Better Speech and Hearing Month, Pragmatics and Social Skills

The Things I Never Said: Nonverbal Communication

In the field of communication, it’s easy to suppose that my job is to get someone to use their words, or understand the words of another. This is actually a pretty large portion of my job, but truly there’s so much more. Have you ever thought about what you are communicating when you’re silent? When you’re leaning forward? When you’re drumming your fingers on the table as you’re listening? All of that is communication–and you haven’t spoken a single word. This is why “see what I’m saying?” works as an expression–so much of communication is seen but not heard. Here are some examples:

When all you have to do is give your friend a look.
And they know exactly what you want to say. How does that work? More likely than not, the expression is on your face and in your eyes. Your eyes widen in excitement, maybe you roll them in annoyance, but the other person has received your intended message.

When you cross your arms.
I’m guilty of this actually being my resting posture and am working to stop this one. Crossed arms communicate having some kind of barrier or wall up. You’re protecting yourself from the words your hearing or situation you’re in–you’re literally blocking your torso with your arms in defense-mode. The next time you find yourself in this position for no reason, try dropping them to your sides.

When you lean in.
You are actively engaged in what you’re experiencing. You’re actively listening and genuinely want to know more about what’s being shared with you. More often than not, your communicative partner feels that they’re really being heard, because they are.

When your feet are positioned away from the conversation.
You’ve already checked out. Studies have shown that your attention and focus rely on where your feet are planted. Imagine you’re standing and talking with a group of friends in a circle. If your feet are pointed inward, you’re likely invested and engaged in this conversation. If you have one foot facing outside the circle, you’re likely waiting for your turn to speak or looking for an exit. Think of the student in the classroom at her desk. The one ready to answer all of your questions has her whole body facing you. The one who is ready for recess likely has her feet facing the door.

When you move your eyebrows.
You read that correctly. Your eyebrows communicate more than you realize. When raised, they communicate excitement. When furrowed, they communicate a question or confusion. Eyebrow positioning can actually be crucial in using correct vocabulary in American sign language.

When you’re drumming your fingers.
This action can be a focusing tool, so I wanted to state that first. This action can also indicate boredom or annoyance. To my fidgeters, try this action on the underside of the table, in your desk, or on your knees.

It’s amazing how much we’re saying without speech. My challenge to you is to keep this in mind as you go into your week communicating with your various conversational partners. Let me know what you notice in comments.

Keep playing with words and see what your message creates!
–Stef the StageSLP

Better Speech and Hearing Month, The Human Connection, Wise Words

Mama Will Provide

Happy Mother’s Day! This post is dedicated to all the gifts that mothers give that I’m not certain a child can ever repay. I’m not a parent, so I don’t know if it’s possible. My mother is the most amazing and intelligent and funny woman you’ll ever meet. She’s beautiful and confident and loving. I am fortunate enough to say that she has given me everything I have ever needed and wanted, while teaching me the meaning of the word, “no.” Here are some of the gifts and memories I hold in my heart forever.

  • The gift of gab.
    My mother was never silent around me as a kid. She was always talking. She spoke to me when I was babbling as if it were a true conversation. She took me around our house teaching me the names of everyday objects. As I got older, she taught me how to speak up for myself, and I only asked her for help if I felt I couldn’t handle a situation on my own. Though those instances were present, my mom always taught me to solve my own problems first. She taught me that my words were powerful and so were hers, and for the most part, I always listened to her directions 😉
    I speak for myself now because she taught me to. I speak for a living because she enabled me to do so.
  • The value of a girls’ day.
    There is nothing like a day with your mother to make you happy and feel true joy. Getting her undivided attention during our favorite activities was incredible. Whether we were shopping and getting our nails done or sitting at home with ice cream and a movie, being treated as my mother’s equal was and is the best feeling in the world.
  • The ability to get creative.
    My mother took me to my first show at three years of age. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire show. I was enrolled in dance lessons around the same time, as well as day camps and sleep-away camps where I could dance and act and figure skate. She let me be creative, which I learned from her. How many other moms, in an effort to get children to come in from playing in the snow, actually scoop up snow in metal mixing bowls and tell us to come in so we could decorate them with food coloring? Her kids didn’t miss the chance to play outside OR get sick from being outside for too long–all thanks to her creativity. I hope it carries into my speech therapy activities.
  • Simple comfort.
    I have a very special memory of my mother and I, snuggled together in my twin-size canopy bed. I was around five or six, and we had both had a tough day. In order to make us both feel better, my mom came into my room and slept with me in my bed that night. She sang to me, and read to me, and held me close. Only now can I fully appreciate that night. Now, when I’m upset, I still want those times back when my mom let me crawl into her bed. Nothing mattered beyond the confines of the bed, just the comfort in that space.
  • Life lessons.
    I still tell my mom she “doesn’t get it,” to this day. And I am still wrong. She has lived through this part of her life already and she is always right. She’s taught me so much about so much, and her life lessons always prove true. Trust yourself, do what you know is the right thing, and so many more.
  • Unconditional love.
    My mom loved me through every high and low of my life. She still does. She listens to me cry and stress and laugh and celebrate everything as it happens now. This was just as true when I was under her roof. We fought like all mothers and daughters fight. We’re far from perfect, but we’re perfectly us. And we have always loved each other, and we always will.

