Give Your Child a Boost in Their Language and Thinking Skills This Summer
Summer doesn’t have to be a time for children to fall behind in their speech and language skills. Although school therapy sessions have ended, continued intervention with a speech therapist can maximize a child’s communication growth.
An intense 1-2 hours per week in a pediatric clinic during summer break can enhance their understanding of language, including following directions and improving their ability to express their thoughts. These skills can help children relate better to friends and share information with their parents, in addition to providing a jump-start for the next school year.
“Our therapists use fun, summer –themed activities such as growing plants, water and outdoor play to engage children with special needs in a relaxed atmosphere, said Marlies Gramann, Director of Clinical Services, Integrated Pediatric Interventions at JCFS Chicago. She adds, “These activities are designed to remediate articulation issues, improve functional expressive communication as well as focus on cognitive -receptive skills—all of which are important in helping children succeed in the classroom.”
Parents are encouraged to attend therapy sessions because they play an essential role in the development of their child’s language and thinking skills. When that is not possible there are other ways to provide feedback. “A great tool is through a communication notebook,” says Jennie Marble, Assistant Director of Integrated Pediatric Therapies at JCFS Chicago. “This is an excellent place for a therapist to write down activities for children to practice with their parents during the week. The notebook goes both ways, parents can also make notes to tell their child’s therapist, such as a challenging activity for the child or an important medical update.” A communication notebook is also great because all caregivers can reference it.
For more information about family services and programs at Integrated Pediatric Therapies visit jcfs.org.
Children, teens and young adults who need more support in social situations to foster friendships and positive social interaction in a safe, trusting atmosphere can participate in Camp Firefly. Offered in June and July, Camp Firefly is a unique, life-enriching camp designed for children and teens aged 7-18 with Asperger’s, social anxiety, autism and other social disorders. Activities include swimming, arts & crafts, cooking, dancing and horseback riding. Registration is now open for day and overnight camps. Camp Firefly is a program of JCFS Chicago and JCC Camp Chi, community partners supported by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation.