Using Video Clips to Teach Social Skills

By Alexa Demyan,

Trying to teach social skill concepts in a fun and motivating way? Video
clips can be extremely useful! As you and your child watch, you can
pause along the way to discuss relevant topics.

“For The Birds” (Pixar)

Watch the video here

Summary: A flock of small birds perch on a telephone wire when along comes a large dopey bird that tries to join them. The birds of a feather can’t help but make fun of him—and their clique mentality proves embarrassing in the end.

Ideas for discussion:

  • Emotions
    • What are they feeling?
    • How do you know? (e.g. facial expressions, body language)
    • Why might they feel that way?
  • Personal space
  • Bullying
    • Why do you think the little birds acting like that?
    • What could you say to your friends if they acted like that?
    • What could the big bird say or do?
  • Conflict resolution
    • What could they have done instead?
  • If they could talk, what do you think they’d be saying?

“Lou” (Pixar)

Watch the video here

Summary: Lou, a creature made of “Lost and Found” items must
manage the unkind behavior of the schoolyard bully, J.J., who has not
yet learned that giving can be so much more fulfilling than taking away.

Ideas for discussion:

  • Bullying
    • What is J.J. doing? How does that make the other kids feel? What could the other kids say/do?
  • Conflict resolution
  • Giving/sharing vs. taking

“Oreo Commercial” (2009)

Watch the video here

Summary: A younger brother wants to be just like his older brother – which means he needs to figure out a way to dunk his cookie in milk too! The problem is… how do you dunk your cookie given a sippy cup?

Ideas for discussion:

  • “Thinking with your Eyes”
    • Where are his eyes looking? What does that mean he’s thinking about?
  • Problem-solving
    • What’s the problem? How does he try to solve it?
    • What do you think will happen next? What would you do?
  • Nonverbal communication
    • E.g. When the older brother scoots his milk away, what is he trying to say?
    • E.g. How is the younger brother feeling when __?

“Elf” (2003)

Clips available on YouTube, full film available on dvd/bluray & various streaming platforms

Summary: Almost any scene can be used from this hilarious movie about an elf who moves to NYC.

Ideas for discussion:

  • Expected vs. Unexpected Behaviors
    • What did Buddy do? Was it expected or unexpected? Why?
    • How did that make other people feel around him? (e.g. confused, upset, uncomfortable)

Ideas for scenes:

  • Mall scene – Buddy goes to the mall for the 1st time
    • Dinner scene – Buddy eats spaghetti with syrup for dinner… with his hands! Yuk!
  • Doctor scene – Buddy eats cotton balls and won’t sit still, which makes his dad and the doctor upset.

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This post written for you by Sarah Denman, M.A. CCC-SLP of Columbus Speech & Hearing Center

Games and Activities to Prevent Bullying

By Alexa Demyan,

Bullying is often a tough subject for parents and children alike, but teaching things like empathy, self-confidence, and the appreciation of people’s differences – all of which can reduce bullying behaviors – can be fun! Try these games with your pre-school and school aged kids to stop bullying before it starts.

  1. Play “guess who?”: Give clues to help your child guess the person you are thinking of. Start with simple clues such as their favorite food or the color of their hair. This can help your child start to think about and appreciate what makes us all different!
  2. Create family portraits: Craft portraits of your family, as well as other families in your circle. Talk about how each family is similar to and different from your own, and list the special things that each family brings to your life. Most importantly, discuss one thing that all families have in common – they all love each other!
  3. Chart similarities and differences: Help your child recognize and accept what makes our differences beautiful, and use some math skills while you’re at it! Make a simple chart of characteristics, hobbies, and traits such as “tall, funny, wears glasses, speaks Spanish, loves donuts, etc…) and see how the people in your life add to the variety of your community.
  4. Imagine being someone else: Let’s use pretend play to teach empathy! When children pretend to be someone else (or even the family pet!) they explore the hearts and minds of others, which helps them see things from different perspectives.
  5. Help give back to your community: A strong community supports its members, and one way to help your child engage with theirs is to help them understand their role. Talk about ways your child can be a helper to their family, friends, neighbors, and classmates through acts of kindness, and then put those ideas into action!

Source: https://www.kindercare.com/content-hub/articles/2019/october/5-preschool-games-to-prevent-bullying?utm_campaign=KC-email&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Act-On&utm_content=Newsletter&utm_term=October

Learning empathy through perspective-taking is a crucial life skill that all children should work to acquire.

