Speech-Language Pathology, Speech-Language Pathologist

girls laughing and talking

What is Speech-Language Pathology

A speech therapist or speech-language pathologist are those professionals who have expertise in treating communication and swallowing problems among people. The therapist work with both adults and children in hospitals, schools and clinics. 

Working of Speech-Language Pathology, i.e., Speech-Language Pathologists:

A simple speech therapist does different duties, and each varies with the level of responsibilities each carries. Normally the work starts with proper diagnosis, and then treatment is planned. Thus, for an SLP, proper diagnosis of the problem is the first step towards the treatment plan. A treatment plan is about proper therapy sessions, keeping a record of the people, and evaluating their progress over time. 

Key work of the therapist include:

  • They help people in learning the correct sound of some words
  • They assist people in speaking easily and clearly
  • They share exercises that are prone to strengthen their muscles and help in swelling or speaking words
  • It also helps people to understand as well as say words which they otherwise find difficult to speak
  • The exercise and therapy also help people in putting together words and sentences which otherwise would be difficult to manage
  • The system of AAC, i.e., Alternative communication system, is provided to the individual with severe communication and language disorder
  • Assisting people in understanding how their families and patients themselves can very well manage the issue of stemming
  • The type of treatment with aural rehabilitation also improves the quality of life a person can live while having the hearing issue. 

The Requisite Training And Education For The Speech-Language Pathology:

The speech-language therapists or a simple speech therapist should have a degree in Masters, and the Council on Academic Accreditation should also accredit that in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. There are normal classes in the program that focus on the treatment of swallowing disorders and communication. Meanwhile, some sessions also require one to complete 375 hours of clinical experience.

In case you have completed your bachelor, you tend to go for the one-year fellowship program. This also includes the period of medical training. The working hours for this purpose are 1,260, and it has to be supervised by the clinically proven SLP. You have to clear the exam in the first place to become a certified SLP.

How Speech-Language Pathology Does The Treatment Of Speech Disorders?

SLP is specialized in providing hearing treatment techniques for individuals with hearing loss problems. These also include people with delayed speech, delayed development and swelling problems. The treatment is for disorders like:

Speech Disorder: 

This means an inability of the person in producing the right sound. The key example in this case is:


When the repetition and pauses break the flow of speech.


In this case, it becomes difficult for the muscles to speak properly. 


It is due to the weakness of the muscles owing to any injury in the brain or speech disorder

Speech-Language Pathology has to have proper expertise and Education for proper treatment of the speech disorder. A qualified speech therapist in Singapore should have the required experience and exposure to educate individuals and help them.

This entry was posted in My Blog.

Unique Features Of Occupational Therapy

hands reaching out to another

How Does Occupational Therapy Help People?

Occupational therapy is unique because of the holistic approach in helping patients overcome the physical, mental and emotional conditions that keep them from performing their daily activities. 

Occupational therapy is unique from other professions in the following ways.

  1. Helps patients function in multiple environments.
  2. Works with people of different ages.
  3. Addresses physical, cognitive, and psychological issues.
  4. Each patient receives customized interventions.
  5. The therapy focuses on day-to-day activities.
  6. Occupation therapists collaborate with other professionals.
  7. Therapy sometimes requires a change of environment.
  8. Occupational therapists require a range of skills.

Helps Patients Function In Multiple Environments

Occupational therapists are not only concerned with the health and well-being of patients, but they also look at how they cope in different environments. For example, an occupational therapist working with children with ADHD will look at how the child behaves in school, at home, or even in playgrounds. 

Works With People Of Different Ages

Occupational therapy is a service needed by people of all ages. Children with various conditions, including autism, ADHD, and physical disability, need occupational therapists to help them live as comfortably as possible in their environment. 

For example, a therapist will help a child with delayed speech learn to communicate with teachers and the family using signals. The therapist will also involve the parents and teachers to help them understand the child better. 

In this case, as the therapist attempts to help the child learn how to speak, he has introduced a temporary fix where the child can still communicate and be understood.

