Summer 2016 Newsletter



Summer 2016 Newsletter
IMPROVING communication. Transforming LIVES.
Story Telling: Creating Personal Narratives:
Summer is the perfect time to make fond new memories with friends and
family. It is just as important to share those memories in the form of
storytelling. We connect with people throughout our lives by sharing our
own stories. These shared events could be talking about our day at work,
describing a funny experience, or recalling a vacation. By modeling your
own personal narratives and supporting your child’s experiences, you can
improve their memory of past events and expand their language skills.
Summer 2016
Personal Narratives 1/2
Employee Spotlight
Celebrating May!
Star Client
Summer Social Skills 4
Dates To Remember
Contact Information
At the most basic level, these narratives include a character (who), a
setting (where), an action, and an emotion. These are based on familiar events, routines, or
recent personal experiences. For example, while looking through pictures on your phone you
could say, “Here we are at Como Zoo. The gorillas were chasing each other. That was exciting!”
At the next level, narratives include a problem, a solution, and a feeling. Stories are typically
retold in the past tense. They include a sequence of events. Example: I wanted to ride my bike.
I got it out of the garage. The tires were flat. I had to walk my bike to the gas station to fill the
tires with air. I was determined to ride my bike! At a higher level, narratives include a
character, a setting, a problem or initiating event, a feeling, a plan, actions, a consequence, and
a resolution. Example: On Saturday, we wanted to have a picnic lunch at the park. We had
everything packed, and it started raining. We were disappointed. We decided to have our
picnic indoors. In the living room, we spread out our blanket, unpacked our picnic basket, and
had a great lunch. Everything worked our perfectly, and we didn’t have to worry about the
bugs. We were surprised how much fun an indoor picnic could be!
Co-creating and sharing recent events helps to build your child’s autobiographical memory.
Hearing you share how you experienced a vacation or specific event during your day helps your
child process, understand, and retain what happened. To do this, talk about a past experience,
describe an emotion linked to the experience, and reflect on the experience. Use words like:
think, thought, know, remember, forget, hope, wanted, realize, understand, and wonder.
These words help children learn what others were thinking and feeling.
Expand your child’s vocabulary for emotions by labeling how you or your child felt about a
specific event. Some example include: frustrated, annoyed, afraid, disappointed, excited,
lonely, confused, disgusted, worried, surprised, curious, and angry. Research shows that if we
pair an emotion to an experience, we are more likely to remember it. If labeling emotions is
difficult, you could watch the Disney Pixar move, Inside Out, to start the conversation about
Modeling is teaching. Try not to “test” your child’s knowledge of a recent event. As a rule of
thumb ask 20% questions and offer 80% comments. Some carrier phrases you can use to recall
a shared memory include:
Guess what?!...
Wasn’t it (feeling) when…
Remember when….
Encourage your child to share their stories with others this summer.
Jenny works in the Shoreview office.
Co-workers describe as: Creative, kind, and a wonderful therapist.
Family: Jenny’s family consists of her husband and 2 sons.
Born and raised in: Stillwater, MN.
3 things she can’t live without: Jenny can’t live without morning coffee, her lake cabin,
and getting out and moving
If she had a million dollars: She would travel.
Favorite book: Jenny loves to read all books.
Favorite movie: Princess Bride.
People don’t know this: She loves a bargain—and especially loves shopping at thrift stores
and garage sales.
Celebrating May is Better Hearing and Speech Month:
Our theme for the month of May was a panda! Below are some fun activities we did:
Our mascot for May
Find the panda game
Guess how many
Panda coloring sheets in lobby
Colleen sees Jenny in the Shoreview office.
Colleen has been working with Jenny since she was 11 years old. Colleen is working on
making longer sentences. She has recently put 9 words together to describe objects!!
Colleen is 14 years old and in 8th grade. Her favorite food is ketchup;
she has it on everything! Colleen’s favorite thing to do is dance.
Colleen’s favorite color is green.
Summer is FINALLY here!!
Everyone loves summer, especially children. Use these fun activities to help build social and
play skills.
1. Tell a story from your own childhood. Have your child tell a related story from his or her life
experience – yes, even if your child is nonverbal.
2. Lie in the grass and take turns looking for shapes or pictures in the clouds.
3. Go around and ask every family member at home the same silly question, and share the
4. Look at some old family photos and name all the people in them
5. Practice making emotional facial expressions on cue with your child: neutral, happy, sad,
fearful, angry, disgusted, and surprised. Take turns and make it fun.
6. Practice listening skills by responding only with nonverbal communication for 1 to 5 minutes.
Then switch roles.
7. Be someone’s mirror: imitate a person’s actions as if you are that person’s reflection in a
mirror for 1 minute. Then switch roles.
8. Play Follow the Leader. Match the leader’s pace for as long as possible, then let a new
leader take over.
9. Play the statue game: one person freezes like a statue and the other person has to make the
statue laugh. Take turns.
10. Develop family traditions: sing a song together, recite a poem, say a prayer that has special
meaning to your family.
*list written by Special Learning*
Dates to remember:
Monday, July 4th – offices are CLOSED to celebrate the 4th of July
Monday, September 5th - offices are CLOSED for Labor Day
Tuesday, September 6th – start of fall schedule
St. Paul – Phone: 651-225-4558, Fax: 651-225-9474
Email: [email protected]
Maplewood – Phone: 651-773-3208, Fax: 651-783-5612
Email: [email protected]
Shoreview – Phone: 651-639-0942, Fax: 651-639-1718
Email: [email protected]
Plymouth – Phone: 763-551-3652, Fax: 763-551-1334
Email: [email protected]
*For our mailing addresses, please refer to our website.
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