❤️

When they need additional help learning this skill, our speech therapists are ready to teach them! Through individual therapy, group therapy and/or co-treatment sessions, we make sure teaching this concept is a priority for clients with social language needs. Why? Because perspective taking, empathy and sympathy are embedded in our everyday lives and part of most “hidden rules” in social communication.

Contact us at 614-263-5151 or speech@columbusspeech.org to learn more

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This post written for you by Natalie Day, M.S., CCC-SLP of Columbus Speech & Hearing Center

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

By Alexa Demyan,

Books are a great way to expand your child’s speech and language skills at home. Wordless picture books add to the joy of storytelling, because you, or your child, become the storyteller.

They can be used to target a variety of skills:   

  • Sequence what happens first, next, and last in the story.
  • Recall details of the story after the story is finished.
  • Expand your child’s vocabulary by talking about the people, places, objects, actions and/or feelings of the people in the story.
  • Have your child describe the picture to you and guess what they are talking about.       
  • Target articulation skills by having your child tell the story using their best speech sounds.       
  • Point out pictures that have your child’s target sound(s) in them.

See below for a sample of some wordless picture books. Wordless books leave the story up to your child’s imagination…and the possibilities are endless.  

Ready, Set, Read!

WORDLESS PICTURE BOOKS: 
Wave by Suzy Lee
Chalk by Bill Thomson
Fossil by Bill Thomson
The Flower Man by Mark Ludy
Hank and the Egg by Rebecca Dudley
Bluebird by Bob Staake 
Zoom by Istvan Banyai
Re-Zoom by Istvan Banyai
Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
Door by Jihyeon Lee
Rainstorm by Barbara Lehman 
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd
Journey by Aaron Becker
Pool by Jihyeon Lee
Mirror by Jeannie Baker
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson
Float by Daniel Miyares
South by Patrick McDonnell
The Boy and the Airplane by Mark Pett
The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett
The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Tuesday by David Wiesner
Where’s Walrus by Stephen Savage
Window by Jeannie Baker

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This post written for you by Eileen Adamo, M.S., CCC-SLP of Columbus Speech & Hearing Center

How to Utilize a Timeless Author’s Books to Develop Speech & Language Skills

By Alexa Demyan,

Dr. Seuss is a household name. Did you know his books can be used to develop speech & language skills? The next time you read one of your favorite Dr. Seuss books with your family, try incorporating these tips from our speech-language pathologists!

Developing Vocabulary: Books are great for learning new vocabulary pertaining to a particular topic/theme. Use a Dr. Seuss book to plan a week (or even month) of themed activities to help promote your child’s vocabulary growth. Each activity will help build upon your child’s previous knowledge/experience.

If using, Horton Hears a Who!, you can pretend to be elephants, make elephant hats, talk about how an elephant’s body parts are similar/different than your own, use pom-poms to make clovers, or make edible clovers using Rice Krispies cereal

Developing Early Literacy Skills: Phonological awareness, the understanding of how sounds are put together to form words, is a foundational pre-literacy skill. The ability to identify and produce rhyming words is included in this. Dr. Seuss books, such as One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, are full of rhyming words. As your child becomes familiar with a story, pause and let them fill in the missing words. 

Developing Articulation Skills: Dr. Seuss books are full of motivating “tongue tanglers” that can be used to reinforce clear articulation skills. Pick a book full of your child’s target sound(s) and have fun! Fox in Socks is great for working on the /s/ sound. 


Developing Social Skills:·        

Yertle the Turtle: Targets sympathy and the importance of caring for others.·        

The Big Brag: A lesson surrounding bragging.·        

What Was I Scared Of: Perfect for discussing fears and how to overcome them.·        

Green Eggs and Ham: Conveys the importance of being open-minded/flexible. 

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This post written for you by Samantha Secrist, M.A., CCC-SLP of Columbus Speech & Hearing Center

Smile Mask: How To

By Alexa Demyan,

While individuals in our community are doing their part to slow the spread of Covid-19 by wearing face coverings, it has created a new challenge for those who rely or can benefit from lip reading.

Mastering the new normal of communication with a face covering, while social distancing six feet away is difficult for anyone, especially those of the community we serve. This combination can disrupt the visual and auditory input people who are reliant on lip reading need to communicate effectively.

