Rainy Day Activities

By Alexa Demyan,

When the forecast is projecting for rain, rain and more rain, it may seem daunting if you’ve got little ones at home. But no worries- Miss Abbey has shared all of her go-to rainy day activities that she does with her own children at home!
โ˜”๏ธ๐’๐ข๐ญ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐›๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐š๐ฌ ๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ง๐š๐œ๐ค/ ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ก ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž. ๐“๐š๐ฅ๐ค ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ:
โ€ข Where theyโ€™re eating
โ€ข What theyโ€™re eating
โ€ข Whatโ€™s happening around them
โ€ข Requests for โ€œmoreโ€ snack or make choices between snacks
โ€ข The flavors and textures of the snack (crunchy, chewy, sweet, salty, sour, smooth, slimy, etc)
โ˜”๏ธ ๐…๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐จ๐ซ ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ง๐ž๐ข๐ ๐ก๐›๐จ๐ซ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐. ๐“๐š๐ฅ๐ค ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ:
โ€ข Size concepts: are the puddles you find big, medium, or small
โ€ข Comparisons: are the puddles bigger/smaller than your childโ€™s boots or your boots
โ€ข Quantity concepts: is a lot or a little water in the puddle, how many puddles you found (give a specific number, or use general terms such as one, a lot, a few)
โ€ข Location concepts: where are you finding puddles (on the sidewalk, on the driveway, beside the mailbox, next to the curb, in the grass, etc)
โ€ข Verbs: splash with your hands, jump with both feet, stomp with one foot, march, hop on one foot, etc. Use this activity to talk about โ€œwhat happened?โ€
โ˜”๏ธ ๐†๐จ ๐จ๐ง ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ๐ค!
โ€ข Have children help plan what they need for a walk in the rain (boots vs shoes, raincoat vs a regular jacket, hat and/or umbrella)
โ€ข Practice describing words by talking about the size/colors/other features of houses you see
โ€ข Practice one speech word for each house you pass or each sidewalk square
โ€ข Point out objects that have your speech sound
โ€ข Bring a bucket and fill it with treasures you find (sticks, rocks, leaves, acorns, pinecones, mulch, flowers). When you get home, you can sort the items by category, size, color, etc.

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

Stuttering Recovery Prediction in Children

By Alexa Demyan,

By Lauren Polster, M.S., CCC-SLP

Stuttering Rates
  • Lifetime incidence (how many people have ever stuttered in their life) 5-8%
  • Persistence rate 20% (remainder: spontaneous recovery)
  • Population prevalence (how many people stutter at a given point in time) 1%
Factors Associated with Increased Likelihood of Persistence without Treatment
  • Relatives whose stuttering persisted (may be correlation-but more research is needed) *Male (Girls tend to recover after a shorter history than boys)
  • Later Stuttering Onset (Onset is typically between 3-3.5 years. If the onset is later, it is more likely to persist)
  • Frequency and severity not decreasing after 7-12 months
  • The longer a child stutters after a year, the greater risk for persistence
  • Note: Severity at time of onset does not predict persistence
Additional Considerations
  • Children who stutter who persist tend to have lower phonological skills
  • Children with developmental language asynchronies (advanced, delayed or disordered) are more likely to persist

Adapted from Guitar (2014), Yairi & Ambrose (2005), Yairi & Seery (2015)

SLPs Love Books!

By Alexa Demyan,

By Susan Dabo, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-language pathologists love books. I have a lot of books in my office and at home. It was one of my daughterโ€™s favorite activities and still is to this day. Books can be a great way to work on speech/language goals at home. Here are some ways to implement books to address speech/language goals at home:

  • You can use books to target sounds that your child is working on in therapy. Use the books to work on speech sounds at the level appropriate to your child. For example, if they are working on producing their sound in words then you would find pictures or words on each page as you are reading and have the child practice their sound in the word. If they are practicing their sound at the phrase/sentence level then you could give the child a target word and have them use the target word in a phrase/sentence to talk about the picture. If they are on the conversational level then you could have the child talk about each picture independently and listen to make sure they are using their good sound!
Expressive Language:
  • Board books with large pictures and few words are great for increasing expressive vocabulary in toddlers. Your child can practice naming objects or actions in the pictures either through imitation or spontaneously.
Receptive Language:
  • Usborne books are great for receptive identification of pictures. Ask your child to point to pictures that you name. Provide models by pointing to the picture if this is difficult for your child or provide hand over hand assistance.