Addresses Physical, Cognitive, and Psychological Issues

Occupational therapists often take a holistic approach when working with the patient. They look at the physical, psychological, and cognitive factors affecting the patient’s ability to perform daily functions.

For example, people who had an accident, a stroke, or an illness that affected that mobility also suffer from emotional and psychological distress. They struggle to cope with their new status, which sometimes affects their ability to adjust and function independently.

Occupational therapists attempt to heal the body and mind. The therapists help patients see the possibilities and that a positive attitude is critical for their recovery and adjustment. 

Each Patient Receives Customized Interventions

Unlike conventional medicine, where patients with similar conditions follow the same treatment plan, occupational therapy customizes therapies depending on the patient’s condition and environment.

For example, an occupational therapist may be working with two clients who suffered a stroke, but the therapy will vary since the impact and their reactions differ. 

The Therapy Focuses On Day-to-day Activities

Occupational therapy focuses on day-to-day activities, such as breathing, play, exercises, work, going to the bathroom, taking a bath, and many more. The therapist will look at the ease with which the patient can perform these duties. 

Although the therapist has an ultimate goal, the daily wins matter more because the patient is becoming more independent. 

Occupational Therapists Collaborate With Other Professionals

Occupational therapy sometimes requires collaboration with other medical professionals, such as doctors and physical therapists. Each professional has a critical role to play in the well-being of the patient. Sometimes, their solutions are interdependent, so each has to help the other professional achieve their goal. 

Therapy Sometimes Requires A Change Of Environment

When an occupational therapist realizes that the environment is not conducive for the patient, some may opt for an alternative venue. For example, some children in the autism spectrum struggle to cope in new environments. 

Some people may not be responsive if therapy is done at the therapist’s office. In this case, the occupational therapist may choose home or school therapy, whichever works best for the child. 

Occupational Therapists Require A Range Of Skills

Some of the skills that occupational therapists need include empathy, decision making, communication, patience, and flexibility. Some of these skills are not taught, so sometimes it looks like occupational therapy is a calling first, before a profession. However, some therapists pick these skills as they work with patients. 

These are some of the unique features of occupational therapy. Since patients have different needs, occupational therapists in Singapore have to have the required expertise, experience, and skill to determine the features to use for each client.

This entry was posted in My Blog.

All About Speech Therapy

girls talking to each other

Speech Therapy for Kids

Some kids speak late, and some have a speech disorder. It is not easy to figure out the problem in toddlers, and some take it delayed speech. Speech therapy is mainly an easy communication pattern done for speech problems as well as disorders among kids. Normally there are SLPs, i.e., speech-language pathologists, who are called speech therapists. The key ingredient of a speech therapist is to improve communication that includes intervention activities, articulation therapy, and other methods of language disorders. 

These disorders are developed mainly in kids during childhood times. Among adults, the situation could be triggered owing to brain injury, illness, or stroke.

When Do You Need Speech Therapy?

Many language disorders require speech therapy as a mode of treatment. Speech disorders impact the muscles, vocal cords, nerves, and some other structures within the throat. The main causes behind these disorders are:

  • Any damage to the brain
  • Any damage to the vocal cord
  • weakness of the muscles
  • Strokes
  • Any weakness in the respiratory system
  • any nodules or polyps on the vocal cords
  • paralysis of the vocal cord

Some other medical or developmental issues could impact speech among people and become the main cause of speech disorders. The main conditions in this regard are:

  • ADHD, i.e., Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Oral cancer
  • Huntington’s disease
  • ALS, i.e., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • autism
  • strokes
  • laryngeal cancer
  • dementia

The speech disorders could also be hereditary and may develop over some time as well. 

Symptoms of the Speech Issue/Disorder:

It all depends upon the key cause behind the speech disorder that specifies the main symptoms. The symptoms that many people have developed over the period are:

  • Addition of extra words or sounds
  • Stutter is the repetition of sound
  • a movement that is jerky while moving of head is also shaky
  • elongating words a bit
  • the appeared frustration when the person tries to communicates
  • sound is distorted when they try to talk
  • the case of frequent pauses when the communication is going on
  • hoarseness or any grave sound when speaking

Treatment of Speech Disorder:

There is some mild issue of speech disorder that requires simple treatment and sometimes no treatment at all. Some disorders go along the long mile and need proper treatment. It would help if you came up with a proper diagnosis before opting for the utmost solution to the problem. 

