What is “self-talk”?

In Speech-Language Pathology, “self-talk” is a technique to promote your child’s speech and language development.  To use “self-talk” at home, narrate what your child is seeing, hearing, touching, or doing out loud.  Speak to your child’s level (keep it simple!), and don’t expect your child to reply.  For example, as your child is making and eating breakfast “pour milk” or “mmmm, eating cereal”.  If you want to learn more, contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.



What are Social-Emotional skills?

Social-emotional development refers to the ability to form and sustain positive relationships; as well as the ability to experience, manage and express emotions. This skill is essential to form lasting bonds between family members, caregivers, and peers. Managing emotions during times of success, failure, embarrassment, and pride are also sources of stress for children but are necessary to experience and learn from as they age. If you want to learn more, contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.



What is “W” sitting?

“W” sitting refers to the non-neutral sitting style where knees are pointing outwards. This type of sitting forces the knees and hips to adapt to intense and abnormal pressure that is now being placed on the joints. Children who demonstrate this type of sitting typically have tightness in their hips. This type of sitting style tends to be common among younger children or children who have weak muscles and can become problematic as life progresses. It increases difficulties with balance, walking, running, and the ability to demonstrate an appropriate neutral seated posture. Want to learn more? Contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Reach us by email at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or by phone at (425)-748-7000



It is important for everyone to have a voice

For communicators who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication, speech output is typically either prerecorded or fed through a voice synthesizer that sometimes sounds generic.  However, pioneers at “VocaliD” are using speech science technology and the power of crowdsourcing to help shape vocal identities and evolve digital voices.  Want to donate the qualities of your voice to the “Voicebank”? All you need is a computer with internet connection and a built in microphone, then head on over to www.vocalid.co/voicebank . Want to learn more? Contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Reach us by email at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or by phone at (425)-748-7000.

images (3)


Learning to Cut Your Food

Yes, this does sound scary-letting a child cut their own food! However, when done correctly it not only encourages independence with eating, but improves fine motor skills as well. Now I wouldn’t encourage the use of a knife initially, but I would encourage the use of a spoon and fork-both of which have edges (given that it’s not plastic) to cut through most soft food. Start with cutting pancakes, pasta, sausage, etc, and move on towards more dense food items that require more skill. Like most skills, this is best learned with demonstration, verbal praise, and repetition.  Want to learn more? Contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Reach us by email at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or by phone at (425)-748-7000



Why categories are so important

Knowing a dog is an animal is a vital skill, but it can be difficult to access this information for those with a language impairment.  Categories are important for remembering linguistic information and organizing it in our brains.  The ability to categorize is developmental, but you can work on this important language skill with your child at home.  Try sorting items in your house and/or toys into different categories like “animals” or “food”.  Once items are sorted, talk about how you can divide them into smaller categories like “birds” or “fruit”.  Interested in learning more? Get in touch with Cogwheel Clinic today! You can reach us by email at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.

1st Blog Posts picture (1)


Help protect your child’s hearing!

We hear thanks to tiny “hair cells” that live inside the cochlea, or the snail-shaped organ beyond the eardrum.  Hair cells can be damaged by exposure to loud noises and don’t grow back.  The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association cautions that sounds louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss.  However, some iPods and other MP3 players can produce sound upwards of 110 decibels!  Protect your child’s hearing by avoiding loud noise whenever possible and using earplugs/earmuffs when loud noise is unavoidable.  If you can’t hear someone clearly three feet away from you…it’s too loud!

Blog Posts Background (2)


Teaching kids how to Play

Not all children know how to play.  While neurotypical kiddos often learn about turn-taking, role-playing, and losing well, children on the Autism Spectrum or those with Nonverbal learning disorders often struggle with these ideas.  On this first part of a series on Teaching kids how to play, our OT Wendy Waterval points to a flyer from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) that breaks key points such as school recess and balanced nutrition into school years.  While children with special needs may not always have the ability to learn these skills only from their peers, appropriate exposure to them in school and social settings brings awareness to the forefront.  Further teaching, through aba therapy or social skills training depending on each child’s needs, can help children learn how to play with their peers and create social relationships more easily.  Check out our Current Class Offerings to see what social skills classes are available and might be appropriate for your child at Cogwheel Clinic.

Page1teaching kids to play


Communication help for Non-verbal Children

Cognitive writing Therapy at Cogwheel Clinic

Are you a parent of a non-verbal child looking to stimulate his or her mind this summer? Our personally tailored Cognitive Writing Therapy may be what you’re looking for!

We are SO excited about this program here at Cogwheel!  Our OT Tami has an amazing success rate at helping moderate to severely disabled children to write – which often means they learn how to communicate with their parents and others for the first time!  If your kiddo struggles to communicate, or needs to learn how to write, this is an amazing program.  Each child will get several individual sessions before they are placed in a group with peers.


The importance of specific Diagnosis

We couldn’t agree more! This is why it is so important to get a Diagnostic evaluation that assesses your child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses; only then can you create proper treatment planning and help a child use their cognitive strengths to overcome any difficulties they have. Learning Disabilities are NOT one size fits all, even within specific Learning Disabilities such as Dyslexia or Dyscalculia. Neuropsychological assessment offers a direct, objective way to see how your child learns and what they struggle with. The DSM-V specification for Specific Learning Disorder or any other Diagnostic Category is a simply a way to label a child’s difficulty, the important information on how to overcome that difficulty comes through proper assessment. If you are concerned about a child with a possible learning disorder, objective assessment through a qualified clinician is the best way to get the answers and create a specialized treatment plan.