Kids

The Gift of Listening

Kids talk more when we listen to them.
— Dr. Phil Schneider
 
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All of us want to raise confident kids.

The kids who will grow-up to be secure adults, with healthy relationships and meaningful lives.

It starts EARLY and it's FREE.

We can teach our kids how much they matter, when we listen to what they say. We don't have to agree, and we don't have to meet their demands - but when we turn to kids to listen to their words, we send them a powerful message. We show them how much they matter, and how much we value their communication with us. If we do this, we can "keep kids talking" and we can plant values of self-esteem and self-expression.


These values, planted early and often, can spring into big kids, and young adults with self-worth. So they know that stutter or no stutter, they are intrinsically worthwhile. The world will listen to what they have to say and value it. We do that by showing them that WE listen and WE care and value what they say. This will build their self-esteem and their courage.

Two principles:

1- Good listening is good loving. We hear them and acknowledge that we WANT to hear what they have to say.

2- We need to work on honoring the essence of the message our children are putting out to us. Stuttering is the surface. Beneath that, they want to connect to us and share their experiences with us. We need to honor that so they always feel comfortable speaking with us.


Click below to listen to the podcast - with Peter Reitzes of Stuttertalk.com

 

Check out our Instagram @schneiderspeech for more!

 
 

Get Playful for Learning Success

You can’t learn to swim if you’re scared of the water.
Once you’re comfortable getting wet, you’re ready to learn.
— Uri Schneider


How do we foster learning and growth? We need the right balance of "pressure" with "safety."
Only as we explore new territory, outside the familiar comfortable routines, we find opportunities to learn and grow.
As we confront challenges, engage in problem solving the puzzles, we are forced to dig deeper. As we are pressed past the boundaries of the familiar, we discover the world of learning.

But we need to feel safe enough to explore. And that makes all the difference.

If it's just PRESSURE, then we are too pressed and unable to really learn more than spit-back.


Check out our Instagram @SchneiderSpeech for more great content!

 
 

'Security blankets' for children's speech therapy

"SECURITY BLANKETS":

Depending on the child's age, there are security blankets to consider - before and upon arriving at therapy. Here’s our list of things we think you should consider:

  • Bring a snack (ask therapist if this is "ok," ahead of time!)

  • Bring a familiar book

  • Bring a favorite toy or game

  • Tell the child "the therapist is NOT a doctor" (i.e. no shots)

  • Assure the child they will not be left alone in the room without parent (discuss ahead of time with therapist)

  • Ask the therapist what the child (and parent!) should expect during the appointment, and relay that to your child

  • Prepare some notes to inform the therapist of your child's interests, hobbies, accomplishments

  • Prepare the child to answer basic questions - and if the child may be reluctant, make a plan with the child how they would like to handle the situation

 

Remember: COMFORT IS KEY to a successful visit!

 

25 ways to ask your kids "how was school today?"

As parents we want our kids to tell us more, but often we’re frustrated by their one-word responses; leaving us curious and pressing for more info.

Make it more fun (and less of an interrogation) with questions suggested by Huffington Post! Click here for the full article.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Where is the coolest place at the school?

  • Tell me something good that happened today.

  • If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would you trade with? Why?

  • If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?

  • If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?

 
 

Think these could work for your kids? Try it out and let us know how it goes!

VIDEO: Speech Therapy for the Unmotivated child

 
 

We often hear things like:

"My child is not showing much motivation and seems disinterested - but my husband and I really want him/her to do this."

"I'm concerned about my child's speech and I really want them do the work to get better." 

Here are some things to remember during this confusing time!

  1. Stakeholders - Both parents and children have their own valid concerns!

  2. Kids have the right to decline

  3. Watch carefully

  4. Make it inviting

We have a responsibility to make sure that the visit in the office is going to be engaging and pleasant for them
— Uri Schneider
 
 
We hope these tips help you to decide what's best for your child!
 