IEP 101: For Parents

By Alexa Demyan,

By Megan Reed, M.S., CCC-SLP

What is an IEP?

An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is written for each student who qualifies to receive special education and/or related services (e.g. speech therapy). This is a legal document that details the studentโ€™s learning needs, the services the school will provide and how progress will be measured.

How does a student receive an IEP?


  • If a student is is having problems within the classroom, and informal measures are not solving the problem, a referral can be made by the teachers or the parents.


  • A school district has to provide the parents with a plan for an evaluation. The parents must sign the consent before testing can begin.
  • The school district will then determine whether the students needs special education services through a variety of assessments. Evaluations may be conducted by the school psychologist, speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and others as needed.
  • An Evaluation Team Report (ETR) meeting will be held to discuss the results and determine if the student is eligible to receive special education services. A district has 60 days after receiving consent to complete the ETR process.


  • If the student was determined eligible for services at the ETR meeting, the team will create an IEP. A district has 30 days after the ETR to have the IEP meeting.
  • An IEP meeting will be held to establish goals for the next year. If the team agrees on the goals and accommodations, services will start as soon as possible.
  • The IEP is reviewed annually however you can request a review meeting at any time.
What should parents know about an IEP?
  • You are entitled to a copy of the proposed IEP documents prior to the meeting.
  • If you do not agree with the program, voice your concerns before signing.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! There will be a lot of information, so clarification may be needed.
  • Some school districts have a parent mentor available to help guide parents through the special education process.
  • You can find more information about parent mentors at ocecd.org

Make Articulation Practice Fun!

By Alexa Demyan,

By Hillary Collins, M.S., CF-SLP

FIRST THINGS FIRST: What exactly is articulation? Articulation is a fancy way of saying the production of speech sounds.
  • An articulation disorder involves problems making sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added, or changed. Theseย errors may make it hard for people to understand you.
  • A phonological process disorder involves patterns of sound errors. For example, substituting all sounds made in the backย of the mouth like “k” and “g” for those in the front of the mouth like “t” and “d” (e.g., saying “tup” for “cup” or “das” forย “gas”). (www.asha.org)
My child is AWESOME & MOTIVATED at practicing sounds when at speech- At home? Not so much.

When mastering speech sounds, practice and repetition are KEY and motivation can be hard. Here is a look into resources commonly used for articulation therapy practice. A variety of web pages and blogs are available with fun ideas to help bring some spice back into your home practice activities! With many of the sites there are search bars in which you can search:โ€œARTICULATIONโ€ and activities and ideas to use at home will pop up.

  • Speech Room News: TheSpeechRoomNews.com
  • Busy Bee Speech: busybeespeech.com
  • Home Speech Home: home-speech-home.com
  • Peachie Speechie: PeachieSpeechie.com
  • Playing With Words 365: playingwithwords365.com
But wait, what about the tablet? Anything we could do on there?

Letโ€™s face it, kids love technology. There are many apps that you can use to help promote home practice. Some of my favorites include:

  • Word Vault by HomeSpeechHome
  • Dance Party Articulation by Erik X. Raj
  • Wacky Selfies Articulation by Erik X. Raj

What’s the Chatter About?

By Alexa Demyan,

At Columbus Speech and Hearing Center, we know that the early identification of a speech, language, or hearing disorder is critical, but that it also leads to better outcomes.

The first two years of a childโ€™s life are a critical period for their development of speech and language skills. Communication skills are essential in building the foundation of academic readiness and the earlier a childโ€™s disorder is detected, the sooner a family can make the best decision for their childโ€™s language and communication approach.

At Columbus Speech and Hearing we screen more than 2,000 children a year for early detection. We work with families to provide the best services to ensure children are able to develop the language skills necessary to help them communicate freely and actively learn.