My challenge to you is to make a list of your favorite memories with your mother. See what you each remember and value, and take that walk down memory lane. It’s amazing what you’ll unearth as you’re talking.

Keep playing with words and see what your message creates!
–Stef the StageSLP

Better Speech and Hearing Month

Do You Hear The People Sing: Auditory Health and Protection

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and every year I’m disappointed in the amount of coverage Hearing gets. I have substantial experience with hearing loss, cochlear implants, hearing aids, personal FM systems, and educating people on how these items work. Did you know that hearing loss can be preventable with healthy auditory practices in place?

  • Turn it down!  
    If you’re anything like me, you love your music loud. In your car so you can perform a solo concert, in a studio so you can feel the rhythm you’re dancing to, in your headphones to block out other stimuli. I am completely guilty of all of these, despite being aware that all of this can cause hearing loss. Blasting music in your earbuds is making your tympanic membrane (eardrum) work overtime, as well as all the other bones in your ears. This sets a new standard of normal, causing it to be more difficult to hear in quieter situations. It may also result in you speaking at a louder volume because you don’t believe you’ll be heard.

  • Protect your hearing.
    Depending on your exposure, there are a variety of ways to do this. My friends in bands who perform very loudly tend to pay for custom ear molds to protect their hearing as an occupational hazard. Think of this as a professional-grade earplug. Music isn’t the only sound source of a greater volume. Sporting events are notoriously loud. Consider earplugs or even headphones the next time you go.
  • Self-advocacy.
    Let’s say you have some form of hearing loss. When you’re in loud spaces, advocate for yourself. If you’re at a restaurant, and your table in near someplace noisy, like the kitchen, ask if you can be seated at another table. We all know dining is a communal experience, but it’s hard to take it in if you’re focusing more than usual to take in the conversation.
  • Ask.
    Did you miss something in conversation? Ask your conversational partner to repeat what was said. Some sounds, usually those in higher frequencies (s/th/t/ch/sh) are the easiest to miss and the hardest to see when someone is speaking. I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t remind repeating myself.

  • No more cotton swabs.
    Okay, I know we all use these products. Guess what? Most of us are not using them correctly. Stop and take a look at the packaging, I’ll be right here when you come back. That’s right, the directions state they’re not to be used in your ears! These have caused more injuries than other instruments, simply because we’re not great at reading directions. Believe it or not, the wax in your ears is there to keep germs out and to protect your ears. Removing it may not be the best option for most. If you’re having a hard time with this issue, I recommend consulting with an audiologist.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful and informative. Your hearing is an important part of your communicative experience in all aspects of your life. It’s up to you to do your best to take care of it. My challenge this week is for you to take steps to protect your hearing. Let me know your new habits in comments.

 

Keep playing with words and see what your message creates!

—Stef the StageSLP

Inclusion, Interview, The Human Connection

It Was Red and Yellow and Green and Brown: A Conversation with Andrea Koehler

I have never really been someone who enjoyed art as a kid. I liked the creative aspect, and I liked to make things look pretty. Truth be told, the vision in my head rarely made it to the final product. However, I vividly remember loving to color and draw, up until around age eleven. I have no idea why I stopped. Fast forward to the last few years when adult coloring books became popular. I thought I’d give those a try, and all it did was stress me out—the designs were too intricate and all of a sudden there were too many colors to pick from. What if I messed up? How in the world was this supposed to be relaxing? I just didn’t understand. And then, at BroadwayCon 2018, I met Andrea Koehler of Coloring Broadway and The Coloring Project. Magically, I was hooked on coloring again. I found it engaging and relaxing, and –get this—ENJOYABLE. Andrea and I talked about many things during our conversation, but what I took away was why coloring works for me, mindful activities, and the combination of the creative and the collaborative involved in this project.

