Music Helps Babies’ Brain Development

As parents, we often wonder how much influence music has on our babies’ lives. If your family is not particularly musical, that question may not even come to mind. But according to this University of Washington study, music plays a tremendous role in babies’ speech and brain development.

In this study, 39 babies attended a dozen of 15-minute play sessions, where half of them listened to music and had exposure to musical instruments, while the other half were a control group. Both groups played with the same toys and had the same surroundings, the key difference was in whether the researcher taught the baby to tap out musical beats or not.  After the sessions were complete, researchers used MEG technology (magnetocephalography) to measure the precise location and timing of brain activity. They found that children who listened to music had stronger brain responses. This suggests that listening to music during play sessions has improved the babies’ abilities to control attention and detect patterns in sounds. .

This study is an reminder that music is an important factor in our children’s cognitive development and that learning is not only done through school assignments and tests. As stated in the study, “this research reminds us that the effects of engaging in music go beyond music itself. Music experience has the potential to boost broader cognitive skills that enhance children’s abilities to detect, expect and react quickly to patterns in the world, which is highly relevant in today’s complex world.”

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Speech Disorders in Multilingual Children

 Speech Disorders in Bilingual Children

Author: Bridget Griffin

The multi-cultural society we live in today brings our children many benefits, including first-hand experience in diversity, exposure to human differences and more rounded education. It is no question that speaking multiple languages is helpful in this modern world, but doing so at an early stage of development can bring about some challenges. Let’s see some of the common misconceptions about bilingualism in childhood, as told by our very own Bridget Griffin, Speech Language Pathologist.

1. Myth or Fact: Multilingual children develop speech and language later than their monolinguals peers.

Myth! Similar to monolingual children, most multilingual children speak their first words by 12 months. By age two, a majority of both monolingual and multilingual children are combining words into two-word phrases. As speech and language develops, multilingual children may sometimes mix up grammatical rules or use words from both languages within the same phrase or sentence. Additionally, when a second language is first introduced, some multilingual children experience a “silent period” or “non-verbal” period where they do not speak much. This may last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months. This is a normal stage of multilingual language development where children are absorbing and making sense of the rules of their new language, including speech sounds, vocabulary, and grammatical structures. Just as with monolingual children, multilingual children are most successful developing language with exposure, practice, and positive communication with their families and peers.

2. Myth or Fact: Children with language disorders cannot learn multiple languages.

(more…)

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Hearing & Listening Event October 10th, 2016

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We are thrilled to announce that ESHC has been able to book renowned speaker, author, and researcher Dr. Dennis Van Vliet to talk about the effects of wearing hearing instruments on cognitive effort, listening, and processing. Dr. Van Vliet has more than 40 years of clinical history and research experience and is considered to be one of the premier experts on the effects of hearing loss on cognitive performance.

The Seminar will be held on October 10, 2016. In addition, we will be reserving the following 3 days in our clinic for additional one on one Q&A sessions with Dr. VanVliet, to answer specific questions about cognitive effort and the impact that new hearing technology can have on cognitive performance.

Who should attend?

If you or your loved ones struggle with processing speech in noisy environments like meetings, outings out with family, restaurants, or in any public places, you should join us for this fascinating event. If you would like to take advantage to chat with Dr. Van Vliet personally about the impact of new hearing technology, please call our office for an appointment. You will want to call soon, as appointments are naturally limited, and we cannot extend Dr. Van Vliet’s schedule. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

When?

Seminar: October 10, 2016 @ 2 p.m.
Consultations: October 11, 1

Where?

Evergreen Hospital, room Red 551.
12040 NE 128th Street, Room Red 551
Kirkland, WA  98034

Follow the signs towards the West Entrance of the hospital.

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Hearing Loss in Musicians

Hearing Loss in Musicians

Author: Sara H. Elshafei, Au.D., CCC-A

No matter what instrument you play, ears are a musician’s primary tool, and it is no secret that professional musicians run a higher risk of hearing loss. It can be an acoustic trauma from one instantaneous, loud sound or blast, or a gradual process that may take years to be noticed. When hearing difficulties are perceived, the effects can be devastating, especially to a professional musician. (more…)

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The Role of Collaboration in our Practice

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Whether you are a returning or new patient, you have probably heard about our belief in a collaborative approach to treatments. In order to provide you with the best service possible and get to the heart of the problem, we use this unique approach. Here is how it works:

You get two language-speech pathologists

This approach allows for multiple communication partners, increased accountability, sharing of ideas, and development of more creative and effective treatment plans.

Generalization

One of the most difficult parts of the treatment is taking the skills learned during therapy and applying them in the patients’ day-to-day activities. Practicing with two different therapists can help them learn how to communicate with multiple communication partners and apply newly acquired skills in a different setting.

Therapists’ Weekly Meetings

As part of the behind-the-scenes work, our therapists meet once a week to brainstorm ideas, ask for input and agree on a treatment plan for each of their patients. By creating this interactive dialogue, all our therapists play an active role in the patients’ wellness plan.

SOAP Notes

Besides having a memorable name, our SOAP notes system is a way to to record each patient’s documentation, progress, concerns and session notes in a reliable, systematic way. After each visit, patients get a detailed performance report with narrative text about the session, its specific successes and challenges, and a plan for the next visit. All documentation is checked and updated by our therapists to ensure that each patient’s treatment is on track and working.

Overall, we hold our collaboration approach to treatments at the highest value and often see positive results thanks to it. Feel free to ask us any questions regarding our technique in the comments below or on Facebook our speech team would be happy to answer.

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Child Development Tips from Thirty Million Words Initiative

30 million words
We at Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic are big fans of the Thirty Million Words® Initiative. It is “an innovative parent-directed program designed to harness the power of parent language to build a child’s brain and impact his or her future”.

What is Thirty Million Words®?

The program is based on a world-famous 1995 study by researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley, who found that some children heard much less words by 4th grade than others. This negatively impacted their vocabularies, reading skills and overall preparedness for school. Children who were exposed to more communication in their younger age, however, were found to be more successful. The bottom line is that children who started out ahead, stayed ahead even throughout their high school years. TMW call this disparity an achievement gap. The initiative’s main goal is to promote better communication between parents and kids, and help close this gap.

Since we discovered Thirty Million Words, we’ve been dying to share some of their tips with you. There are no age restrictions, complicated strategies or doctor sessions involved, which is why the initiative’s 3 T’s are simple and doable steps to help your child grow.

3Ts Thirty Million Words

1. Tune In

… by paying attention to what your child is communicating to you.

2. Talk More

… with your child using descriptive words to build his vocabulary.

3. Take Turns

… by encouraging your child to respond to your words and actions.


Big thanks to the TMW for providing this great printable version of the 3T’s and the information above. Feel free to ask us or our therapists any questions regarding this initiative.

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School Checklist: Why Check Your Child’s Hearing?

Check your child's hearing

New teachers, new classrooms, new curriculum – it can be overwhelming for anyone. That’s why our audiologists at Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic recommend getting your child’s hearing checked to ensure the easiest adjustment in the new school year. (more…)

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