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Welcome to Speech!

Hello parents/guardians and students,

My name is Ms. Annika Bjorkman (AKA - Ms. Annika).

I am the Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) serving TK-5th grade students at Caryn Elementary. As an SLP my job is to assess, diagnose, and treat communication disorders. I love what I do because I feel that being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important of all life skills, as it is the key to human interaction and connection. Communication skills can determine success in academics, professional endeavors, and personal relationships. I find it very exciting to see students achieve their individual speech-language goals, and improve their overall communication skills. In our speech therapy room, students learn articulation, language, fluency, listening, and social communication skills, in an environment of praise, patience, acceptance, fun, and laughter. Essential to success is frequent practice, not only during therapy sessions but also at home. Below, please find links with additional information, tips, and activities for at-home practice.  

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to working with you.

Annika Bjorkman, M.S., CCC-SLP

(909) 941-9551

** Note to parents/guardians: Some of the websites shared on this webpage may contain links to other sites. It is impossible to check every link to each site. Guided assistance from a responsible adult is always recommended when students are surfing the web.

Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge, the sites listed are appropriate for students and their families. If you find otherwise, please notify me immediately and I will remove them at once. Please feel free to give me feedback at any time.

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Homework Calendars

I would like to encourage you to help support and grow your child's speech/language skills at home. Below you will find links to calendars of daily activities intended to reinforce their skills. Please take a few minutes daily to focus on good speech and language enhancing strategies. The activities within the calendars are intended to be brief and enjoyable. Additionally, students who complete and return their homework calendars with a parent/helper signature, will earn a trip to the treasure chest.

I thank you in advance for supporting your child’s progress.

February calendars:

Due to technical difficulties, homework calendars will be sent home upon request.

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Speech vs Language

Speech, also referred to as articulation/phonology, is how we produce individual sounds in words.

Language refers to the words we use and how we use them to share thoughts, ideas, and feelings in understandable ways.

What are speech sound disorders?

It’s normal for young children learning language skills to have some trouble saying words the right way. That’s part of the learning process. Their speech skills develop over time. They master certain sounds and words at each age. By age 8, most children have learned how to master all speech sounds.

But some children have speech sound disorders. This means they have trouble saying certain sounds and words past the expected age. This can make it hard to understand what a child is trying to say.  

Speech sound problems include articulation disorder and phonological process disorder.

  • Articulation disorder is a problem with making certain sounds. For example, a child who can not properly articulate the /r/ sound may say "wabbit" instead of "rabbit."

  • Phonological process disorder is a pattern of sound mistakes. This includes not pronouncing certain letters. For example, the phonological process of "fronting", when children always replace back sounds (/k/ & /g/) with front sounds (/t/ & /d/).

What is a language disorder? 

A language disorder is impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken, written, and/or other symbol systems. The disorder may involve one or more of the following:

  •  The form of language (Grammar: phonology, morphology, syntax).

  • The content of language (Vocabulary).

  • The function of language in communication (Pragmatics/social communication).

Typical Speech & Language Development:

Signs of Communication Disorders:

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Quick and easy ideas to practice speech sounds at home:

*Review: Have your child practice their target sound(s) in isolation and discuss how to produce them successfully (e.g., tongue, teeth & lip placement, airflow, strategies).

*Have your child find 5-10 items that contain their speech sound(s) from around the house. Practice each word 5 times each or use each word in a sentence. 

*Have your child name as many items as they can with their sound(s) in different categories:  animals, TV shows, food, clothing, music bands, candy, toys, etc.

* Read with your child and have them pick a few words on each page that contain their speech sound(s) and say the words 3 times each. 

* If your child is an independent reader, have them read to you using their good speech sounds. This can also be done with any class work they just completed. 

* Play- If you are playing with your child, reinforce good speech sounds by modeling for them. If they are older you could pick a few words to practice during your play activity.

*Practice clear sounds during dinner time discussions.

*Have a 3-minute, timed conversation about a given topic.  Use your clear sounds during the conversation. 

*Have your student call a friend or family member and focus on using their targeted sounds.

*Remember to use SLOP strategies (Slow, Loud, Over articulate/overuse, Pause) during conversation and reading so others can easily understand. 

