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Did you know that “language” is different from “speech”?

If you or your child visit a speech-language pathologist, the differences between receiving “speech” therapy or “language” therapy can get confusing.  Speech is a verbal way of communicating, and depends on how we make sounds in patterns that are understood by those around us.  Language is made up of a socially shared code of rules that include how words go together grammatically, what words mean, how to make new words (pre+test=pretest), and how to use communication socially. If you want to learn more or inquire about our speech and language therapy services, contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Reach us by email at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or by phone at (425)-748-7000

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Behavior specific praise: Help them, help you

Praise is a great form of reinforcement to inform your child that you are proud of what they did. Some children love that form of attention from their parent. How is behavior specific praise different than praise? Behavior specific praise highlights the behavior that is being reinforced. For example, “I love how you closed the door behind you!” or “Amazing work completing your homework!” This is a strategy that is effective in indicating to your child the specific behavior was performed correctly. Use this strategy to increase appropriate behaviors as your child displays them. It may seem silly to constantly be rewarding “typical” behavior, but, if a behavior is never reinforced how should a child know they are doing something correct? Interested in learning more? Contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-700.

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How to be more mindful

The simplest description of mindfulness is being fully aware of the present moment. While this may sound overwhelming, there are some easy ways to engage in mindfulness daily. Our world often requires that we respond to the loudest sound, action, or task. Try to slow down for one minute each day. Sit in a room by yourself and close your eyes. What do you hear? How do you feel? Can you smell anything? How do all of these factors impact you? Take a moment to be alone and connect with not only yourself, but the environment surrounding you. Interested in hearing more? Contact Cogwheel clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-700

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Should you scold your child?

It is an automatic human reaction to tell a child they are doing something wrong or bad, while the child is doing it. This is usually seen in the form of “stop doing that”, “quit it”, and “I told you not to”. This is a general reaction we all have to seeing something we do not want our children to do. However, some children purposely engage in this behavior to get a reaction out of you. This would be an example of a child maintained by attention. Their behaviors are reinforced by receiving a response out of you (i.e., they are getting what they want). This is not the case of every child and even every behavior shown by one child. It is something that you should just be mindful of the next time you go to scold you child. Instead try to praise them for any appropriate behavior you see them doing them. By flooding them with constant attention it reduces their want for your attention. For more information, email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com, or give us a call at (425)-748-700

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Help improve your child’s planning skills!

In the world of child development, the term “planning” refers to the child’s ability to think about an activity and organize the actions required to achieve a desired goal. This skill is required for most activities of daily living (tasks that one engages in during their day to day lives; such as dressing, participating in school, completing chores, etc). This skill can further be broken down into cognitive and motor based planning. The inability to plan can impact a child’s ability to successfully engage in activities or complete tasks. Children who have difficulty with motor planning can look somewhat uncoordinated, whereas those who struggle with cognitive based planning have difficulty completing multiple step tasks or anticipating what the steps to achieve goals are. For more information, feel free to get in touch with Cogwheel Clinic via email at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.

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Sensory Savvy – Kinetic Sand

Also known as “moon sand”, kinetic sand is material that looks like sand, but sticks together like snow! This is a great sensory tool to work on tactile integration, manual manipulation, and fine motor skills. It’s a cost effective and fun tool to use in a variety of ways. Interesting in learning how Cogwheel Clinic uses this? Email us today at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.

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