Teach Speech has some exciting news!  We have recently become part of the Teachers Pay Teachers world.  This website is designed for teachers to be able to upload things they have created for FREE and for SALE!  Then, teachers (or homeschooling parents or parents who love to do activities with their kids, etc) can log on and look for pre-made activities and pay the TEACHERS who have created them rather than the CORPORATIONS who put them out!  How neat is that?  We will continue to be creating materials for FREE, but we have also been working on several BIG projects that we will now have a forum to sell on.  We are not quite ready to debut our thematic units (based on favorite children's books), but will start putting up some of our smaller projects - check it out as we hope to have new and exciting things up each day!

Click here to find the link directly to our store!
Alright, I've started to "pin" things to pinterest!  Now you can find some of the same useful ideas on that great website.  Search for me (Hilary Trottier) and you can "follow" me or "repin" some of your favorite Teach Speech ideas to your own pinterest name.  It may also be an easier way to see if there is an activity that you think your child may enjoy.

Speech and Language seem to be used synonymously.  However, they are different things entirely.  Let's break it down for you just a bit.  

Speech is the actual production of sounds that build to make words.  Speech has to do with your articulation, fluency, nasality, and voice.  1.  Articulation:  This refers to the actual production of the sounds.  Does your child say "wabbit" instead of "rabbit"?  We would say that he/she has an articulation disorder.  2.  Fluency:  This is a fancy word for stuttering.  If your child stutters (and therefore does not have fluent speech), then we would say that your child exhibits dysfluency.  Please see my blog post from January 3, 2012 for more information about stuttering in small children.  3.  Nasality:  Some of our sounds come out of our nose (m, n, and ng), but most should come out of our mouth (oral cavity).  If you can think about someone who has a a cold, their sounds are typically de-nasaled.  Their /m/ may sound more like a /d/.  Whereas, some people have a more nasal-sound to them and more than just the 3 nasal sounds are actually being phonated through their nose (naval cavity).  4.  Voice:  Your voice can refer to the volume that is used and the quality of your voice.  If you "lost your voice", then we would say that you had a breathy sounding voice.  Sometimes people who are just getting their voice back after "losing it" will have a harsh sounding voice.  All of these components make up your speech.  All of the areas mentioned above are within a speech-language pathologist's scope of practice and can be worked on to correct if there is something wrong.

If speech is how you are saying things (the mechanics) then language is what you are saying.  Language is what you understand, how you use words to communicate, and how you string those words together to create phrases, sentences, and paragraphs.  There are two types of language: receptive and expressive.  Receptive language is sometimes called "Auditory Comprehension."  That's actually a really great descriptor of receptive language.  Your auditory comprehension (receptive language) is what you hear, understand, and respond to.  You would see it come in the form of kids following directions, pointing to things requested, retrieving objects, etc.  Your expressive language is what you are actually telling us - how you are communicating.  

I hope that clears things up a bit!
Thank you to all the wonderful messages through the "contact me" section and facebook.  I've had a great response and I've only "publicized" it for a week.  That gives me great encouragement that the site will help others.  The goal is to help and I pray that it will.

Please feel free to send me a message if your child is working on something that is not being discussed on the blog.  I can send you some ideas of activities to do at home.

Also, spread the word to anyone and everyone that you know who could use the site.  I'm hoping to reach as many and help as many people as I can.  I've recently resigned from a job that I love in order to stay home with my son.  I'm hoping to work part time.  I miss helping others and so this site is helping to fulfill that part of my heart.

Have a great weekend everyone!
I want to give you a little insight into my life and my vision (or lack thereof) for this little site.  Let me start off with a visual.  Above, you will see a photo of my house.  You might be asking yourself, what does a house have to do with speech therapy?  Well, its a metaphor - so stick with me.

I am an Army wife.  We move where the Army tells us to go and we live in the house the Army provides.  This is our house right now and we love it.  It's simple by design, it's not large, every house in the neighborhood is the same, many have lived in it before me, and many will live in it after me.  That's kind of like my site and my activities - they are simple by design, they may look the same as things you have done, many have used them before me, and many will use them after me - they have withstood the test of time.  However, you can't see the inside of my house. It may have the same floorplan as the other 34 in the neighborhood, but I have put my touch in it to make it a home.  The walls have been painted, pictures have been hung, curtains don the windows, and the sounds of my family fill the home.  The same goes for my site and my ideas - they may be simple, but I've added my personal touch to them. They are filled with my livelihood and my family has shaped what I know to work and doesn't work.  I can't change countertops like most can in their homes, but I wouldn't want to drastically change the focus on simple ideas that get kids to talk, either.  

Do I sound sad or envious or others?  I surely hope not.  I enjoy my simple life.  It's a good life.  It's filled with friends who come and go, but whom we often meet up with again down the line.  It's a go-getter kind of life where you don't have time to "get to know people", you just have to be instant friends (like when your neighbor knocks on your door in the middle of a snowstorm to get you involved in the neighborhood activities because she sees you moving in).  I have the rest of my life to live in a house with stainless steel appliances and built in cabinets.  For now, we will stick with our simple furniture (that gets knocked around ever 2-3 years and we'll keep covering up those knicks the movers leave) and our simple homes, but always leave a mark on each place we live.  I hope, too, to leave a mark on each child I meet and each family I help.  This site will be my one constant through the moving and hopefully will leave a mark on you.  (if you message me, then you too can leave your mark on me, which I would love)

My plan is to take a simple toy each week and blog how it can be used in every different area of speech therapy.  They are simple things that have stood the test of time, but may be used in a way you had not thought of before and that is my mark on it.

Look forward to next week's simple toy (blocks) with many ideas.  
I don't know if the phrase "launching my website" is the correct term to use.  "Launching" seems like something a large corporation does in order to start a new product line or make their next million bucks.  All I'm doing is starting a simple blog connected to a simple website to share simple ideas to simply get the job done.  My hope for the site is that it can help therapists, parents, and (most importantly) KIDS!  Here are my ideas.  They may not be grand, but I've seen them work.  They may not be innovative, but the kids usually learn while having fun.  They may not be ground breaking, but I hope they are life changing in the lives of the kids who need it most.

So here's to a new chapter in my life.  The life of blogging.  Lets hope its more successful than housework (which I always seem to be playing catch-up with).