Articulation therapy hierarchy:

Articulation home practice:

Articulation carryover:

Articulation of the /R/ sound:

Bunched /R/ video , Retroflex /R/ video

R word lists , Vocalic R word lists

/R/ & R-blends word games , /R/ word games , /R/ blends games

Initial /R/ games , Vocalic /R/ games

Articulation of the /S/ & /Z/ sounds:

/S/ video , /Z/ video

/S/ word lists , /Z/ word lists

Initial /S/ word games , /S/ words, phrases, sentences game

Articulation of the /TH/ sound:

/TH/ video

Voiceless /TH/ word lists , Voiced /TH/ word lists

/TH/ game , /TH/ words, phrases, sentences game

Articulation of the /SH/ & /CH/ sounds:

/SH/ video

/SH/ word lists

/SH/ game , /SH/ words, phrases, sentences game

/CH/ video

/CH/ word lists

/CH/ game , /CH/ words, phrases, sentences game

Articulation of the /J/ sound:

/J/ video

/J/ word lists

/J/ games , /J/ words, phrases, sentences game

Articulation of the /K/ & /G/ sounds:

/K/ video , /G/ video

/K/ word lists , /G/ word lists

/K/ games , /G/ games , /K/ & /G/ words, phrases, sentences game

Articulation of the /L/ sound:

/L/ video

/L/ word lists

/L/ games , /L/ blends game, /L/ words, phrases, sentences games , /L/ blends words, phrases, sentences game

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Ideas for building language and vocabulary at home:

* Parallel Talk - Describe what your child is doing, seeing, or thinking. When using parallel talk, you are acting as a broadcaster. Watch the child's actions and describe them, without expecting a response (e.g., "you are putting the red block on top of the blue block. You are pushing the red car.)

* Self Talk - Talk about what you are doing, seeing, eating, touching, or thinking when your child is present. In other words, narrate your actions (e.g., "I'm washing the dishes. Now, I'm putting away the dishes.)

* Expansion - Wait until your child says something and then repeat what they said and add to it (e.g., Child - "Ball" , Adult - "Ball. Yes, you have a red ball. The red ball is bouncing.").

* Model - When your child uses incorrect grammar or articulation, model and emphasize correct productions without over-correcting (e.g., Child - "I have many car" , Adult - "Yes, you do have many cars. Let's play with your cars").

* Take Turns- Ask questions and give children time to think and respond. Try to not anticipate what they are going to say and say it for them. Give them wait time. 

Home language activities

Language home practice

Early language activities

10 ways to build vocabulary

Core vocabulary

Regular and irregular past tense verbs

is vs are game

Additional language activities

Language carryover

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What is stuttering?

A fluency disorder, which is often referred to as “stuttering”, is characterized by primary (core) and secondary behaviors. Primary behaviors may include repetitions of sounds, syllables, or whole words; prolongations of single sounds; or blocks of airflow. Secondary behaviors develop over time as learned reactions to the core behaviors and are categorized as avoidance behaviors. They may include hesitations, interjections of sounds, syllables, or words; word revisions or complete changes in words; or motor movements associated with stuttering (such as eye blinking, loss of eye contact, and extraneous movements, to name a few). Stuttering is often confused with a period of “normal disfluency”, which typically emerges when children are learning to combine words and speak in short sentences (~ 18 months of age) and can continue into their early school years when they learn to read (~ 7 years of age).

Fluency disorders info

Is my child's disfluency stuttering?

Parent information

Stuttering 101


FRIENDS - The National Foundation of Young People Who Stutter

National Stuttering Association

Stuttering Foundation of America

Focus on the big picture - A video for parents

FAQ about stuttering for kids

Fluency strategies:

Stuttering tips

Strategies for improved fluency , Stuttering strategies

Fluency home practice

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Social Communication

What is a social communication disorder?

Social (pragmatic) communication disorder refers to marked challenges with both nonverbal and verbal communication skills used in social settings.

Social communication disorder info

Social communication disorder: Information & treatment

At-home activities:

How parents can help

Home practice

Topic maintenance

Social skills game 1 , Social skills game 2 , Inferencing/drawing conclusions game

Social narrative descriptions

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What is an IEP?

IEP stands for Individualized Education Program (Plan). It’s a map that lays out the program of special education instruction, supports, and services children need to make progress and thrive in school. IEPs are covered by special education law, or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). They’re created for eligible students who attend public schools and charter schools. There are many benefits to getting an IEP. The process begins with an evaluation that shows a student’s strengths and challenges. If the student qualifies for services, the family and school use the results to create a program of services and supports tailored to meet the student’s needs. 

What can I expect at my child's IEP meeting?