Again the level of treatment depends upon the type of disorder you have. In certain cases, professional therapists help through different exercises to strengthen the face and throat muscles. You also tend to control your breathing when you try to speak. When the throat and face muscles strengthen, it leads to better voice and sound quality. Thus your speech becomes fluent and easy.

One needs to exercise regularly at home and through professional therapists to improve the speech disorder. One has to be fluent and punctual to get the desired results. 

It would help if you availed of the services of the therapist in case the need be. Otherwise, by taking home remedies, the issue of speech disorder could be resolved. 

This entry was posted in My Blog.

How the Teaching Methods of Private school Differs from Normal schools

Private school Singapore uses the international baccalaureate system of teaching for their students. This involves an enquiry-based learning that is much more flexible than the general methods of learning that have been used in public schools for many years. This is a superior method of learning that helps the child understand what they are learning in a more application based method. The lessons are more integrated and the child is able to understand all of the subjects across the curriculum more easily. This method of teaching helps the students to take more responsibility for their learning, the processes that are involved and also the outcome of what they have learned. If you are looking for an private school to enroll your child in, do check out GESS International School for more information of their outstanding curriculum and teaching style.

The Theory of the Enquiring Minds Method

Adopting such a learning method empowers the students to gather knowledge through the things they see and touch. The students are allowed to explore and raised questions as they try to understand the different forces that help to shape their life. While reading books are a good way to attain knowledge, the theory of enquiring allows one to remember what was taught more effectively.

The Enquiry Cycle

The enquiry cycle adopts a four-stage method that helps both the students as well as the teachers to visualize the progress that they are making in that particular activity. These stages include

Initiating and elicitating

Defining and responding

Doing and making

Communicating, evaluating, and presenting

This model is effective for the teachers to monitor the progress of the child as compared to the last time they checked in. It allows the teachers to plan for the lesson in the following classes to sharpen the skills that the child is performing poorly in. At the end of the day, the success of the IB learning method that is being used in international preschools in Singapore is based on the extent to which the students are allowed to be the creators of their own knowledge that is relevant to them.

How Does This Method Of Teaching Differ From Others?

Most people assumes that the enquiring minds method of teaching just involves the teacher letting the student loose on their own devices to figure out what they can and learn what they want. But this is not true, this method of teaching requires very skilled teachers that know the basic aim of this method. The need to know how to incorporate the lessons that are mandatory in the curriculum of this form of learning. Unlike other schools where the teacher only lectures the students about the different topics and then takes an examination at the end of the term, this method requires constant evaluation and application so that the teacher knows the students have learned what was to be taught. The students are able to do this on their own terms and due to the fact that they are not pressurized with the stress of an exam, they are able to ask more questions and understand the topic at a deeper level. The subjects of these curriculum are the building blocks on which the students base their enquiries. Even simple questions like how school dinners can be improved will help the children learn topics such as the economy, history, geography, and also science. Most of the topic will need an interdisciplinary approach that helps the child learn many subjects through a single assignment.

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Learning a new language without forgetting it in a few months

Learning a new language is not on the bucket list of a lot of people. And this is because they don’t really know how learning a new language can improve the quality of their life. Well, it might surprise you to know that there are mind-blowing benefits associated with learning a new language.

If you are keen to pick up a new language with an established school, Berlitz Language School provides a wide range of courses for you. They are a long established brand, and if you are serious about learn language school Singapore you can check them out above.

The following article by Anne Merritt discusses some reasons why you should learn a foreign language as well as the benefit associated with bilingualism.

Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism

Why should you go through the pain of learning a new language, when you can settle for the one that you are currently speaking? Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling. It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English, says Anne Merritt.

It might surprise you to know that some Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single-language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.

