Changing Like the Weather

The weather in this area is notorious for fluctuating between winter and spring on almost an hourly basis.  One moment it’s a balmy 61 degrees and the next it’s a frosty 33. The constant up and down can be frustrating and not to mention confusing.  What does the weather have to do with speech therapy? Much like the weather at this time of the year, progress in speech therapy (or any therapy for that matter) can be just as frustrating and confusing.

It is not uncommon for a child to be progressing along on her/his therapy goals and suddenly stop progress and/or seemingly lose skills.  These fluctuations can be the natural progression of the brain changing as it processes and learns new skills. These fluctuations may also be a sign that your child has been practicing using new skills and needs a break.  Changes in progress should be short lived and not interpreted as a loss in skills. If you feel the changes in progress are more significant or are lasting too long, do not hesitate to talk to your clinician and review their data.  Your clinician will be able to address these concerns and provide a more clear picture of what you might expect.

Learning a new skill or changing a habit/behavior can take time and progress at time may be slow moving and seemingly nonexistent.  Keep looking for the small changes. These small changes add up over time in creating large life long changes.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC.

Start the Spring Clean-Up!

The days are getting longer and the temperature is rising – slowly. Spring is almost here.  As the cold of winter begins to leave, our attention begins to turn to the warmth and work on Spring.  The work of Spring? Those chores and jobs we promise to complete every Spring. This year try to incorporate all family members in completing jobs

Everyone can participate in giving the house, yard, and dreaded garage a little Spring pick-me-up.  Simple parts of a more complex task provide your loved one the sense of accomplishment and participation.  

Laundry, of which there is a never ending supply, is a wonderful task for have your loved one to help. Matching socks and separating clothes into different piles (ie: shirts, pants, towels, etc) or folding simple items like towels are great ways to incorporate everyone in this task.  Think of the language involved as well – naming the clothes, learning back and front, naming the fasteners on the clothes; language is truly everywhere!

Sweeping or vacuuming, tasks that surprisingly are exciting for some of our loved ones.  Adapted the handle on the broom so it is not too long and have your loved one help clean up the floors.  Practice ‘dancing’ with the vacuum cleaner and before long these tasks will become old hat. Remember all that language – floors versus ceilings, back and forth, clean, dirty – all language concepts that build your loved ones language foundation.

Let’s not forget the work outdoors.  When the sun is shining and even when it’s cloudy, work seems less “work” when your outside. Pulling weeds or raking are wonderful tasks your loved ones might enjoy. Picking up twigs or rocks and putting them in buckets are tasks that may seem uneventful, however you never know what your loved one might really enjoy. And talk about language!

Cleaning out the garage.  It sounds crazy but given a very specific job, your loved one can participate in getting it ready for the Spring and Summer.  Stacking flower pots or moving lawn bags or practicing using the broom outside are all ways your loved one can participate (and yes, use and learn language).

Working as a team, you and your loved ones can accomplish great things!

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC.

Testing..1, 2, 3….Testing

The end of March marks the start of the ‘testing’ season for student’s in the elementary, middle, and high schools. These high stakes tests are stressful for everyone, but imagine the stress your loved one might be experiencing knowing these tests are looming in the near future. Your loved one may appear more irritable or extremely giddy. Your loved one may want to sleep more or have more energy than you’ve ever seen. You may be eaten out of house and home or begging your loved one to eat just something. Stress looks different on everyone, but what is a parent or caregiver to do?


Helping your loved one cope with high stress situations is a life lesson that will span the ages. Helping your loved one not only cope with the stress, but providing much needed relief can make these days and weeks less ….. stressful.

You know your loved on the best and can probably tell their stress level just be the look in their eye. Unfortunately, being able to relieve that stress may take more convincing and patience on your part.

Create a ‘stress-less zone’. Make a special corner of a bedroom or living room the ‘stress-less zone’. A comfy pillow and cozy blanket may be the needed tools. Consider some music (some students prefer the louder the better rather than quiet music) and lighting (dim or bright) as the invisible walls of the ‘stress-less area’. Aromatherapy may be an option to add to the stress-less zone. Expensive oils may or may not be needed; consider an old t-shirt with familiar perfume or cologne on it or a stuffed animal with powder on it – any smell that is soothing to your loved one.