S: How did these coloring pages come to be?

A: My why behind these pages is the mindfulness component that can be found in musical lyrics. I’m very picky in which lyrics we choose to highlight. Obviously, it has its connection to Broadway, but the point isn’t to call out a single show. “Hello, Dolly!” is a great line, but there isn’t much meaning to ponder behind that particular statement (or is there?). The reason I love the coming together of mindfulness and musical theatre is that musical theatre gives you all of these wonderfully inspirational lyrics.

S: I agree. I like that they’re not show specific.

A: And you don’t have to know it’s from a show to know the line is meaningful. However, finding they lyrics was easier with some shows, and harder with others. For example, Hamilton was easier to create than SpongeBob because Hamilton’s lyrics are full of meaningful snippets that are more easily understood out of context. And I don’t want to get pigeon-holed. I want to cover the breadth of Broadway keeping the focus on the mindfulness of the lyrics. We currently have a list of most-requested shows to pull from in the future. The number one suggestion at BroadwayCon was The Great Comet. I have to balance what people want with what will be most popularly purchased from a business perspective. We want to create a 2017-2018 season coloring book or coloring set.

S: So, let me tell you, I am not a colorer, but your pages changed that! They relieved stress. And my friends laughed at me and said, “You did that? You don’t do art.” Now I have gone out and bought markers and pencils and I keep coloring!

A: May I suggest the extra fine Sharpies? They’re really good for coloring. My step-son asked if we could color with Sharpies one day and I caved, and now I will never go back.

S: Is there a right way to color?

A: No, there’s totally not. Use whatever you like to use. I want it to be easy for everyone. That’s actually why I currently make coloring pages. A book has lots of pages and there can be a pressure to complete all of the pages before you move on. With the collections we’ve made, you can pick and choose and change which pages you’re working on.

S: That is exactly the issue I had with deciding between some of your pages, and why I like the coloring pages. Is there a difference between Coloring Broadway and The Coloring Project?

A: Coloring Broadway came out of The Coloring Project. I have a 20-year background in training and development, and the last four-five years I spent doing leadership training and personal development in a corporate setting. That’s why I’m big on self-awareness. The only way we grow as a humanity is by understanding who we are and how we’re showing up to a situation. If we never look at how we function, we won’t grow individually or as a humanity (If we don’t know, we can’t grow :P). And then in April 2015, I picked up a coloring book. It was all I wanted to do for two weeks. I realized it was a tool, and for many things. Calming, creativity, and a way to create space for thought. Your brain has space to think when you’re coloring—you’re not getting any little red or beeping notifications, which can keep thoughts from being allowed to occur. It’s a tool for thinking and for focus. Our brains have been “untrained” from being able to focus and do deep work. We think about a zillion things at once. You listen better when you’re doodling or doing a non-cognitive activity – it keeps your “monkey mind” focused and allows you the space to listen or think.  Coloring is a non-cognitive activity. I created The Coloring Project to blend mindfulness as an activity with coloring. With The Coloring Project, I created a coloring book, The Power of Positive Coloring, that has a mindfulness activity that goes with each of the illustrations.  . It has prompts to get them thinking while they color,  something like, “While you’re coloring the word ‘Inspire’ think about what inspires you.”  Coloring Broadway happened because one of my illustrators and I both love Broadway. It’s a very niche audience, but it took on a life of its own.

S: I mean, give Broadway people something, and we will run with it.

A: Being at BroadwayCon was unreal. It was a great setting for us. We sold about half of what we brought with us, and we met with a bunch of different people and got great feedback. We’re already planning for next year.

S: That’s you and Tatro and Dr. Drama and other creators, right?

A: Yes! I love the Broadway makers. We’re a fun group.

S: I’m excited for whatever you come up with. I can’t believe I didn’t lead with this, but how did you get into theatre?