Below are seven cognitive advantages to learning a foreign language. Read more here.

You likely now know that learning a new language can improve every facet of your life and you probably want to learn a new language. But the thing is that learning a new language is really difficult. Even language experts find it very difficult to learn new languages.

The following article by Silvia discusses some valuable tips that will help you in your language learning journey.

12 languages later, my best tips for learning a foreign language

Learning a new language can be very difficult, but it does not have to be for you. As the saying goes- the best way to walk through a minefield is to walk on the footstep of others. You can learn a lot from Silvia who has studied 12 foreign languages. And if you’ve never learned a foreign language, maybe take this post as a sign that now is the time to start! Read more here

You definitely now know a tip or two that can help you learn a new language. But how can you prevent yourself from forgetting the language you are going to learn?

The following article by Benny Lewis discusses why it is very easy to forget a language and tips that will prevent you from forgetting any language.

Forgetting a language: why it happens and how to avoid it

OK, so you have put in the time and can now speak a language at a confident level. But maybe the course that helped to get you there has ended, or your stay abroad is over and it’s time to go home.

What do you do to make sure that you don’t forget that language? Read more here.

Learning a new language has life-changing benefits. Of course, it is going to be difficult at some point but if you push on, things are going to get better. After learning a new language there is a high tendency that you are going to forget about it, if you don’t use it for some time, but if you have a friend who speaks your new language or you joins a club where the new language you learned is spoken, you will never forget about it.

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How to Choose the Right Private School in Singapore?

The city-state of Singapore is home to a large expat community that thrives amongst the other, vibrant communities. Whether or not your family will be living in Singapore for very long, the island’s international schools are some of the best in the world. Modern infrastructure and a happy community are two factors that help make Singapore’s school system consistently ranked in the top global rankings. International schools are considered the best option by many expats relocating to Singapore, and there are several qualities that influence a child’s success at each school. One of the best international school is GESS Private Primary School who provides a holistic teaching curriculum for your child. Feel free to ask them any questions if it will help you feel more confident in finding the right school for your child. Below are some things to consider when choosing the best international school:

1. Curriculum – Will you be living in Singapore for only a few years? Will your child attend school somewhere else, possibly in your family’s home country? Students need a stable learning environment, and the curriculum taught at their school is fundamental to their learning experience. Secondary schools offer international programmes that help make the transition between schools easier for students, and some schools offer specific curriculum based on a national standard. Ask for specific details of the school’s curriculum, and look for accreditation. Learn about the daily routine of students at the school, and how much homework is assigned each day and each week. The school’s administration should also have a plan in place for teachers to communicate with parents about their child’s progress, and you should ask questions about this process to learn more about how the school functions.

2. Student body – Are the students happy and excited to be at school? Do the teachers seem enthusiastic to work at the school and to teach the material? Is the school’s community diverse and supportive? The globalised economy has created a new style of living for families across the world, and international schools aim to prepare students for the future by supporting a diverse community where new ideas and cultures can be shared. When visiting schools, ask how new families have adjusted to moving to Singapore, and learn about the community of families that go to the school. It is important to understand the energy and environment of the school, and will help you decide if it is a good match for your family.

3. Co-curriculum – Does the school offer sports programmes? What is the emphasis on foreign language development? Are the arts supported at this school? To garner a well-rounded education, students need to explore a diverse range of topics that include other areas of interest outside of core academics. Competitive international schools will provide other learning opportunities outside of the classroom where students can discover new passions and interests. At the best private schools, the educators are dedicated to providing educational excellence and a stable learning environment for students to develop mentally, emotionally, and academically. The close-knit community at these school’s fosters European cultures and traditions, while respecting the children’s home languages by offering native language and foreign language programmes for all ages. The goal for every child at Singapore’s private schools is to gain the best possible education, instilling a passion for learning, appreciation for life, and a moral compass to ensure their future is a success.

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Merits of Speech Therapy for Kids


Today several parents are choosing speech therapy as their preference for better assistance for communication for their children. Speech therapy for children is a process to improve verbal communication. In this process stress is given to the understanding capability of a child to words using various tools.