Smile Masks can help with that since the clear window design assists with communication access!

As a part of our commitment to meet the needs of the community we serve, smile masks can help overcome the communication barriers brought on by standard masks.

Standard face masks make lipreading impossible, but smile masks can provide a great alternative.

Smile masks are good for:

  • Those reliant on lipreading
  • Speech pathologist who need their patients to read their lips as a form of education
  • Those who use American Sign Language as it leans heavily on facial cues and expressions

Make your own Smile Mask by following the instructions below!

Instructions for Smile Mask

Things you’ll need:

  • Two pieces of fabric 8.5” wide X 11” long —the size of a piece of standard printer paper
  • One Pipe cleaner (can also use a paperclip, bobby-pin or something that bends easily to keep the mask secure on your face)
  • One piece of plastic 4.5” wide X 6” long — utility plastic “fabric” or a binder paper sleeve. Something that is thin enough so you can sew through it easier
  • Two pieces of elastic cord measuring 12” long —can use something like yarn or ribbon
  • Pins to help with keeping fabric together while sewing—safety pins work well as an alternative
  1. Cut two pieces of fabric 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches long. These will be the exterior and lining pieces of your mask. Pin fabric right sides together on all four corners.
  2. Trace out a rectangle 2 inches wide by 4 inches long in the middle of your fabric. this will be the rectangle that you cut out for the window of the mask. Next, place four marks a 1/2 inch outside of the smaller rectangle, one in each corner.
  3. Cut out rectangle of both pieces of fabric.
  1. Cut slits starting at the corner of the smaller rectangle to the corner of the outer rectangle. Do this for all four corners.
  1. On one of the pieces of fabric, fold each side of the smaller rectangle to where the slits stop on the outside of the outer rectangle. Press down hard on the fabric so that it holds the crease from your fold. You can also iron these folds down if you want, but this is not necessary to keep the fold. Repeat on the other piece of fabric. NOTE: I’ve pinned each flap down so it’s easier to demonstrate where to fold. You can pin down the flaps if you would like, but this is not necessary.

6. Sew the outer edges of the fabric together using 3/8” seam allowance.

  1. Turn the fabric inside out. Take a pencil or a capped pen and push out all of the corners of the fabric so the edges look crisp and straight. This will make it easier to complete the top stitching for the next step.

  1. Cut a pipe cleaner to the length of the fabric. NOTE: you can also use a paperclip, bobby-pin, etc. for this step if you do not have a pipe cleaner. This will be used for the top of your mask to keep it in place. Place the pipe cleaner/paperclip in-between both pieces of fabric. hold in place as close to the top of the seam as possible with pins. Top stitch the pipe cleaner against the edge of the top length of fabric. The stitching will encase the pipe cleaner. Continue top stitching on the other three sides of your fabric, making sure to stitch as close to the seam as possible. Top stitching helps give the mask some reinforcement and sturdiness so that it doesn’t fall apart.

Learn about what a top stitch is here.

  1. Insert your plastic piece between the two pieces of fabric and align with the window you cut out from step 3. The folds that you made in step 5 should now be on the inside of the mask. Pin the plastic to the edges of the fabric.
  1. Stitch together the plastic and fabric pieces as close to the edge of the cut out rectangle as
    possible. This will help secure the plastic in place to make sure that there aren’t any holes
    in your mask.
  1. Take the long parts of your mask and fold them together to meet in the middle of the plastic
    window. Pin these down and top stitch as close to the outer edge of that fold as possible.
    This should give you three panels total of your mask (top, bottom and middle sections).
  1. Fold top and bottom panels from the middle out to the edge of the top stitch you just completed and pin down.
  1. Working your way around the edges of your mask, fold the two short edges of the mask inward toward the plastic window and pin down. This fold should only go in about 1/2 inch. You can use the pins that held the panels to the mask from step 12 to complete this step.
    NOTE: this will become a pocket for your elastic ear pieces.
  1. Sew down the fold at the edge of the fold closest to the window of your mask. This stitch should be like a top stitch in that you get as close as possible to the edge of the fabric.
  1. Feed your elastic cord through these pockets. You may want to use a paperclip or safety pin to make it easier to feed it through.
  1. Tie two adjustable sliding knots on each piece of the elastic to make your ear pieces adjustable. Learn how to tie this knot here.

Enjoy your new mask!!

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