May is Speech & Hearing Month
This is the month when we take time away from our busy caseloads to help raise awareness of who we are and what we do as a profession.
Officially we are known as Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) but more commonly are called Speech Therapists. We can work with individuals and their families from babies to the elderly. Here at the Center we have 5 SLP’s and serve clients and their families from birth to kindergarten entry.
We are most commonly associated with helping kids who don’t talk or don’t talk clearly. We also are trained in stuttering, voice, feeding, oral motor development, apraxia, aphasia, and social communication (autism). Another area that is starting to be seen more and more in our caseloads is the use of technology and how it affects a child’s learning and development.
“Screens and technology are here to stay. Studies show that the average American child spends 53 hours a week with media and technology. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents avoid screen time for children under two years of age. Young children grow by discovering the world. They need to experience a 3-D world of people and things they can touch, taste, see, hear, and smell. Studies show that watching apps and programs has a negative effect on language development for children less than two. They learn best when interacting with a live person and not on a screen. If the TV is on for ‘background’ parents are less likely to engage with their children resulting in smaller vocabulary and later language growth. Background media also can interfere with the time a child spends playing as well as cognitive processing, memory and reading comprehension. Screen time also negatively affects social and emotional development. The average person’s attention span has decreased by 40% since 2000. Perhaps the question to consider is, ‘Is screen time bringing your family closer together, or is it driving your family further apart?’” (Growing up Social, G. Chapman and A Pellicane)
Ten Tips for Managing Kids' Tech Time to Prioritize Communication
So the take home message is to use screen time with your child carefully, and ideally make it an interactive experience. Give your child lots of opportunities to play and explore, with you and other children. THAT is how they learn best!
If you have any concerns about your child’s speech or language development, please visit our website at www.kamloopschildrenstherapy.org or make a referral on-line or by phone (250-371-4100).
You could also check out our SLP Pinterest boards for lots of ideas about how to stimulate speech and language development!