Most of us do not understand the importance of speech therapy. When we see that our children are capable of speech, we do not bother much about what’s next. But there are several underlying patterns that are indicators for the requirement of a speech therapy. A child may lack understanding of words and in certain cases pictures. The comprehending power of the child may be stunted, which we as parents may not understand. In such situation, we require speech therapy.

One quick way to seek professional assistance would be to approach Leapfrogs Children Therapy Center for their speech therapy services.

Speech therapy-Desired Outcomes
The primary goal of this therapy is to provide improved coordination of the speech muscles through various coordination exercises, imitation and repetition of sounds. Speech therapy aims to improve fluency through breathing exercises. It also assists in improving the communication between the brain and the body through auditory and visual aids. It enhances the capability of a child to learn language through language stimulation and the use of language through positive reinforcements.

Every child is unique and the outcome of speech therapy is different for each of them basis the level of their abilities and the challenges they are facing. A speech therapy has no definite length. It varies from child to child. To get the desired outcome, you must understand the level of complexities of the problem your child is facing.

What Benefits Does Speech Therapy Offers?
The speech therapy offers several benefits to improve the communication skills of the child effectively. Here are a few benefits it offers.
• Improves the ability to understand and express thoughts, feelings and ideas.
• Increases the fluency in speech of a child.
• The speech of the child becomes intelligible so he or she is understood by all.
• The child’s ability to independently solve a problem improves.
• Rise in self-esteem.
• Increases the readiness of the child for school.
• Improvement in the swallow function of the child.
• Development in social skills required in practical life.
• Development of pre-literary skills.

Facts About Speech Therapy
If you are planning to choose for speech therapy for your child, there are few important facts that you should know.
• Speech therapy is done by speech specialists. These specialists offer private therapy tailored to the child’s need. You may talk about it with your speech therapist if you want private classes.
• Certain institutes offer instant evaluations for you to understand where your child stands, such evaluations will help you to decide whether your child requires such a therapy.
• Speech specialists offer therapy during summer breaks and during any other school breaks. This allows you as a parent to manage your child’s time properly without any miss in school, activities or simply some fun time.
• Speech therapy also consults with the parents and siblings to make it a team effort of the family. It is with the help and support of the parents and siblings that a child can overcome the speech difficulties.

The ability to express oneself properly is of paramount importance to any individual. Unable to express oneself can be often frustrating and a long-term problem that can affect life and career when the child grows old. Speech therapy is the solution to improve the ability of your child to understand and communicate. Delaying speech therapy runs the risk of missing the important window in your child’s age when this problem could have been rectified with less effort. As the brain matures rapidly, choosing speech therapy at a very young age can bring in effective results. Help your child gain self-esteem and confidence with speech therapy today!

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The importance of concentration in a child’s development



Concentration is like a muscle that requires regular exercise to strengthen. Some kids are born “stronger” in this area than others, but all kids can learn strategies and engage in practices that help improve their ability to focus and sustain their attention. This is, after all, a very important skill for kids to acquire—school demands that students concentrate for long stretches of time, and as kids get older, they have extracurricular activities after school that requires even more concentration. Most children can concentrate on activities that are fun and intrinsically enjoyable. It’s the ones that are more boring, difficult or just less enjoyable that challenges their focus. This ability to concentrate and sustain attention on all kinds of tasks is crucially important because it helps kids learn and improve, which leads to self-confidence and positive self-esteem.