We know that numerous studies have shown a link between a childโ€™s language skills in preschool and their academic success later in life. You can ensure your child is ready for learning with a speech, language and hearing screening.

CSHC also knows know that piece of mind for parents and caregivers is important! That’s why we offer a variety of ways for you to discuss your child’s unique speech and hearing needs with a licensed speech-language pathologist.


This free program connects you with a speech-language pathologist from CSHC for a casual Q&A about your child’s speech and language development. Our SLP can also provide fresh ideas for home activities, or help you determine next-steps for your child’s continued speech and language development.

Chatterbox sessions are open to anyone who has concerns regarding their child’s speech and language development. Chatterbox sessions can take place over the phone or via email with a licensed speech-language pathologist. You can contact Lora McConnell at (614) 261-5462 or lmcconnell@columbusspeech.org.

View our flyer or follow us on instagram for more information!

In-Office Speech & Hearing Screening

Early detection and intervention increase opportunities for success in school. Our In-Office Screenings offer families a chance to have an in-person, one-to-one screening with one of our licensed speech pathologists.

Our in-office screenings are a 20-25 minute screening to assess your child in the areas of speech articulation, receptive language, expressive language, social pragmatic language, fluency, and hearing to determine if a full speech and language evaluation is warranted. We offer screenings to any child age 3-7.

In-office screenings determine if speech articulation and language skills are age-appropriate and if there is any possible hearing loss or middle ear problems. Results and recommendations are provided immediately.

In-office screenings cost $30. You can inquire about an in-office screening for your child by contacting Janel Niekamp at (614) 261-5469 or jniekamp@columbusspeech.org.

View our flyer.

Community Speech & Hearing Screening

Our Community Outreach program partners with preschools, schools, early learning centers, daycares and more to offer speech, language and hearing screenings to children 3+. These screenings help to identify children with speech, language and/or hearing problems and provide families with the appropriate recommendations and referrals resources so that any necessary treatment and intervention can be done in a timely manner.

If you are interested in learning more about community speech, language and hearing screenings, please contact your school or daycare to see if they participate in this program!

Additional Resources

Learn more by visiting our Speech Services page to see a full list of services offered!

Check out our Pinterest page and Instagram page for educational and fun activities to target speech therapy goals in the home!

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Fidget Spinner Fun

By Alexa Demyan,

By Eileen Adamo, M.S., CF-SLP

Fidget spinners have become an increasingly popular gadget over the past few months. While some people view fidget
spinners as a toy, it can be a functional therapeutic tool. Fidget spinners can be an outlet for a childโ€™s energy, stress,
tension or anxiety, which can help improve focus and attention when used appropriately.

Several of our speech therapists have discovered fun ways to incorporate them into speech therapy sessions. Here are a few functional ways to use fidget spinners in therapy and at home!

Target Area: Articulation

Print out a list of words/pictures that contain your childโ€™s target sound. Spin and see how many target words your
child can say correctly before the spinner stops. If your child finishes the page before it stops, become the spinner stopper and win the game!
This can be used in:

  • Isolation (just the sound)
  • Single words
  • Phrases
  • Sentences
  • Reading passages
  • Have a conversation incorporating target words
  • For younger children, hide picture cards with target sound around the room. Find and say as many as you can before the time runs out

Increasing the number of correct trials of your childโ€™s target sounds helps your child develop the motor plan for producing the correct sound.

Target Area: Language

Spin and Say: Pick a target and take turns saying a word. Whoever says the last word before the spinner stops, wins the game!

  • Categories (ex: food, clothing, colors) go around in a circle naming something from that category (ex: apple, carrot, eggs, pizza)
  • Rhyming – Pick a word and try to come up with as many rhyming words as you can before the times runs out. (ex: hat)
  • Encourages family involvement in practicing speech goals at home
  • Practice improving processing speed
  • Targets memory of recalled items (canโ€™t repeat a word someone else has said)

Take a spin and let the fun begin!

Sports and Speech

By Alexa Demyan,

By Susan Dabo, M.S.,CCC-SLP

Do you have a busy little one at home with tons of energy? I know I have one. It can be challenging to keep their interest and keep them motivated to address the goals we are working on. Making therapy fun and finding a childโ€™s interests helps to keep them motivated. For those busy ones, sports and physical activities are usually of high interest. Here are some ideas for working on articulation/language/literacy skills at home that involve sports.


