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It has been over a year since my son was diagnosed with an expressive language disorder. A language disorder which has made it difficult for him to express himself using spoken language. Having a child with a language disorder has been especially stressful and trying for him. Not being able to express himself has often left him frustrated and feeling out of place. As a parent, it breaks my heart to see the frustration and sometimes sadness in his eyes of wanting to say more than what he is able to. We do everything we can to help him overcome his daily challenges because this disorder will not define who he is or what he is capable of accomplishing.
A year later his resilience, determination and overall drive has allowed him to reach milestone after milestone. Thankfully, with the help and support of his speech pathologist, we have been able to find different ways to cater to his learning style. Using the art of play to get him communicating and expressing himself is and continues to be the best way to get him talking. Providing him with creative, engaging ways to encourage conversation, has been the perfect combination to get him to continue to narrate his story of success.
Promoting the basics 1 of 7
Basic traditional toys lead to hours of play and learning opportunities. It also provides us ample opportunity to bond through play. And frankly, what kid doesn't like like seeing his/her parents acting like absolute fools?
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Gender need not apply 2 of 7
When picking toys for my son, I don't care to focus on whether a toy is gender specific or not.
My main concern for him is 1. he is having fun and 2. the toy extends his creativity beyond trains and action figures. This 2-in-1 Shop & Cook Playset is a great example of that. My son plays with this toy for hours on end. It helps him identify common items, promotes role playing and teaches him words.
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Batteries not included 3 of 7
As much as I love tech and promote the use of appropriate technology for kids, my son often plays with non-battery operated, non-tech toys. Why? It encourages him to use his words more and to express what he is doing.
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Get building 4 of 7
Building blocks are huge in our home. My son LOVES to build just about anything. It encourages him to get super creative, holds his attention and use his imagination to tell stories.
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Promoting literacy 5 of 7
Reading to my son every single night has improved his expressive language dramatically. He is asking more of those "WH" questions, has improved his comprehension skills, recognizes sight words and is learning to love to read.
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Share your passion 6 of 7
Not a day goes by where music is not played in my house. We absolutely love music and instruments. I grew up playing the guitar and tenor sax and make it a point to instill that love of the arts in my son. Having him share his creativity and love for something gets him to want to talk about it and share it with others.
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Always have fun 7 of 7
Making learning fun is what has helped my son stay motivated to push through during those times in which he may want to give up. Always providing him positive reinforcement, support and most importantly love is what guides us all and keeps us optimistic that he will overcome this.
image source: © xixinxing - Fotolia.com