When SJ was first diagnosed with hearing loss I was encouraged to create an experience book. Books are a great resource for speech delays anyway, but a book that has pictures and experiences that your child can directly identify with is even better.
I try to make a new one every year so that we can expand on what she has learned. Here is a look at how easy it is to create and implement.
The first book was the most basic both in it’s design and the words that were in it. For this one all you need is
- 4×6 photo album
- Pictures of your child or objects that are familiar
- Index cards to spell out the words you are encouraging the child to say
I chose words like hurt along with a picture of SJ with a boo boo
or sleep with a pic of her sleeping.
Trash is a word you may not find in your typical “first words” book, but trash (or some people say garbage) is a word we use everyday. That’s the beauty of customizing your own language book. You get to choose what to put in it.
When we first made this book we weren’t even ready to start with saying words we were mostly working on the ling sounds like “Shhhhhh” for sleeping or “mmmm” for eating. Eventually she learned all the words and it was time to make a new, more advanced book!
At this point she was learning the names of everyone in the family
Along with the places we visited frequently (like the grocery store, museum, or school).
When we started the book we kept it very simple and I had her repeat the words “Breakfast” “Lunch” “Dinner”. Eventually she started saying sentences and so we could expand to say “I see my teacher”. You can show a picture of a friend or a teacher, but it’s more meaningful to the child when they see their friend or their teacher.
Early Reading and Abstract concepts
She got this book for her birthday and she absolutely LOVES it. For this book I wanted to put in some sentences that she could read on her own because she is learning to read now. So for example “I love my family” is not expanding her speech because that is a sentence she has been able to say for a while now, but it’s simple enough to read. SJ loves to point to and sound out all the words.
Then I included parts that are a little more difficult to read, but they are words and ideas that I hope she will start to have a better understanding of. For example, this page says “Sometimes I am sad, but I still obey mommy and daddy because that is a good choice. If I make a bad choice I say I am sorry. Mommy and daddy love me when I am happy or sad. They will always love me.”
This can certainly apply to any child, not just special needs. My oldest son has recently requested that I make a book for him and I plan to do that next.
Now let’s look at the progression
If the first book says “School”
The next book says “I go to School at Ohio Valley Voices”
Then the next book says “I go to School at Ohio Valley Voices in Loveland Ohio”
It’s been so rewarding to watch SJ learn to communicate. I am really grateful that the idea for this was introduced to me and I hope it can be helpful to others.
Both of the hardback photo books shown here are from Shutterfly and I cannot recommend them enough. Right now there is a promotion going on for a free 8×8 photo book just like the one I’ve shown on here. The coupon code is ” SPRINGONIT “It expires tomorrow (March 22, 2016) so I know that’s not much time, but I will tell you that the Shutterfly website makes it so easy to throw these books together, so it doesn’t take much effort and they turn out beautifully. If you miss this offer you can catch the next one. Just Like Shutterfly on Facebook or sign up for their email to be in the know on the latest deals.
Your child will love seeing their pictures in print and you will love hearing them say all the new words. It’s a simple, but wonderful tool all the way around.
What a wonderful idea Natalie!
Truly a keepsake book for any child, I can see why this would be motivating and hold their interest!
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