A: My mom was a ballerina and I grew up in dance. At 13, I quit dancing (self-esteem and body issues) and did all academics for my entire high school career. My friend group was friends with the theatre group at another high school and we pretty much followed them wherever they went. We saw their shows and sang all of the showtunes. That was my way in.  Another way of connecting to how I felt that wasn’t dancing.

S: Do you have an intended audience? Has it changed?

A: Broadway fans. Always Broadway fans, but there are multiple audiences. There’s kids, who are just starting to connect with theatre, and the teens in their fandoms, and the adults who want a souvenir. My audience is anyone who wants to extend their theatrical experience. You can buy a poster or a magnet and have nice memories, but through coloring, it can reconnect you to what moved you while you were in the theatre. And you get to create alongside what you know from the show with your own creative mentality.

S: Again, coloring wasn’t my thing until I saw your designs. What makes your designs different?

A: For the most part, the quotes that stand on their own. Everyone wants to hear the messages of the images. And our illustrator, Justine Fisher, has a wonderful sense of design and we tease out what the theme of the quote is. We match the theme of the quote to a design. My favorite one of hers is The Room Where It Happens. It’s not overly complex, and it holds meaning and is accomplishable in a short amount of time. The designs are created to be completed within 1-2 hours of beginning. I’ve made it take longer than that, but it can be done in a reasonable amount of time.

S: Does it start with the quote or the design?

A: Usually, it starts with the quote. Sometimes it starts with the music. When I brought up Hamilton, Justine hadn’t heard it yet. The emotion behind her experience listening is what drove her illustrations. She has an incredible ability to convey the message through different mediums within the visual realm.

S: For you as a creator, is there pressure on you for your pages to be liked, or do you just create what you enjoy?

A: It’s different since I’m not the illustrator. Justine and I will sit with the quote and talk it out. She has a different aesthetic than I do, and that’s where I find pressure. As long as she and I are pleased with it, I’m not terribly concerned.

S: Every week I challenge my students and readers to do something outside of their comfort zone. What would you challenge them to do?

A:  My challenge is to finish the statement, “I am.” Finish it in as many ways as you can. Explore all of the sides of that statement that apply to you. This is the beginning of self-awareness, which I am very passionate about. Learning about yourself and accepting all that you are is key. Take five minutes. If you can do that beyond five minutes, great, but start with five minutes.

*************************************************************************************
I am currently obsessed with Andrea’s Coloring Broadway pages, and message her every time I complete a new one. We had more fun than necessary during this interview, which is the best kind of fun. I’ve already taken her challenge, and it’s amazing to own the many things that I am. My students have begun to undertake this challenge, too, and are learning so much about themselves. It’s a joy to watch, and I can’t wait to hear how you all complete this exercise in comments. Because I know you totally need these coloring pages (and those to come), follow Andrea at @ColoringBWAY on Twitter and @coloringbroadway on Instagram. You can find her Etsy shop, The Coloring Project, with both Broadway and non-Broadway coloring options.

Keep playing with words and see what your message creates!

–Stef the StageSLP

The Human Connection

I’m The Bravest Individual: Self Esteem

Charity Hope Valentine had it right–self-confidence is key. For my students and myself, this can be a very real challenge. It’s a season of change–seasons, clocks, wardrobes, and mindsets. My students are starting to think of what next year will be like, their teachers, friends, and responsibilities. And so it comes up: how do you bolster a student’s self-esteem?

I’ve recently heard Scott Fried speak on a subject related to this. I have to start by saying, Scott taught me things I didn’t realize I needed to know, things I needed to hear, and how to better connect with my students. If you don’t know who Scott is, he teaches kindness. Learn more about him at www.scottfried.com.

The biggest thing you can do is validate your student. Listen. Hear them. This is his or her feeling and it is very real. Acknowledge this. Acknowledge them. Through this, you show them that they are being heard, and not just listened to. After all, this is what you’d want, right?

A reminder to the conversational partner hearing the student: as much as you want to, don’t fix the situation. Allow your student to get out whatever emotions need to be expressed. Do not give unsolicited advice. This goes for sayings like, “it gets better,” or “just give it time.” How does it feel when you hear those things? I can only speak from experience, but those statements and the like make me feel dismissed and unimportant.  Wait for them to ask for your help.

