Today I welcome speech language pathologist, Kimberly Scanlon, as my guest blogger, author of My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development. It has been my experience that parents often know how to talk to and stimulate their baby but feel challenged when he becomes a toddler. Moms ask me more frequently what kind of toys to get their toddler and what activities to engage in during play time. Kimberly has filled the gap for parents, caregivers and therapists with her easy to use guide. Starting with 11 modeling techniques to elicit language from self-talk to intentionally forgetting familiar parts to your child’s routine, followed by 25 play routines using everyday objects in the home, her guide explains relevant language techniques applicable to each activity. Give this guide to parents when you begin a toddler’s therapy and it will be a win-win situation. Parents will learn alongside their children on how to elicit language through play, while their child learns to talk! Kimberly has graciously offered a free copy of her book to a lucky reader on this website! Stay tuned for details of the giveaway. Kimberly’s post:
I’m a pediatric speech language pathologist and I love my job. Having the opportunity to hear a first word is amazing. But, my true joy comes from knowing that a child will continue to say more words because the parent has acquired the skills necessary to increase communication. My ability to empower parents and teach them something new is my ultimate reward.
Before I wrote, My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development, I was always looking for a resource that specifically taught parents the methods needed to develop their child’s language. I found many great activity books and well-written textbooks on theories and evidenced based strategies, but none were geared towards teaching parents exactly how to get their children to talk using a step-by-step process. This is why I wrote My Toddler Talks.
My Toddler Talks is easy to read and very practical. I carefully balance strategy, procedure and theory so readers know exactly what to do, how to do it and why to do it. The content is organized into three different sections – introduction, play routines, and appendices.
In the introduction, I explain how language in children is developed via play and routines. The concept of a “play routine” is also defined and numerous language elicitation techniques and strategies are provided. The second part of the book includes 25 play routines.
For the play routines, I wrote very detailed steps, gave numerous examples, and provided much repetition to facilitate learning. I was so meticulous in my descriptions for the play routines because I didn’t want to leave room for confusion or ambiguity (“Hmmm…I’m confused? What do I do now?” There will be none of that when reading My Toddler Talks!). At the same time, I also emphasized the importance of being flexible and following the child’s lead during play. The play routines include play with toys as well as arts and crafts. I purposefully chose popular toys (e.g. bubbles, balls, dolls, puzzles) so parents would not feel obligated to go out and buy new materials or products.
The appendices have a wealth of valuable information. I designed a way for parents to track their child’s vocabulary growth, establish routines, select language goals, and monitor progress. Additionally, I included fun songs to sing when completing a play routine, described how play relates to language, and included a list of common first words.
I’m thrilled to report that readers have found My Toddler Talks to be a wonderful “must-have” and “go-to” resource! Parents particularly like how clearly everything is written and how simply the information is presented. Many have described it as “parent friendly” and “practical”. It’s 8 ½ X 11 size gives My Toddler Talks a work-book like feel and makes for an interactive experience.
Kimberly Scanlon is a licensed speech pathologist and is nationally certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). She is a creative thinker and a passionate therapist who believes that children should have fun in therapy. Kimberly keeps busy running her private practice, Scanlon Speech Therapy, in Ramsey, NJ. Kimberly lives with her husband, Ryan, their delightful daughter Kerrigan, and their very cute but mischievous chocolate Labrador Retriever, Barney. To learn more about Kimberly, please visit www.scanlonspeech.com
The above review is solely the opinion of the author. My Toddler Talks was provided for review by Kimberly Scanlon.