Part of my role at our district early childhood center is to complete incoming evaluations for children entering the program. We have about half of our students come from the state birth to three program (Help Me Grow) and half community referrals.
I get to work with new families each week and sometimes I’m the very first speech-language pathologist they have worked with or met. Other times, they’re experienced with the intervention crowd and I’m just teaching them how school-based services are different from the previous programming options. No matter the experience level, I’m spending time explaining many different aspects of our job. Evaluation team meetings are very overwhelming and I know that a parent can’t absorb all the information given to them in a meeting so I’ve spent the summer rewriting and organizing my parent handouts. I wanted to share my top 5 handouts!
I have them organized into an expanding file folder labeled by the type of handout so that I can easily find them.
I just take the entire packet into meetings and then decide which ones might be appropriate.
Ok, let’s get to it! My top 5!
This set of parent handouts is developed for parents of children who are 2-6 years old. The handouts focus on language skills but also include literacy and speech targets as well. It explains appropriate targets for each app and how to elicit those skills. The handouts encourage time spent on tablets to be interactive. Each handout explains 2-4 ideas for developing and expanding language skills specific to that app. Time spend with technology is happening in EVERY child’s home. Use these handouts to help teach parents to make that time productive! There are 16 handouts (8 free apps and 8 paid apps) plus a Tot & Tech Handout. Each handout is included in both color and black and white.
4. Seven Parent Tips for Stuttering by the Stuttering Foundation
I love this handout before it has explicit ideas for parents and it covers a difficult topic!
This packet includes four of my most used handouts (in addition to other eval forms). The Speech in Preschoolers handout includes a quick definition of the difference between apraxia, articulation, and phonology disorders. It also lists the age expectations for phonological processes. The Language in Preschoolers handout includes a blurb to explain expressive, receptive, and pragmatic language. An additional page is included to explain 10 different phonological processes. The last page included in the packet features two visuals that I use a lot in evaluation meetings. The bell curve chart includes stick figures to help parents understand where their child falls compared to peers. This visual representation was developed based on the graphic shared from Pacific Coast Speech (pacificcoastspeech.com). The articulation therapy model explains the process of sound instruction from isolation to conversation.
2. Language-building tips for Parents of Young Children Who Communicate Without Words from The Hanen Centre
This is a wonderful set of ideas for parents of emerging verbal communicators. You just need to sign up on the Hanen website with your email to get a copy. Click on the picture above to grab your copy!
My favorite way to do therapy is to use seasonal and regular routines and build speech and language skills through these activities. I’ve created many parent handouts to help parents understand how to build language while the kids are Learning Through Play.
Those are my top five parent handouts for preschool parents! I hope you’ll comment below and share any links to additional favorite! There is always room in my binder to add more!
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