Sometimes we parents can get bogged down in the notion that the teaching of our children must be done by professionals. Parents of children with special needs are particularly vulnerable to this idea since children with special needs often have to learn and develop quite differently than children with typical needs. This series centers around the idea that learning can and does occur most effectively through everyday life experiences at home and out in the community--for children with both typical and special needs.
I know. I know. There are all kinds of studies out there that say that tv viewing is bad for children. I completely agree that plopping your child down in front of the tv (no matter what the program) for loads of unattended time is not good. Watching Baby Einstein videos alone will not make your baby an Einstein.
But TV and video viewing can be a great time for you and your child to interact and learn about things outside your world and even take a different look at everyday things around you. This is true whether your child is 4 or 40. The important part of the equation is you. Join in your child's tv/video viewing. Talk about what you see on the screen. Talk about your values. Talk about how you would have done things differently or the same as the characters. Act out the different character's parts together with your child. TV/video viewing can be a great bonding time.
Jack is a late talker. He is still trying to figure out how to tell the rest of us the many thoughts that are floating around in his head. His DVDs have been a great springboard to communication and a better understanding of the words he has been saying. When a triangle is on the screen and Jack says "Try ay kul", the light bulb goes on and suddenly that word he's been saying makes sense!
Children in the early stages of talking often have difficulty holding conversations because they don't know what they are supposed to say. They have to think about what you said, think of the words they need for a response, and then get their muscles working together just right to form the words that are needed. Playing out the storylines from videos are a great way for children to practice turn-taking speech. One of the hardest elements of conversations has been eliminated--coming up with the words. It's predictable. They know what you are gonna say and they know what they are supposed to say. It's a confidence builder and a great way for a child to learn to practice waiting for the other person to take their turn in conversation.
Instead of bemoaning your child's love of that flashing box, try joining them for a bit and see where it takes you.Recent Life is Therapy Posts can be found at:
Try Something Old
Know When to Stop
The Grocery Store
For more Life is Therapy Posts, check out the left side bar.
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