If they do ask for your help, go ahead. Offer your suggestions. Ask them about what they’re thinking. Let them try and problem solve. Wait for them to ask for guidance if you can. Let them know that you are here for them. The most important thing a student will ever hear from me is, “I believe in you.” Find your message and share it with your students. Through this, they exercise their executive functioning skills in a safe space before acting upon them. This helps them build their own self-esteem without them being 100% dependent on your thought process. This allows them to feel brave, smart, and in control. Even more, you’ve acknowledged the strength of their vulnerability, and how to manipulate their world from such a raw place. Let them be brave.

My challenge to you this week is to find a way to express that you are enough just as you are in the most creative way that you can. This can be through writing, through art, through words, or deeds. Please share your experiences below of how you acknowledge that you’re the bravest individual you have ever met.

Keep playing with words and see what your message creates!

–Stef the StageSLP

Inclusion, Interview

A World of Pure Imagination: A Conversation with Will Barrios of Tatro

One of the best parts of my job is getting to vicariously relive my childhood through the experiences of my students. The very best days are the ones that revolve around imaginative play. As a kid, I entertained myself endlessly with imaginative games I created. Now that I think back on it, they were less like games, and more like plays, in that I’d revisit the characters and their worlds daily. They had backstory and plot, and my friends were excellent collaborators. Will Barrios has created the limitless playset, Tatro. Through his product he is taking play to a whole new level by bringing us all back to the basics of using your imagination. I got to see this product at BroadwayCon, and as a speech pathologist I see endless possibilities for all of the goals my students are working on. Not only is it multi-function, but it’s lightweight, portable, and magnetic so the students (or I) won’t lose the pieces. Will and I talked about the creation of Tatro, the collaborative aspect of creating a playset that runs on the operator’s creativity, and the importance of play.

Stef: How did you get into theatre?

Will: I was in a production of Where the Wild Things Are in preschool. As it turns out, I ended up going through the entire rehearsal process and not being able to perform in the production because my aunt came to visit us the same weekend. If you were to ask my mother, she’d probably say I went after theatre to take back the experience of missing my first performance. I didn’t really revisit theatre again until I was nine and auditioned for Godspell. The cast was all ages and it was the first show that showed me that this is what theatre does—it creates these bonds and communities and after that I just wanted to do it again and again. Since then, I’ve always been extremely creative by nature.

S: How does being a theatre fan turn into creating a playset?

W: I was homeschooled for my seventh-grade year, and I was still doing shows around town. But more than being a theatre kid, I was just a creative kid.  As a creative kid, I was always creating shows at home. I’d build set pieces and bring them home. I made sets and put on shows for my parents. I did it until my parents said I couldn’t do it in the house anymore, and so I built a theatre in the garage. I had risers and a green room and sets, and I got to do this with my friends. I needed a way to make this smaller, so I could be creative in the house in addition to what I had set up in the garage. One day I was watching a show on television about magnets, and I thought, “What if I did that but with characters as magnets with a magnetic floor?” So, I got some cardboard and cut out a proscenium hole with a magnetic floor and made the characters. Tatro is the durable, reproduceable version of what that was.

S: So, dedication and drive has always been part of your DNA, huh?

W: I guess you could call it that, but it’s the joy of creating. I ended up going to design school in New York. For me, it’s the joy of creating. That’s what Tatro’s centered around. I want to give that back so kids can create in any way possible without instructions.

S: This is all how your materials got chosen, magnets over Velcro and the like?

W: Well yeah. I was thinking of a couple different materials and I came across magnets. They’re durable over time and I went with it and stayed with it.

S: I love it. I love that it is simple play that is accessible to everyone. Everything is so technology-based now, I have students who are learning how to code. My tech knowledge is not that advanced. Those same kids still come to me with “I have this grand idea, check it out, but I can’t do it. I’d never get it right.” I’ve found with a lot of kids, fear of failure can be a deterrent from even beginning a project. You’ve stuck with this for so long. What would you say to my students?

W: I have a really good friend who has a great mind for business. We were talking about my process. I mentioned failure to him, and he said, “You never fail; you pivot.” And it changed everything. You don’t fail, you pivot. You try something else when the first thing doesn’t work out and eventually you’ll figure it out. How do you eradicate the fear? You ask questions and ask for feedback and move in that direction.

S: We’ve had conversations about what this product would look like in a speech therapy session, and you shared that you worked on articulation in speech therapy as a kid, and without thinking I was able to find three different ways to use Tatro to target articulation goals. I know you’ve been talking with other health professionals and other theatre-branded creators. Who is your target audience for Tatro?