3 Tips for Active Listening

3 Tips for Active Listening (between adults and kids)

1. Get down to the child's level, shoulder-to-shoulder. Sit down and meet them at eye level.

2. Ask yourself - 'How much am I talking here?’ Optimal balance is 50/50. This way we do half the talking and the child does half the talking

3. We need to start to think about talking with the language complexity that matches the child. Talk about trains, bugs, whatever they want! 

I would like to recommend the book, ‘How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk’, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. In this book, you'll see cartoon illustrations and chapters that really talk about a lot of what I’ve just talked about. A second book I would recommend, is the book called, ‘Brain Rules for Babies’, by John J. Medina. It's written in a way that's very easy to consume, but it's written by a scientist, someone I recommend and really respect. 

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VIDEO: Practical Tips to Keep in Mind for Pre-schoolers who Stutter

Click the video above to check it out!

some tips and strategies for working with your pre-schooler who stutters:

1. Understand the whole child

  • What are their language skills?

  • Are they having trouble with language?

  • Do they have trouble understanding language?

Maybe they understand language very well, but they have trouble expressing themselves. You want to understand everything about their language.

 
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2. Look at their temperament

  • Some kids are really rough and tough, ‘rock’em sock’em’. They just keep ticking, no matter what happens.

  • Some kids are really sensitive. They're sensitive themselves and they tend to be very sensitive towards others.

I'd work differently with a four-year-old with an easy going temperament versus one with a tougher temperament.

3. Provide CUSTOM therapy

  • Our goal, whatever approach we’re going to be employing is that we don't throw any approach or anything too rigid on anybody. We try to:

  • tailor fit the right therapy

  • borrow from the best research and popular approaches out there

But none of them are a cure-all for every childSo, it's a real decision-making process, engaging the parents, putting the parents in the driver's seat, and making sure that we're working with the child. 

4. Treat them like people

  • we need to make sure that the communication that we encourage between parents and children is naturalistic, not artificial and plastic.

In doing so, hopefully we can help them with the physical side of stuttering, and also help them with the communication values to keep talking and have the confidence they were born with!

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

VIDEO: What to do When a Parent Wants Therapy But a Child Does Not

Click the video above to start watching!

Let’s review!

What to do when a parent wants therapy but a child does not?

  1. Ask yourself: What's the root of the problem?

    • Thinking about what the child's concerns are and helping to alleviate them can be a big step forward.

  2. Talk about it in a different way

    • Present therapy in a new light! For example:

“Mommy and daddy noticed that sometimes your words are getting stuck. We love you and we found someone who knows a lot about kids whose words get stuck and we want to get some help, some tips, some advice on how we can do the best we can for you. Would you like to come?” 

 
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3. Respect them

  • As they get older, they start to own shares of their life. Allow the child's voice to be heard, even if it's not what we wish to hear.


Now how about this...

‘How do you work with children who might not want to be in therapy?’ 

1. Learn what's troubling them

  • If a child is going through something significant in their life, like a stutter, learn what it is and what it's not. Let them know help exists.

2. Give them an invitation

  • Give a child an opportunity and an invitation. It can be helpful to present therapy as a project: “Would you be interested in a little project? We'll meet for three times and learn a little bit more about this whole speech thing.”

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

PODCAST: Building Relationships in Stuttering Treatment

What is the importance of “building a relationship” (between therapist and client) in stuttering therapy?

Lee Caggiano (Friends) and Phil Schneider join Peter Reitzes (Stuttertalk) to discuss the ins-and-outs of building relationships in stuttering treatment.

Check out more StutterTalk podcasts featuring Phil!

Visit our own podcast page here

Phil Schneider

Phil Schneider

Peter Reitzes

Peter Reitzes

VIDEO: How To Talk To Kids About Speech Therapy

 
 

Watch our video!

