My name is Angela Bennett-Lewis. I live in Thomson with my husband, our two children, our two dogs, and one cat. I am a state-licensed and ASHA certified speech and language pathologist (SLP) with over 28 years of experience. This is my seventeenth year working in McDuffie County Schools.
I currently serve all students at MES. I also travel to area day cares, preschools, and homes. My joy is early intervention. Helping children learn to better express themselves is what I do best!!
l look forward to working with you and your children this school year.
- Find a book, story, magazine, etc. and have your child find words or pictures that include their target sound. Have them say or imitate the targeted sound, make up a sentence or story including that word(s).
- Draw pictures of words with target sounds using sidewalk chalk, paint, pencils, crayons, etc.
- Sing familiar songs (“Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider”, etc.) and concentrate on correct production of target words.
- Go for a walk and have your child practice using their sound during the entire 10 minute walk.
- Encourage your child to utilize strategies (saying words and word parts slowly, loudly, and clearly; facing the listener; uncovering mouth) in order to promote more clear speech when they are answering questions, reading aloud, etc.
- Offer choices of snacks, games, movies, etc. Model good speech during shared activities. Use daily routines like chores, meal times, bathtime, etc as opportunities to practice speech sounds.
- While in the car or at home, play a game where both you and your child take turns thinking of words that start with his/her target sound. You take turns until one person is stumped to come up with a word that starts with that sound.
- Write each practice word on a piece of paper. Then crumple each piece of paper into a ball. Have your son or daughter choose a ball, open it up, say the word and then crumple it back up and toss the paper ball into a trash can. See who can score the most baskets.
- Use fun games to practice speech sounds including “I Spy”, “Categories”, and “Tongue Twisters”. For I Spy, take turns describing and labeling items in the house that contain your child’s target sound. For Categories, select a category and have your child name items from the category that contain the target sound. For tongue twisters, choose tongue twisters that contain your child’s targeted sound and have your child practice saying them several times.
- Model an unhurried, easy rate of speech.
- If possible, incorporate special listening/play times with your child where they have your undivided attention (5-10 minutes daily, if possible). Model full listening without interrupting. Encourage your child to listen carefully when others are speaking and avoid interrupting.
- Praise your child in areas that aren’t speech related. For example, “You are such a great helper”, “You are super fast!”, “I like how you helped your sister/brother pick up toys”, etc).
- Try to ask fewer questions. Incorporate more comments.
- Try to avoid speaking for your child and/or finishing sentences when stuttering occurs.
- Try to avoid telling your child to relax or slow down. These remarks cause unneeded pressure and are not helpful to the child.
- Encourage your children to drink plenty of water and to save their voices by using their “inside voices” most of the time.
- If your child speaks too softly, practice “loud” speaking by playing a song and having them talk loud enough to be heard over the music.
- Use the above suggested activities to practice good vocal habits (using an appropriate loudness level, taking deep breaths, etc.)
- Encourage your children to take a break from technology so that they can have conversations with family members. Take a walk and talk about all of the things that you see. Encourage your children to make eye contact and look at you while you are talking together.
- Focus on Core Word vocabulary when playing or completing daily tasks. Core Word Vocabulary includes: in, on, go, more, stop, make, do, want, drink, eat, all done, turn.
- Use action words when playing with your children and describe what you are doing while playing. For example, when playing with cars, specific action words would be “go” and “stop”. When outside, “play”, “run”, “swing”, “slide” are more examples of what you could focus on. Have your child request those activities, and then continue to use those words throughout the activity.
- Engage and involve your student with hands- on activities throughout the day. Model/Encourage your student to verbalize, sign, or point to pictures to communicate throughout these activities. If your child uses a communication board or pictures to communicate, model by pointing to the picture as you say them.
- Use different descriptive words (big, loud, heavy, empty, etc.) as you talk about activities. Discuss how items are the same and different (Ex. one is blue, one is red; one is bigger, one is smaller).
Use location words (under, beside, above, etc.) when you are describing something or giving directions.
- Create novel stories or read stories (books, websites); have your child retell the story, answer “who, what, where, when, why” and other comprehension questions.
- Have your student cook with you. Have your student tell you the ingredients needed and the steps needed to complete the recipe.
- Have your student create a story based on what they see in their environment or with their imagination. Be sure they include characters, setting(place), and an event.
- Watch short videos (such as Simon’s Cat on YouTube) together. Have your child identify the different characters, and retell what happened, using whole sentences (which can target summarizing, main idea, past tense verbs, and sequencing). You can also do this for longer shows or movies.
- Play with your child, demonstrate pretend play, and have fun!
- Emphasize basic social skills like greetings, eye contact, body language, and appropriate vocabulary use.
- Use board games, card games, or other turn-taking games to promote turn taking skills and good sportsmanship.