jpg
tongue tie3.jpg
tongue tie4.jpg

Ta da. The elusive tongue tie. My first internal reaction was “Yes!! We can fix this!” but my mind soon turned to disbelief. Disbelief that the lactation consultants didn’t look at his tongue when his mother had difficulty breastfeeding him. Disbelief that his PCP has never looked under his tongue. Disbelief that pediatric dentists haven’t caught this. The more I fret about it, the more sense it made to me how/why it had never been discovered. Case in point: At the doctor’s office, what do doctors tell their patients to do when they want to look in their mouths (most frequently at their throats)? “Open up and say ah!” Would the doctor be able to get a good view of the lingual frenum with patient saying “aaaahhhhh”? Nope, absolutely not (although one would think he would notice if the tongue was minimally protrusive). Case in point: At the dentist’s office, what position are you in when the dentist takes a look in your mouth? You are reclining back with gravity working to pull your tongue to the back of your mouth. I have spent numerous hours in a dental chair and not once have I been asked to elevate or lateralize my tongue. I shared my thoughts concerning the lack of identification of tongue ties with my own PCP. She wholeheartedly agreed with my theory about how tongue ties can be missed by a good number of medical professionals. I think that after our discussion she will start taking a closer look for possible tongue ties.

I feel obligated to provide tongue tie information to anyone who will listen to me: doctors, dentists, mothers, fathers, my own two children. I remain astounded by how this Class 1, glaringly obvious anterior tongue tie was missed by so many medical professionals.

Would you like to see this speech superstar’s tongue after tongue tie revision surgery? If so, check back in a few days and I will share some post op pictures, his mother’s perspective on the procedure, and speech improvements one week post-frenectomy.

Peace, love and speech therapy.