Technology and the use of mobile devices have brought significant changes to the way that people communicate. Because children model their behavior after their parents and other adults around them, it has changed the way that they learn and communicate too. A lot of what technology offers is amazing, and very beneficial. I personally love using it to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world. In my work as a Speech Language Pathologist in the HSS CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center at the Lerner Children’s Pavilion, I’ve found mobile devices and apps to be a great tool to help keep my patients engaged and to bring their lesson plans home with them. I find applications that facilitate the development of language to be beneficial in the progress of my patients. Such apps address storytelling, comprehension, grammatical use, and articulation. The American Speech and Hearing Association website even offers a complete list of such resources, including apps for children with special needs.
At the same time, it’s important to remember the value of natural communication. Talking and interacting face-to-face is how children learn to read facial expressions and interpret body language. These basic skills are essential to engaging with other children and with adults, developing empathy, and building lasting, rewarding relationships. Here are a few tips to keeping the role of technology in your life in balance:
- Be a good grammar role model! Use complete sentences and appropriate grammar when texting.
- When possible, use communication tools that allow your child to see the other person’s face (such as Skype) instead of just talking over the phone or using an instant messaging system.
- Take some time out of each day to unplug as a family. Turn off the television and gaming systems and play some board games or card games instead. Put the phones away and talk about your day. Read a fun book with colorful illustrations, or a pop-up book, instead of reading from electronic devices.
For more information regarding development of speech and language skills, please contact the CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center at the Lerner Children’s Pavilion.
Elizabeth Gerosa is an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified Speech Language Pathologist. She is PROMPT trained and has a strong background in pediatric dysphagia for the patient who is medically compromised. Elizabeth is experienced with Applied Behavior Approach (ABA) with children with Autism and the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding. She is pursuing Neuro-Development Treatment (NDT) Certification for the management of neuromotor disorders.