Hi there! I'm Elizabeth, and this is my second year as the Speech-Language Pathologist at ACES. I am actually an ACES alum, and it feels great to be back! In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and traveling with my husband (Josh) and dog (Spooner). We currently live in Nashville, and love going on new adventures as often as possible.
I attended Appalachian State University in the mountains of North Carolina for my bachelor's degree, then received my master's degree in Speech and Hearing Science from Tennessee State University.
It is my passion to help my students communicate, and to foster their success in the classroom. We are able to work on many of our goals such as turn-taking, social skills, asking/answering questions, learning new words, following directions, and speaking clearly by playing games, so don't be surprised if your student claims that "all we do" in speech is play games! Games are wonderful for our early communicators and young students, and I encourage you to incorporate them into your family time as often as you are able.
Please see below for "Speech and Language Tips" should you be seeking any guidance in these areas with your child, and always feel free to give me a call or email if you have any questions!
- Model good speech by speaking slowly and clearly
- Encourage your child to slow their own speech if they are difficult to understand
- Limit distractions when conversing with your child (e.g. TV, radio, other loud noises)
- Conversationally repeat your child's speech errors correctly (e.g. "Look at the pider." - "Yes, I see the sssspider.")
- Gain your child's attention before speaking to them / have them look at you when you speak
- Avoid using "baby talk" with your school-aged child
- If you are unable to understand what your child said, repeat back to them the parts you were able to understand, so they see that part of their message was understood
- Try not to correct their speech, but instead, over-exaggerate your correct speech sounds, and offer them opportunities to correct their own errors
- Categorizing: have your child name as many items in one category as they can in one minute (e.g. foods, animals, furniture; things that are slimy/soft/gigantic/funny); get inspired by your surroundings! "I Spy" is a great game for this
- Sequencing: encourage your child to talk about what they have done/will do today in the order they occur; you can prompt them by using words like "first, next, then, last", etc.,
- Asking questions: play "20 Questions" and encourage your child to ask questions about the item you have chosen
- Following directions: start by telling your child to do one thing (e.g. put away their backpack), then move onto two steps (e.g. put away their backpack, then put their lunchbox in the kitchen), etc., to work on their listening and sequencing skills
- Learning new words: when your child is introduced to a new word, you can have them draw a picture of what they think it means, and help them describe it and use it in sentences correctly
- Forming questions/statements: like with speech sounds, modeling these skills correctly is essential for your child's own correct use of them (e.g. student: "Her not doing her homework", you could then repeat their statement back correctly by saying "Oh, she is not doing her homework"; student: "Today is Wednesday?", you could then repeat back "Is today Wednesday? Yes, today is Wednesday.", etc.
- By simply modeling these skills, your child will be learning without even realize it!
- Higher level language: listen for figurative language and idioms on the radio/TV and talk about their meanings and when you might use them (e.g. "head over heels", "butterflies in my stomach")
HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS (with your early communicators)
- Choice questions: ask questions that allow them to make a choice, keep the questions short, then repeat their answer back to them in a complete sentence (e.g. "Do you want juice or milk?" "Milk" "Ok, you want milk.")
- WH questions: "Who", "What", "Where","When", "Why" questions; these offer your child to use more language, and provide the opportunity for conversational turns; be sure to allow plenty of time for him/her to answer
READING WITH YOUR CHILD
- This is so important, and allows you to reinforce ALL of the speech and language targets discussed above!!!
- You can ask questions, describe pictures and events, have your child ask questions, discuss categories, predict, and even work on speech skills by reading clearly and slowly, and over-articulating sounds that may be difficult for your child