Updated: May 12, 2021
My new parent resource, First Words: Book One, was released earlier this week. The ebook lists 165 activities to do with your child from infancy to using first words.
The ebook is a companion to The Interaction Coach podcast seasons one through four. There are so many episodes that it can be a challenge to find a specific topic or activity in your podcast app.
You can download the ebook onto your phone, tablet or computer. Use it as a handy reference to scan the list of activities for something you want to hear. Click the episode number, which links directly to that episode. An internet connection is required to use the link.
The Interaction Coach podcast has over 30 episodes for each level of communication development. You can identify your child’s current level with an included checklist.
Choose an item from the list to listen to my description of the activity and how to adapt it to your home life. You’ll also get some background information on communication development. I also sprinkle in some opinions based on my 40+ years as a speech-language pathologist.
Each podcast season describes skills that are expected to develop at Levels 1–4 of communication development, from no words to early word use.
First Words: Book Two is in the works. It covers communication development from first words to two-word sentences.
HOW TO USE THE PODCAST
In each podcast episode, I describe an activity you can integrate into your daily routines with your child. There are over 30 activities for each domain at each Level of development. Choose the activities that make sense for your home life. Practice the strategy I describe for two or three days. Keep that activity in your routines, then listen to another episode for a new activity to add. Don’t try to add more than one activity per day. It’s better to develop a few strong habits than to try a lot and forget them.
Expect your child to take a minimum of three months to develop through a Level. A big benefit of using the podcast is that instead of feeling helpless and asking, "When is he going to talk?," you now see all the small building blocks that go into that final goal. You get to celebrate achievements all along the way!
When you start a new Level (a new podcast season), listen to all the episodes in that season. This will give you an overview of where you are headed. The background information helps you understand what to emphasize and how to support your child’s learning during any activity.
Now go back to the beginning of the season and listen to one episode at a time. Practice the activity and integrate it into a daily routine before you try out a new activity.
You can download this list of targets and activities for each Level. Use these as a checklist to note what activities you practice and to check off skills your child can perform.
Let me know what you think of the book format and the podcast at email@example.com.