Saturday, August 3, 2019

Website Spotlight: PlayTalkandGrow

Play, Talk, & Grow recently launched the website The website features tutorial videos paired with hand-picked toys by Chrissy Thompson, SLP. The videos and tutorials are focused on children between the ages of two and six years old who have speech and language delays or whose parents are concerned about their speech development.

Responding to demand from parents seeking to help their children at home, Chrissy has developed video tutorials that empower parents through the act of play with toys. Pulling from fifteen years of experience as a Speech Language Pathologist, Chrissy has distilled her method for teaching children how to talk into a simple, easy to understand program. The toys chosen to support the videos are from high quality makers and are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. There are two levels of instruction available. Level One: “My Child is Not Talking” and Level Two: “My Child Has a Few Words.”

“Parents are overwhelmed with the business of life and they are busy. I get it, I have two young girls of my own.” noted Chrissy. “But parent involvement in the home is so critical. Kids respond best through the act of play and play is a natural part of their development. With this in mind, I created a program that only takes 20 minutes a day. And it’s fun!” is now live with active video tutorials and toys for purchase. Shipping is limited to within the United States for now but videos are available worldwide. Consulting via video and phone is also available through the website should a parent wish to receive additional advice from Chrissy.

I had a chance to interview Chrissy to learn more.

Why did you create PlayTalk&Grow?
I have had the idea for PlayTalk&Grow for years. As a speech therapist I love working with parents to help them learn how to create language opportunities at home. They were always asking for more to do or how to help their child at home.  So PlayTalk&Grow was born from that need. I wanted a place for parents to go to find answers to their questions and to learn real strategies and tools. I want them to feel empowered that they can support their child every day.   

How can play help with speech delays?
Children with speech and language delays may already find talking hard. We need to make it easier and fun for them!  Playing with a parent is very motivating and fun for a child!  Parents have many more opportunities to interact with their children in meaningful ways than a therapist does.  Children also learn best in a natural environment and unstructured play encourages that language growth.  Through play, you can work on saying sounds, vocabulary, language concepts, following directions, expressing ideas, social skills like turn taking, waiting, and eye contact.  To keep this simple for busy parents, I recommend playing one on one with your child for 20 minutes a day.  In those 20 minutes, follow your child's lead and narrate their actions and your own actions.  This means that you will talk about what you see your child doing as well as what you are doing, like, "Mommy is building a tower."  This will help your child begin to understand how actions have meaning and begin to associate the vocabulary with their play.   

What other resources can parents use if they're concerned about their child's speech development?
The best resource if you have concerns about your child's development is to reach out to a pediatric speech therapist.  Just because you call a speech therapist doesn't mean your child will automatically be diagnosed with a speech delay, but they can provide you with the best information and give you specific suggestions for your child.  If you are curious about what is typical development and what is not, then look for speech developmental milestone charts online, my own website has one as well. 

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