Articulation Norms

For any new parents to this blog the following is a previous post regarding the acquisition of speech sounds and developmental norms.

Sounds follow a developmental sequence yet there can be variability among children.  Developmental norms provide a helpful guideline as to what is age-appropriate.

The following table provides the recommended ages of acquisition for consonant sounds as well as consonant clusters (Taken from Smit, A.B., Hand, L., Freilinger, J.J., Bernthal, J.E., & Bird, A. (1990).

 

Recommended Age of Acquisition

Phoneme

Females

Males

m

3;0

3;0

n

3;0

3;6

-ng

7;0-9;0

7;0-9;0

h-

3;0

3;0

w-

3;0

3;0

p

3;0

3;0

b

3;0

3;0

t

4;0

3;6

d

3;0

3;6

k

3;6

3;6

g

3;6

4;0

f-

3;6

3;6

-f

5;6

5;6

v

5;6

5;6

“th” (thumb)

6;0

8;0

“th” (this)

4;6

7;0

s

7;0-9;0

7;0-9;0

z

7;0-9;0

7;0-9;0

“sh”

6;0

7;0

“ch”

6;0

7;0

“j”

6;0

7;0

l-

5;0

6;0

-l

6;0

7;0

r-

8;0

8;0

“er”

8;0

8;0

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Tips For Teaching Children To Catch A Ball

For a child playing ball with his/her peers is a wonderful opportunity for facilitating social interactions and turn taking. Catching a ball however is a complex skill that takes practice. Catching calls into play balance, visual tracking, depth perception, eye hand coordination, motor planning, and anticipatory timing. This can be challenging for a child. Below is a sequence of activities to facilitate catching.

Begin with rolling a ball in sitting. Have the child sit with legs spread, roll them the ball, and give them the opportunity to corral the ball using their hands. This will work on eye hand coordination and timing. Using a larger ball will provide a bigger target and more feedback to the child’s hands. To progress this activity move to a smaller ball.

Once the child has mastered catching the rolling ball a nice next step is to use a balloon to play catch in standing. Using a balloon will allow the child more time to prepare his/her body to catch. In addition the slow-moving balloon allows greater ease of visual tracking. As this becomes easy for the child the challenge can be increased by increasing the speed of throwing/hitting the balloon to the child. This is also a good activity for children who tend to close their eyes or turn away when a ball is tossed to them.
Another fun way to practice catching with greater success to use a velcro paddle and ball. This will work on all aspects of catching while allowing the child greater success. Begin by gently tossing the ball from a distance of 5 feet and increase the challenge as appropriate by increasing the pace and distance. This is a good activity for children that have challenges with manual dexterity to practice catching.

Once the child is ready to begin catching a gently tossed ball it is best to start with a softer ball that will be easier to grip. Try to avoid a highly inflated ball as this will be more challenging to catch initially. Start by tossing the child the ball from 5 feet away gently. Progress by increasing the pace. To increase the challenge progress to a less malleable ball. Also increasing the distance to greater than 5 feet will further challenge depth perception and visual tracking.

Other things to keep in mind is to use a high contrast ball, particularly for those with visual impairment. Also, balls that make sound can also be helpful to allow the child to also use their hearing to assist. It is important to make sure the child’s attention is secured before throwing the ball to them. Calling their name, counting “1…2…3…catch” and tossing the ball on the catch command can assist some children with timing.

If your child is just learning to catch a ball or is having difficulty with this complex task, back up and try some of the above activities to help solidify this skill.

Benefits of Working on a Vertical Plane

vertical-surface-work

Why is encouraging vertical surface work & play time so important?

There are numerous benefits to allowing your child opportunities to engage in color, play or work activities set up along an angled or vertical surface. Some of the many benefits are…

– Promotes shoulder and elbow stability
-Facilitates eye-hand coordination since the work they’re completing is right in front of their eyes
-Encourages wrist strengthening and stability which is essential for establishing solid fine motor control
-Enables optimal positioning to promote thumb and finger opposition for optimal grasp development
-Encourages midline crossing, particularly when using a larger surface area such as a standing easel. Midline crossing is a key skill necessary for bilateral coordination development.
-Promotes good posture and discourages slouching over a table top.
-Facilitates visual attention, keeping their work directly in front of their eye, minimizing extraneous visual distractions.

  • What can be used as a vertical surface?

A vertical surface can be anything from a table top easel or a standing easel. You can make your own angled surface using a large three ring binder. Position the binder side so it is at the top of the child’s work surface and secure any papers for coloring with tape.

How can I encourage vertical surface work & play for my child?

There are a large variety of ways to sneak in some vertical surface work time. Almost any fine, perceptual or visual motor activity can be adapted so that it is accessed at an angled surface. Good examples include coloring pages, i Spy books, mazes, dot to dots, painting and puzzles. A Lego board or iPad can even be propped on a slant board during play. Even home activities such as washing windows or helping wash a car, provides great opportunity for vertical surface work!

***Use a mini stylus during iPad use for added benefit of promoting proper pencil grasp!!

There are a few commercially purchased games are also great at promoting angled surface work.
Some examples include:

  • Light Bright
  • Avalanche Fruit Stand (by Learning Resources)
  • Connect Four

However, don’t forget that almost any game, puzzle or activity that can be done at a table, can be propped up on a table top easel, for the same results!

One more thing………
Keep in mind that completing activities while using a slant board or angled surface can be tiring. With that in mind, allow breaks as needed!

Laura Impemba, OT blog post 10/7/2016

Back To School Routines

Going back to school or just starting school for the first time can sometimes be tricky. To help with the morning routine sometimes visuals can be very helpful with getting everyone out the door on time. Here is a link to a morning schedule with visuals that contain most of the usual morning activities such as brushing teeth, eating breakfast, and getting dressed. You can move them around to fit your schedule and even make one for a night time routine! Visual schedules are especially helpful for those kiddos that need a little help following directions. You and your child can check off each step off as you go to show when each step is completed. Use the schedule below or feel free to make your own to suit your routine!

https://www.understood.org/~/media/eb120cce579a406db0125b5745ed9366.pdf