W: So, I was a creative kid, and I thought if I loved this, so would other creative kids. That was my initial market. I found that this could be a very narrow audience and wanted to see how to expand it. What’s interesting was I had psychologists, parents, and even educators come out of the woodwork with interest, which allowed for a larger audience beyond the creative kids. Right now, I’m finding parents and therapists are very interested in Tatro, which is great.

S: I really do think it’s a product for everyone.  All of that said, how do you feel about Tatro being used for therapeutic purposes?

W:  I have always thought that it had a lot of potential in talking with different professionals. I get the feedback of its durability and scalability and I didn’t realize how important that was. It’s doing what I wanted in the beginning, which is working without limits and boundaries. You can have different settings and characters and create any world, which allows an uninhibited, unlimited amount of imagination.

S: I think it’s a great tool. As someone who would use it for language, I can see it being used for turn taking, perspective sharing, social skills, language comprehension…really, I can do so much with this one playset that I can with a lot of my materials. The creation of this seems like a huge undertaking, is it all you or are you working with a team?

W: Aside from me, I work with an illustrator, a product design firm. There are very specific components of the product that their skill set matches. I also have a lot of really awesome people in various fields—education, health professions—who are so passionate about the product, and I’m reaching out to them for feedback and as product ambassadors.

S: So, what does collaboration look like for you?

W: Really clear communication. As our conversations continue about the development of the product, and in four months we’d come up with a proposal that went from a design to manufacturing. As we kept talking, patience and clarity of message and really listening to each other made this process so smooth. It’s been an amazing experience so far.

S: Sounds like everyone involved is learning from each other.

W: Yeah! The key is really our abilities to listen and hear each other in all aspects of development. The team has stuck with me as much as I’ve stuck with them. As tedious as this can get, they’ve been so supportive every step of the way.

S: Every week I challenge my kids to do something outside of my comfort zone. What would you challenge my readers and students to do?

W: Do something that scares you. As simple as it is, what scares you? Talking to someone you don’t know yet? Go talk to them. What’s the worst that could happen? Get creative. Embrace the moment of feeling scared and be aware of feeling scared. You will come out of it, and there is growth in experiencing that feeling and in coming out of that feeling.

 

In case you couldn’t tell, I could not be more excited about Tatro and what it’s going to open up for kids’ creativity. I have already pre-ordered mine and I know it will be the perfect addition to my therapeutic tools. To learn more about Tatro, and even pre-order your own, click here. Preorders are open once a month and are announced on Instagram at @tatrotoy and on Facebook at Facebook.com/tatrotoy. What started out as one of Will’s creative endeavors as a child is going to give so much back to even more children, and I am so excited to watch that happen.  Will and I are both very eager to hear how this challenge goes for all of you, so please let us know in comments.

Keep playing with words and see what your message creates!

–Stef the StageSLP

Autism Awareness, Broadway, The Human Connection

You’ll Never Walk Alone: Carousel and Autism Spectrum Disorder

I can’t believe it’s already April, which means it’s Autism Awareness month. For the record, it is always Autism Awareness month in my speech room, but for this month, we get a bit more of the spotlight. I choose to use this time to show how the recent revival of Carousel taught me to better understand my students on the spectrum.

The show is a story about two truly different individuals that even the whole town considers to be quirky. This made me think of the way my students are seen by the people in their lives who may not understand everything about their worlds. It takes a lot for me to step outside of the world in which I view my kids, so this can be tricky. My kids can be viewed from obsessive to single-minded, talkative to mute, docile to aggressive. Like Julie, currently played by Jessie Mueller, I view all of my students as beautiful.

There is a reason for every behavior and action my students show me. Not all communication is verbal, and I find their expressions beautiful. Stepping into their worlds for as long as they’ll allow me is a gift. I cherish it every minute I work with them. I’ve learned more from these children than I’ll learn from most adults. I learn about the beauty of numbers, technology, and verbal and nonverbal communication between children. The reciprocity and value and strength of words is all theirs, and from the simplest requests to the most complex explanations, I get to view it all. I get to understand them, and this is not a gift afforded to all.

This week, I challenge you to learn something about yourself or someone else by experiencing something new.

Keep playing with words and see what your message creates!

–Stef the StageSLP