Here are some tips to help your kids build their concentration muscles:
• Set aside a reasonable amount of time for your child to practice focusing on a specific task. Young children (age 4-5) can usually concentrate for somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the task—less time with novel and challenging tasks, and more time with those intrinsically enjoyable activities.
• Do one thing at a time. We may praise the ability to multitask in our adult lives, but the research is clear: multitasking reduces concentration and diminishes our performance. In line with the concept of mindfulness, do one thing at a time in this one moment. For very young children, you might simply sing the alphabet together while looking at the letters. For children who are a little older, say 4th grade, you can complete one long division problem at a time together. Don’t look ahead at all the other problems, just focus on one at a time.
• Set aside homework time and space. Because multitasking impairs concentration, it’s important to reduce extraneous distractions. For example, do homework at a designated desk or table in a quiet room with the TV off, the phone in another room, and the laptop shut unless it’s needed to complete a homework assignment. Parental monitoring programs can automatically shut down Internet access after a set amount of use. As kids get older, parents can shift to using self-monitoring software so teens can independently manage their time. This way kids don’t get sucked into a time vortex on Instagram or Snapchat.
• Build in planned breaks. Kids need to get up, move around, and do something different and not too taxing after spending some time concentrating. They will benefit from taking some time to rest and recharge, especially during after-school homework time. Younger children can take a snack or play break, and teens can take the opportunity to check out their friends’ posts or text with peers.

• Practice belly breathing. Steady, diaphragmatic breathing slows our heart rate and clears our mind so we can concentrate. This is an important skill for kids to have when they’re confronted with challenging tasks, which can make them anxious and spike their heart rate. Anxiety leads to avoidance, the opposite of concentration. So finding ways to make tasks more approachable is important, and calming the body is one of those strategies.
• Break big tasks down into smaller, more manageable pieces. This is another strategy for helping children to approach a challenging task. If your child is learning to tie her shoes, make the first goal to master the initial knot, then move on to making two loops with the strings until she knows exactly how to do that, and so forth. Another “piecemeal” strategy for building concentration is to use a timer to help kids organize themselves, e.g., “Here’s a book about horses. I’m going to set this timer for 15 minutes, and I want you to write down as many facts about horses as you can in this time.”
• Practice observing things at the moment. Kids can be distracted by “internal stimuli,” like physical sensations or entertaining memories. While a child’s imagination is a wonderful thing, we also want them to be able to clear away distractions and build the ability to concentrate. You can play “I spy with my little eye…” and take turns making observations of various objects in the room, listen closely to the lyrics of a song together, or do some yoga poses and pay attention to how it feels in the body.

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Your pre-schooler might be young, but his or her time is already precious. At this juncture, your child is gradually trading in his or her play time for classroom lessons, which means that he or she is challenged with adapting to both an education system as well as to new foreign environments. However, enrichment classes for toddlers in Singapore have been proven to impart skills, pearls of wisdom and values that a child retains for the rest of his or her life, so choosing the right classes is of paramount importance.

A childs instinct is to play, which is active and liberal learning, but he or she might be less inclined to enjoy classroom lessons, whose rigid structures are less likely to appeal to young minds. The perfect solution to this dilemma is enrolling ones pre-schooler in engaging classes where he or she can enjoy open-ended learning. Here are five types of English enrichment classes for toddlers in Singapore that might entice your child with both their elements of fun as well as their inviting natures:

Reading workshops

The ultimate springboard for pre-schoolers, reading workshops not only prepare their participants for primary or elementary school, but they also cultivate better reading prowess within young minds. The depth of our reading skills is largely shaped in our childhood, which influences our negotiation of tasks and triumphs for the rest of our lives. Is your child reading effectively and efficiently? Ones reading skill and ones writing proficiency, which the former of which inevitably determines the latter, are both continually crucial throughout an individuals education and career. You can develop in your pre-schooler good grammar, comprehension and storytelling skills, articulation and most importantly, a love for reading through a preschool enrichment course.

Writing workshops

Not just any writing workshop, but a comprehensive English enrichment class for kids that incorporates creative writing can do wonders for your pre-schooler. While good writing skills can help your child effectively engage target readers, be it in a pivotal examination or a college application, they also improve a persons emotional intelligence when engaging others in conversation. Most vitally, opt for a writing class that stirs a childs imagination. Good writing comprises of numerous skills and is a lifelong work-in-progress (take it from this writer), so give your pre-schooler an early head start and the most enjoyable start possible, so that he or she will associate writing with joy.