If we were talking to an adult, we would (hopefully) consider their experiences, their feelings, their concerns...  We would consider whether they like surprises, or like to be informed in advance; whether they prefer to skip the details, or prefer to know exactly what to expect.

We need to think about children as young people.
— heard from Taro Alexander, SAY

Speech therapy is not part of the everyday routine.  It's not like the universal daily ritual (wrestle) of brushing teeth. 

Let's be honest, speech therapy is unusual.  It's different.  And it's often unclear what it is, what it looks like and how it works.

So, if you're a parent or a therapist, ask yourself these questions, BEFORE speaking to your child.  Of course you might discuss some of these questions WITH your child. 
And you might speak with the professional IN ADVANCE of your appointment - so everyone is on-the-same-page.
And this conversation should be ongoing, checking-in during the first meeting and subsequent appointments, to ensure the "young person" is taken into account.

 
 

What's going through the child's mind?

The example I think of is something I heard from Dr. Carol Westby, one of giants in in research and clinical speech-language pathology.  She contributed loads of research, assessments and more to show us how children learn through play

Now, for example, if you think about how children learn to swim, children don't learn how to swim when they're terrified of/in the water.  They learn how to swim only after they're comfortable to "splish splash" and fool-around in the water. 

So, what that means for us is this: children don't learn when they're terrified.  None of us do. 
We may memorize something out of fear, we may be able to spit it back on a test, but we're not really learning, long-term, deep learning.  Long-term, deep, learning happens when you feel safe.  Learning and therapy for that matter, happens when you feel interested and curious; when you feel secure; when you feel there's someone on the other side that has something to offer you.  When you feel that other person "gets you," responds to you and can enlighten you. 

Children don’t learn when they’re terrified. 
None of us do. 
Our brains learn best, when they feel safe, even playful.
— Uri Schneider

WORDS THAT TURN-OFF:

  • homework

  • therapy

  • job

  • test

 

WORDS THAT TURN-ON:

  • project

  • adventure

  • fun

These are ways to create a bridge, to create trust, and once you do that, you can have a very productive relationship, and you can really work on very sensitive things. 

 

SUMMARY TIPS:

I think that's the way to set-up "how we talk about therapy."  Whether it's a young child, or an older child, or a teen, or an adult, we should make sure to make it relevant; make sure to address points of concern (and even resistance), and make it matter of fact, and description not judgmental.

If we prepare well, then we can engage in therapy with the confidence that we want to have - and assured that our kids will have the confidence they crave.  After all, we all deserve to feel safe and secure.

 

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

PODCAST: No Crystal Ball in Stuttering

A professional license does not grant us the power of prophecy.
— Phil Schneider

What to make of the professional promises and predictions for people who stutter.

In this important podcast, Phil Schneider Peter Reitzes delve into the touchy topic for professionals and consumers alike.


Check out more StutterTalk podcasts featuring Phil!

Visit our own podcast page here

Phil Schneider

Phil Schneider

Peter Reitzes

Peter Reitzes

Stuttering Videos

Sometimes, we find ourselves without words; words to explain how we feel inside and words to help others understand what we’re dealing with.

These films are some of the very best videos to artistically express “what is stuttering.”

PODCAST: Stories That Changed Our Life Work

The most memorable and career-altering moments of Phil’s career.

In this episode of StutterTalk, Peter Reitzes gives Phil Schneider the opportunity to tell three of his best, true stories.

Check out more StutterTalk podcasts featuring Phil!

Visit our own podcast page here

Phil Schneider

Phil Schneider

Peter Reitzes

Peter Reitzes

PODCAST: Moses and Stuttering

Everyone has a special contribution to make and everybody has a challenge - often the challenge becomes the ticket, the very vehicle that leads to your own greatness.
— Phil Schneider

Check out more of Peter Reitzes’s StutterTalk podcasts!

Visit our own podcast page here.

Phil Schneider

Phil Schneider

Peter Reitzes

Peter Reitzes