Create a ‘crash zone’ for your loved one. An old mattress or gym pads on the floor or a mini trampoline may provide just the place to for your loved one to ‘crash’ into at the end of the day. Old school blow up punching doll or an actual punching page may prove to be effective tools to de-stress. A few empty cardboard boxes that can be stomped and crushed may also be great additions to this area.

Create a ‘silent zone’ for your loved one. An area that is void of all stimuli. An area in the corner of a closet may be just the spot to recenter and decompress. Make the area as simple as possible with a mat or a single pillow. Remove as much visual and auditory clutter as possible. A place where silence is truly golden.

Create a ‘zone’ for your loved one that is combination of the few mentioned here and those that you know work best. Take the time to designate the space and materials to creating these ‘zones’. Your loved one may not be able to express how much it is appreciated or how they enjoy their special zone, but you will know by the look in their eye.

Yours in Speech,
Lakeshore Speech, LLC.

Things are Looking Green!

Green is the color of the week. Shamrocks and leprechauns; rainbows and pots of gold. Everyone is Irish if not for just one day this week! So many ways to incorporate the fun of St. Patrick’s day into building language and communication.

Vocabulary abounds! Focus your loved ones attention on colors (especially green and gold), holiday specific vocabulary (leprechauns, shamrock, rainbows) and describing words (big/little and bright). Review these vocabulary words and give your loved a better understanding of the words they will hear more of this week.

Concepts of the season! Help your loved one pay more attention to under and over (as in rainbow), start and finish (think parades) and big and little (as in leprechauns). Building understanding of concepts will help your loved on not only follow directions this week but for the weeks to come.

Preview of what is to come! Remember to prepare your loved one for any changes or festivities that you and your family might be part of as part of St. Patrick’s day. Parades and crowds can be difficult to manage without proper warning. Anticipating and sharing the schedule of the day or celebration may prove to be the needed support to ensure everyone enjoys the day.

Enjoy your week of green fun!

Yours in speech,
Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC.


We are a quarter of the way through 2019 already!  Hard to believe how fast time flies…..especially when you are having fun.  March ushers in a month of leprechauns and basketball and the strange time of year when it’s still not warm enough to go outside but staying inside isn’t the best option either. It’s that time of year when ideas and creativity to keep our loved ones engaged and busy don’t come as easy as they did a few weeks ago.

We have your back and hope our ideas spark new life into your family’s March schedule.

Introduce basic S.T.E.M. activities like making your own bubbles or making your own robot.  Spending time to create opens the door for imagination as well as language. You don’t need to be a computer programmer to build your collection of S.T.E.M. activities.

  • Idea #1: Build a Robot
    • Collect different boxes, toilet paper tubes, plastic containers, etc.
    • Grab a few rolls of tape and string or yarn
    • Create a ‘problem’ that requires your loved ones to have to make a robot to ‘fix’ the problem. Problems like too many socks are getting lost in the wash or nobody knows when the garbage is full.
    • This activity will work on helping your loved ones better understand directional and location concepts, follow directions, ask for help, name items, work with others, share, etc.
  • Idea #2: Practice Continuing Patterns
    • Collect different dried foods – pasta, beans, cereal, dried fruits
    • Create patterns (basic to complex) and have your child continue the pattern
    • Flip roles and see if you can continue the patterns
    • This activity will work on helping your loved one with sequencing tasks, vocabulary, patterning, following directions, etc. – skills needed to master math and language goals.
  • Idea #3: Build a Roller Coaster
    • Collect paper tubes from toilet paper, paper towels, and wrapping paper, tape, and marbles or small toy cars.
    • Explain to your love one you are going to create the next big roller coaster for the summer!
    • Tape together some tubes, cut other in half and create a roller coaster to go in your cardboard amusement park!
    • Use a marble or small toy car to test out your coaster!
    • This activity will work on helping your loved one with shared attention, vocabulary, directional concepts, following directions, listening, taking turns, etc.

Your S.T.E.M. activities do not have to be complex or expensive.  Play with some of these ideas and if you and your loved ones create a masterpiece, share it with us on Facebook!

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC