Every day, adults and children alike are learning how to be more inclusive and celebrate the beautiful diversity in our world. Here are a few activities to help you and your family listen, learn, and grow in this pursuit.
Reading books that have racially and culturally diverse characters help children see, learn about, and empathize with people who are different from themselves.
Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora is great for babies and toddlers.
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman is a beautiful story of self-confidence.
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox shows how children all over the world share joy and love despite living, speaking, and looking different from each other.
Craft projects will allow children to see and think about physical characteristics that make us all different. By creating these works of art themselves, they can take pride in them and appreciate the beauty in diversity.
Use construction paper, foam sheets, or regular paper with crayons and markers to create paper dolls with varying skin tones. Give them hair, clothes, and personalities, and start playing pretend!
Cut out hand prints in a rainbow of colors and/or skin tones and create a wreath. Hang it on your front door or in a window to share the love with your neighbors!
Playing pretend and imagining that they are someone else can allow children to explore the hearts and minds of others, which helps them see things from their perspectives.
Learn about people like Katherine Johnson, Duke Ellington, or Jesse Owens and play pretend!
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, but also what we have in common!
Columbus Speech & Hearing Center hosted the 13th Annual Great Communicators Golf Classic on October 19. Though the weather was less than favorable, our event was still a success thanks to the support of our community partners!
Thank you to all who donated, participated in our virtual Silent Auction & Raffle, sponsored and volunteered!
COMDOC, Inc. ⚫ Elford, Inc. ⚫ HMB, Inc. ⚫ The Joseph Group ⚫ Ketchum & Walton Co. ⚫ The Scotts Miracle Grow Company ⚫ TSG Advice Partners ⚫ US Bank
If you’re interested in getting involved and making an impact in your community through our annual golf outing, please reach out to email@example.com. We’re always welcoming new partners and volunteers!
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, our in-person Halloween Hop has been canceled for the 2020 season. However, CSHC loves Halloween too much to let the holiday pass without some spooktacular family fun!
This year we will be hosting a virtual Halloween Costume Contest. Each participant will be entered into a random drawing and the winners will receive a Halloween prize basket filled with goodies for the whole family!
This contest will run from October 10th – October 29th.
HOW TO ENTER:
1. Follow Columbus Speech & Hearing Center on Facebook and/or Instagram (our Instagram handle is @columbusspeech)
2. Post a picture of your child, children or entire family in their Halloween Costumes between 10/1- 10/29
3. Tag Columbus Speech & Hearing Center in your post and use the hashtag: #CSHCostume
· Please be sure to tag Columbus Speech & Hearing Center and use the hashtag so that we can see your picture(s) and enter you into our basket drawing.
· You do not need to be a current client of CSHC to enter- anyone is welcome! However, the winner must be able to pick up their prize in-person at Columbus Speech & Hearing Center.
· Please keep in mind that is a family-friendly costume contest
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 child’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 child’s disorder is detected, the sooner a family can make the best decision for their child’s language and communication approach.
At Columbus Speech and Hearing we screen more than 2,000children 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 child’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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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!
Learn more by visiting our Speech Services page to see a full list of services offered!
ASL Baby is American Sign Language instruction for caregivers and babies that’s educational and nurturing!
At Columbus Speech & Hearing Center, it is our mission to help all people improve communication for life. This includes people of all ages and developmental stages. We’re here to foster improved communication between you and your child!
Early exposure to signing helps babies to develop their language and reasoning skills. Sign language will allow your child to express their needs before they learn to articulate words.
Studies show signing with your baby can reduce tantrums and frustration while increasing child/caregiver bond!
Our ASL Baby program is designed to teach parents and babies 0 months-2 years old to use sign language to increase and improve communication.
Classes will meet for 8 weeks for 1 hour per week. Each class will include time to learn different signs that your child can use to communicate simple things. The class also includes individual instructor time, educational resources on early childhood development, and Q&A with guest speakers. Our guest speakers are experts from the speech language and hearing development fields.
Here are the dates for the upcoming classes:
Tuesdays, October 6-November 24, 11AM-12:00PM, Register
Don’t see a class that meets your needs? Sign up to be notified when more classes are available, or leave us a note with your preferred day/time! We will be creating additional classes to accommodate interests.
Each eight-week course is $150 per family.
Courses are presented online and provide sign language education for both babies and parents.
Limited class sizes provide an intimate environment for optimal learning. Only one registration is required per family.
Classes will include sign language instruction, guest speakers, educational resources on early childhood development, individual instructor time, and additional resources for families.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What signs will we learn?
ASL Baby will cover signs to make daily life easier by helping babies express more clearly what they are needing and/or wanting!
Our ASL Baby program is designed to teach parents and 0-2 years old. We offer the courses listed above, but are able to accommodate different days/times if there is a need. We allow seven families per class, if you’re interested in a different day/time than listed above, let us know!
What can ASL Baby offer our family?
We know it can be hard caring for an infant, so that’s why we offer this program! Sign language makes it easier to communicate with your little one. Studies have shown using sign language with babies and children can reduce tantrums and frustration, boost self-esteem and confidence, stimulate intellectual development, and strengthen the parent-infant bond.
Will learning sign language delay my child’s speech?
No! Infact, giving your child an early form of communication, like sign language, has been proven in research to promote a desire to learn more communication techniques, including talking. In ASL Baby we encourage our parents to simultaneously sign and say words for maximum benefit!
I’m in a parenting group, can our group enroll?
Certainly! It’s not uncommon for already-formed parent groups to want to add ASL Baby. It can even make ongoing group time more fun! If you have a group you’d like to enroll in ASL Baby together please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our minimum class size is five families.
I don’t live in Columbus…
That’s okay! You don’t even need to live in Ohio. Our virtual classes provide the opportunity for our classes to be taken anywhere. Just note the times listed in our course offerings are ET.
I don’t see a time or day that fits my needs…
Let us know! We will be creating additional classes to accommodate interests. Our classes require a minimum of five families, and a maximum of seven, to allow for optimal learning and engagement.
PRO TIP: A great way to get a class started is to share our course with friends and family! The more interest we have in a time/day the easier to accommodate!
What comes after ASL Baby?
That’s up to you and your family! If you’d like to continue using ASL in your household, let your instructor know. Future course offerings based on interest and demand could include a 2-5 year old class. And for some families, once their little one is verbalizing their needs, they choose to stop the use of ASL. This is a personal decision, you can discuss with your instructor and guest speakers who are experts in the field of speech language and hearing development!
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
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.
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.
Cut out rectangle of both pieces of fabric.
Cut slits starting at the corner of the smaller rectangle to the corner of the outer rectangle. Do this for all four corners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Fold top and bottom panels from the middle out to the edge of the top stitch you just completed and pin down.
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.
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.
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.
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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It is an exciting time when your child becomes more verbal however, during these developmental times, some children may experience articulation or speech disorders. Articulation is how we make speech sounds using our mouths, lips, and tongues and teeth. Language refers to the words we understand and how we use them to share ideas and communicate what we want or need.
Using holiday-themed activities is a great way to engage your child and work on articulation and language skills. Check out these fun 4th of July activities to do with your child!
CSHC’s recommended read to accompany your 4th of July activities: “Red, White and Boom” by Lee Wardlaw.
1.Strike up the band! Have the kids find everyday items in the house they can use as instruments to “play” for you or a group. Have them march while they play. Household object “instrument” play lends itself to working on:
Symbolic play – Using one object to represent another helps develop language skills because words are symbols. Example: this spoon is a drumstick, this pot is a drum, this toilet paper roll is a horn.
Turn-taking – “I’ll play my instrument and then you’ll play yours!” Taking turns in play helps develop the rhythm of communication.
Concept development – Describing objects and what is happening helps develop concept and vocabulary skills. Examples: big/little pot, quiet/loud playing, fast/slow marching.
Answering “wh” questions – Who, What, Why, Where. Examples: What did you find to play? Where did you find the spoon? Who wants a spoon?
Developing rhythm/syllableness – Tapping out syllables in words or matching rhythms can help the child learn about syllables and the rhythms of speech.
Articulation- Some ideas for words to target are: /s/ blends: start, stop, stick; /g/ go, big, bang; /l/ listen, look, loud, play; /ch, sh/: march, crash, sh!; /r/ drum, crash, ready
2.Create paper bag Fourth of July kites! Follow these simple steps from Fun Loving Families for kites you can fly all weekend long.
3. Make Fireworks in a jar! These fireworks are perfect for all, but especially those who find traditional fireworks to be too loud. Learn more with Chicago Parent.
4. Make starlight mint fireworks! Simple and easy crafts are always a hit. Try these mint fireworks again and again using Playdough to Plato‘s instructions.
Celebrate July 4th with this collection of easy and festive crafts that work on articulation and language!
So break out the red, white and blue and bring some of these fun crafts to life with your little one!
Our team is dedicated to sharing fun ideas where children can play and learn all summer. Check out our Pinterest page and Instagram page for more fun activities to target speech therapy goals in the home.
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If you think your child may be struggling with articulation and language contact us to schedule a speech and hearing evaluation! 614-263-5151 or email@example.com to learn more.
How fun is this?! Create and send “secret messages” with this activity! This could also be a motivating way to sneak in some speech practice, too. Whether it’s a word list, short messages, a card or pictures of items with your child’s speech sounds, this is sure to be a hit!
1. Grab markers, a paper towel and a sink or tray of water
2. Fold a paper towel in half like a card
3. Draw a picture or half of a message on the front
4. Open the inside and add color to your picture or finish your secret message.
5. Close your paper towel and drop your paper towel in the water to have your complete message or picture appear!
Tag @columbusspeech on Instagram in your posts or stories so we can see how your secret messages turn out!❤️
Sensory bins are a favorite tool of speech therapists, teachers and parents alike! They provide an immersive, hands-on opportunity for children to practice their speech and language skills. Here’s what you need to know to integrate this easy tool into your life.
What is a sensory bin?
Tub or container filled with materials carefully selected to stimulate senses.
Why use sensory bins?
Because they are FUN and ENGAGING for all. And you can target…
Expand vocabulary (nouns, verbs, adjectives)
Find objects (e.g. “Where is the __?”)
Following directions (e.g. “Put beans in the bowl and dump it out”)
Take turns and share objects
Asking for objects
Commenting on what each person is doing
Conversation (e.g. “I like the _. What do you like?”)
Find objects/materials with the targeted sound (e.g. “sand” for /s/, “cars” for /k/)
How can I make one?
Buy a small or large tub (usually $2-10) and fill it with different materials and textures:
Here are some of our favorite sensory bins we’ve created.
Winter Sensory Bin
When winter-themed decorations go on clearance at the craft stores, our therapists stock up! Here are ways you can use winter-themed items to target speech and language skills
Prepositions and following directions
Adjectives and describing
Fall Sensory Bin
This fall-themed sensory bin is perfect, especially if you love pumpkins!
Basic Concepts: Describe the size, texture and color of the fall items like pumpkins, apples and leaves. Sort by similar features to practice “same” and “different”.
Pretend play: Gather pumpkins and apples from you sensory bin for a fall harvest! Help your child think of the ingredients needed to make fruit pies for your feast.
Articulation: Hide small fall-themed objects or pictures under the black bean dirt. Practice speech sounds as your child discovers hidden items and then make sentences with those words. This is also a great way to target seasonal vocabulary!
Farm & Vegetable Sensory Bin
We used this sensory bin in group therapy and our students had a blast. You can use this as a group of friends or family.
Speech: animal sounds are an excellent way to get our little ones exploring early consonant-vowel combinations ( like “moo, oink, baa, neigh”) and Old MacDonald provides a perfect opportunity to practice vowels when singing “e-i-e-i-o”.
Social Language: we made a “garden salad” for our animals to enjoy. Students labeled vegetables they found hiding in the corn and told the group which were their favorites. Everyone took turns asking follow-up questions to find out how peers liked to cook their vegetables and which of their favorite meals have vegetables. We learned our students love salad!
Summer Sensory Bin
We created two sensory bins we could pair with some favorite summer-themed books to practice
Articulation: Hide items that contain your child’s speech sounds in the rice or kinetic sand
Vocabulary: Describe the size, shape, color and other attributes of the objects found
Imaginative Play: Create an ocean-themed birthday party using kinetic sand and shells to make a birthday cake, decorations and presents
Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin
This bin was inspired by The Autism Helper. It uses dessert matching and rainbow rice to help students practice
Following multiple step directions
Self-advocacy (i.e. asking for help)
Check out our Pinterest page and Instagram page for more sensory bin inspiration and fun activities to target speech therapy goals in the home.
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This post written for you by Sarah Denman, M.A. CCC-SLP and the Speech Department team of Columbus Speech & Hearing Center
Earth Day is April 22! We’ve gathered some of our favorite Earth Day activities, and additional resources to make celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day fun!
Books, crafts, and exploring seeds to target a variety of speech goals:
Download and print an Earth Day Hat! Practice following multi- step directions to create an Earth Day hat.
Read Secrets of the Apple Tree and plant your own seeds! Using sequential concepts to describe how an apple tree grows, making predictions of what will happen next in the book and with the seeds when you plant them, and describing what a seed looks and feels like..
Earth Day Snack:
Have fun following multi-step directions with visuals to create a yummy Earth Day snack.
What you’ll need:
Rice cake, or other round snack asEarth
Green grapes (halved) as land
Spread cream cheese over your snack, then create the Earth by placing blueberries as water and grapes as land. Use a printed photo of Earth, or a globe, to talk about the Earth and what it looks like.