Indoor Winter Fun
Ideas for home activities when the winter doldrums hit
Bake a special treat
Along with engaging in a meaningful and hands-on activity, baking something with your child on a cold winter’s day will have the added benefit of warming up your household! It also helps your child improve their ability to sequence steps of a task and allows you to incorporate other skills that your child may need to work on (e.g., counting, naming vocabulary, reducing impulsivity, etc.).
Have an indoor snowball fight
Have your child ball up sheets of paper (great for fine motor strengthening), make sure you have lots of space to move around, and have an indoor snowball battle! Whether you keep score or not, it can be an entertaining activity full of laughter and much-needed movement.
Bring the outdoors in
When the weather is just TOO cold outside and/or your child has a case of the sniffles that you don’t want to worsen, grab a pile of snow and place it in a bowl or on a cookie tin for your child to explore. It’s a natural (and free!) source of sensory exploration.
Read and snuggle
Need we say more? While movement is vital for all of our bodies, do not forget the importance of taking time to read with your children. Snuggles are a wonderful bonus.
Build a fort
Get creative with your young ones and do what you likely did as a child yourself: build a fort indoors! Gather up a multitude of chairs, blankets and pillows and create a dim and cozy place where your child will likely love to crawl into and explore. Keep the old-school charm of this activity and make it device-free. Instead, allow flashlights, books and stuffed animals and get their imaginations moving!
patterns along with a multitude of other observations in order to make a differential diagnosis of CAS. For children who are primarily non-verbal or who have extremely limited verbalizations when they begin therapy, a CAS diagnosis can take months or even years to be given with certainty. For children in this population, it is more likely that they will be subjectively given a diagnosis of “suspected CAS,” with treatment tailored to their specific challenges. While treatment strategies used for improving verbal expression and phonological errors can be appropriate to use in the treatment of CAS as well, there are certain therapy approaches that have been shown to be particularly helpful in treating CAS. These include:
Consistent and intensive therapy sessions
Children with CAS or suspected CAS tend to benefit more from frequent and intense therapy that is relatively short in duration than from less frequent sessions that are longer in length.
Strong parental support
As with nearly any form of therapy that exists, home practice is essential for better outcomes. For children, this means that strong parental support and commitment is crucial to their progress.
Incorporation of oral motor movement
Since CAS is a motor-based disorder, it is important that the SLP incorporate treatment strategies that improve the child’s ability to sequence the oral motor movements necessary to move from one sound to the next.
Another approach that works for a wide array of speech disorders is the clinician’s use of multi-sensory prompts and cues. These include the use of visual, tactile, auditory, gestural and proprioceptive cues to help the child achieve particular goals. As the child gains consistency in their progress, these cues can be faded.
Focus on Prosody
Children with CAS often struggle with producing prosody in their speech, resulting in speech that can sound monotone or awkward, due to the child’s potential difficulties with rate, stress/emphasis and fluency of speech, among other factors.
For parents concerned about Childhood Apraxia of Speech or who have questions regarding their child’s existing speech-language goals and progress, be sure to book a speech-language evaluation or have a discussion regarding your concerns with your child’s current SLP. Of utmost importance is to work collaboratively with your child’s clinician(s), as everyone at hand more than likely has your child’s best interest at heart.