Acting is a passion that needs to be tried to be uncovered. Pre-schoolers have been observed to develop a positive self-image, as well as a deeper respect for others and themselves, as a result of attending theatre enrichment classes.Children who take part in theatre grow up more imaginative and more interested in creating, as well as exhibit better communication skills along with social and emotional intelligence.

Cooking Class

Not everyone realizes how much cooking refines a journeymans conscientiousness, awareness of ones surroundings, emotional intelligence, multitasking capabilities and personal organization. Cooking might not involve advanced technology or literacy, but this seeming blue-collar task is undeniably intertwined with observation, inquiry, thinking, management, communication, and presentation, in that order.

Cultural programs are meant to give children a better grasp of whom they are and where their families come from. Multifaceted activities can help a pre-schooler sharpen his or her second language capabilities, and endow him or her with additional skills like calligraphy along the way. Culture appreciation classes develop within its participants a love for the arts, as well as a love for his or her own culture, through fun activities like pottery and painting, while his or her young mind is gradually making sense of the world. If your pre-schooler struggles with his or her mother tongue, a culture appreciation class might just be the most enjoyable solution.

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A social skill is any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others and

social skills therapy for children help them acquire social skills they do not have or improve

their existing social skills.

Social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning these skills is called socialization,

when a child has social skill difficulties, they might also have difficulties with:

Behaviour: The childs actions, usually about their environment (e.g., a child may engage in a behaviour, such as refusing to go to social events including birthday parties or engage in inappropriate behaviours, such as tugging on a peers hair or yelling at someone to get their attention).

Sensory processing: The child may have trouble attending or focusing and have difficulty interpreting the information they receive from the environment.

Completing academic work (e.g., the child may misinterpret verbal or written instructions for tasks and struggle with imaginative writing).

Receptive (understanding) language: Comprehension of language.

Expressive (using) language: The use of language through speech, sign or alternative forms of communication to communicate wants, needs, thoughts, and ideas.

Articulation: Clarity of speech sounds and spoken language.

Fluency: The smoothness or flow with which sounds, syllables, words, and phrases are produced when talking.

Voice: The sound that we hear when someone talks which are unique to each person.

Self-regulation: The ability to obtain, maintain and change ones emotion, behaviour, attention, and activity level appropriate for a task or situation in a socially acceptable manner.

Executive functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills.

What can be done to improve social skills?

Play with your child to help develop joint attention, turn-taking, shared interests, cooperation and appropriate play with toys.

Emotions: Help the child to understand and display their own emotions and to recognize these emotions in other people.

Empathy: Help the child to understand and recognize how other people are feeling in particular situations.

Social stories: These are stories which are used to teach children specific social skills that they may find difficult to understand or are confusing. The goal of the story is to increase the childs understanding by describing in detail a specific situation and suggesting an appropriate social response.

Social skill groups: These are groups run with the express purpose of mastering social interaction with others.

What activities can help improve social skills?

Visuals: Make up a poster of rules to remember when starting a conversation (e.g., using a friendly voice, making eye contact, using appropriate greetings, such as hello).

Role play: Practise playground/party scenarios where the child does not know anybody. Model and create a list of different things you can say:

To join others who are playing (e.g., Can I play too?).

To introduce yourself (e.g., Hi my name is .).

To politely negotiate with peers (e.g., I dont want that one. Can I have the blue car please?).

Sing songs, such as If youre happy and you know it to help teach a child about different emotions.

Masks: Make masks together to help improve eye contact.

Turn taking: Play turn taking games (e.g., board games) to encourage a child to say whose turn it is in the game (e.g., My turn, Your turn).

Games: Play board games with the child. Make sure the child is not always the winner so that they learn about losing in a game and can cope better when this happens with their peers.

Bean bag conversation: Throw a bean bag around a circle, and each child takes a turn to contribute to the conversation. Think of different ways to contribute to the conversation (e.g., ask a question, comment on what has been said, add something related to the topic).

Watch and comment: Role play different situations and comment about appropriate and inappropriate attempts of communication (e.g., standing too close or too far from another person, not using appropriate eye contact, interrupting a conversation).

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