This blog post written by Liz Watson, M.S., CCC-SLP
To be a truly successful preschool SLP, you often have to channel your inner behavior specialist (not to mention your inner child). Kids who are identified at this young age often have intense needs, making behavior management an integral part of our therapy. Dr. Anne van Kleeck sheds some light on why children with language delays often struggle with executive functioning. In the first of a five-part CEU series, Dr. van Kleeck gets into the nitty gritty of preschool language.
The first, and most important distinction made in this Medbridge* course is between two different registers of oral language. These are referred to as casual talk and academic talk:
As you can see, casual talk refers to basic, everyday language, whereas academic talk refers more to the language of school. What does this have to do with behavior and executive functioning? Executive functions allow children to control their own goal directed behavior, facilitate planning, problem solving, and learn about the mind. These are often language-based skills. And academic language is the mechanism through which children learn to control their behavior. If a child struggles with understanding and using academic language, chances are they will also struggle with basic executive functioning skills as well.
So what can we do as SLPs? How can we work on executive functioning and academic language skills with preschoolers? Check out Dr. van Kleeck’s Medbridge CEU series to find out! The first course introduces the concepts of executive function and academic talk and explains how these skills are the backbone of future academic success.
Interested in other resources on academic talk in preschoolers? Read Dr. Van Kleeck’s award-winning article on the topic, here, or watch a video description of the article, here.
The rest of the series teaches novel approaches to assessment and intervention that specifically target these critical skills with preschoolers. For example, the topic of Part 5 is “Fostering Academic Talk and Executive Functions”.
Don't have a MedBridge membership? No problem: use code informedSLP at checkout for the best current discount!
*Disclosure: Any links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links, meaning The Informed SLP, LLC (TISLP) will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Please note that TISLP has strict rules about what type of content we’re willing to share with you. We only share products or resources that meet our standard of being clinically applicable, clinically useful, and based on the strongest available research evidence. Additionally, which MedBridge courses we choose to review is a decision made independently by the TISLP team member(s) writing the post, and must be: 1) evidence-based, 2) clinically useful, and 3) enjoyable :)