By Hillary Collins M.S., CCC-SLP
Times are a changin’ and technology is here to stay. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that guidelines surrounding media usage are changing as well; the most current AAP guidelines are reported as follows:
- For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
There are many ways that you can make screen time interactive, but here are a few to get you started:
1. Choose turn taking games and make it a family affair. Sit at a table and take turns passing the tablet around to introduce turn taking.
2. Narrate what you or your child is doing on the tablet. Model sentence structure and pronouns (example: The girl is running. Wow, she is fast!). Pretend you are a sportscaster!
1. Choose shows that are slower paced and not overstimulating.
2. Discuss “Wh” questions: Who is that person? Where are they going? Why did he do that? How do you think they will feel? What do you think is going to happen next?!
3. Discuss any new vocabulary used and try to relate it to your child’s life (example: Look at the airplane! Wow, we aregoing to be going on an airplane next week to Grandma’s!)
It’s no secret that kids love to look at themselves. Coupled with technology, you can create a positive and collaborative experience through video modeling. Video modeling can be used to target and practice a variety of speech and language goals. It is the idea of having children watch themselves complete a targeted skill independently and accurately for additional feedback!
1. Social Skills:
- Record yourselves doing something unexpected or something that had been targeted in speech that week (i.e. not greeting appropriately, not making eye contact, not making comments/questions during a conversation). Discuss what was so “unexpected” about the video and then make a follow up video with the expected behavior.
2. Articulation Skills:
- Record your child practicing their speech sounds. Replay it with them and comment on specific things that you thought were good (example: I like the way you dropped your tongue for that /l/ sound!).
- If they make a mistake, ask how they would be able to fix that sound and rerecord their video.
3. Language Skills:
- Record your child following directions. (Example: First spin around and then say your name). After you record it, watch it together and comment on concepts- “first you spun around and then you said your name- good work.”
- You can also practice making sentences with correct structure and grammar using toys as props. (Example: “The girl fed the baby a bottle.”)