Find pictures of the sound your child is working on or write letters or sight words on plastic cups. Then have your child
kick a soccer ball at the cups, he/she then has to practice his sound/identify letters/read sight words on the cups he
knocked down.


Use ping pong balls to write letters/sight words or use stickers with your childโ€™s sound that he is working on. Place balls in one basket and an empty basket across the room. Have the child take a ball, practice his letter/word/sound then he can either throw it into the other basket or work on following directions and tell your child to โ€œrun,โ€ โ€œskip,โ€ โ€œhop,โ€ etc. the ball down to the other basket.


Same concept as soccer but use a play bowling ball and pins. Write letters/words or tape pictures onto the pins and as
your child knocks the pins down, have him/her practice the letter/word.

Be creative and you can probably turn any sports game into a fun way to work on speech/language goals.


By Alexa Demyan,

By Jennifer Tuttle, M.A., CF-SLP

Now that school is out and summer is finally here, it is the perfect time to start planning family vacations! Road trips to
your favorite vacation area is the perfect time to expand your childโ€™s language skills! Long trips in the car can be boring, so why not play a game of โ€œI Spyโ€ that is fun and targets your childโ€™s describing skills!

When describing the item of their choice, have them start off by saying, โ€œI spy with my little eyeโ€ฆโ€ and then give you clues to help you guess what their item is. Here are some tips you can use to help your child describe:

  • What category does it belong in? If you are describing a bird, you could say, โ€œIt is an animal.โ€
  • What is their function? What does it do or what do you do with it? If you are describing scissors, you could say, โ€œYou use it to cut.โ€
  • What does it look like? Tell your child to paint a picture of the object in their head to help them give you visual clues! If you are describing an airplane, you could say, โ€œIt has wings, a propeller, and wheels.โ€
  • What does it feel like? If you are describing a cotton ball, you could say, โ€œIt is soft.โ€

There are other great games that you can use to help improve your childโ€™s describing skills! Check out Headbandz,
Pictionary, and other great games to target describing skills!

Snack Time Fun!

By Alexa Demyan,

By Sarah Denman, M.A. CCC-SLP

Who doesnโ€™t love snack time?!
On top of getting to eat yummy things, snack time can be used to focus on a variety of key skill areas.

Food Exposure
  • During snack try to include 2-3 different textures or tastes to expose your child to a wider variety of
    foods. A combination of items such as pretzels, bananas, applesauce, gummies, celery, grapes, crackers,
    or yogurt will give a variety of tastes (sweet, salty, bland) and textures (crunchy, chewy, soft).
  • Playing with food is encouraged! Explore using multiple senses โ€“ What does it smell like? What does it
    feel like? What does it look like?
  • Some children may need exposure to a new food 8-15 times before they will accept it. Donโ€™t force them to
    eat something; be patient. Repeated exposure will increase likelihood of acceptance. In the meantime,
    encourage your child to bring the food to their lips and give it a โ€œkiss!”
Oral Motor
  • Crunching food with teeth, licking using your tongue, puckering your lips, blowing on hot foodโ€ฆ all
    these activities help children to gain awareness of how their mouths work! Be silly and do these things
  • Talk to your speech therapist if you notice that your child is a) unaware of food spilling out of his/her
    mouth, b) has difficulty keeping food inside his/her mouth, c) is coughing or drooling while eating.
Expressive Language
  • Want to know a speech therapy favorite idea?! Place snack items in clear containers with lids and only
    give a few at a time (e.g. 5 pretzels). This allows for multiple opportunities for the child to request for
    โ€œmoreโ€, โ€œopenโ€, or labeling the snack name.
  • When a child is done or does not want a certain snack, model phrases like โ€œall doneโ€, โ€œno moreโ€, or โ€œno
    thanksโ€ and encourage them to imitate you.
  • Snack time is a great time to talk and socialize! Talk about what you did before snack, what you will do
    after snack, or what food you like best.