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Summer Break Offers New Opportunities for Hands-On Learning, Offline Time for Children

a picture of ashleigh boyd

With a Difficult School Year in the Rear-View Mirror, Mid-Missouri Expert Offers Families Tips for Skill-Building at Home This Better Hearing & Speech Month

After a challenging year of virtual, hybrid, and modified in-person learning, Ashleigh Boyd, a speech-language pathologist at the MU Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, is offering advice and encouragement to families on low-stress ways they can support their children’s language, literacy, and learning skills at home this summer. Her message is a timely one, as May is celebrated nationally as Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM).

“Many parents have been understandably concerned about their child’s academic progress this school year, given all of the changes necessitated by the pandemic,” Boyd said. “This may be especially so for families whose children receive support services in schools, such as speech and language therapy. These services may have looked a little different this year than they typically do, and they may to some degree next year as well. I want to encourage families to use the summer season as a much-needed reset—and to rest assured that there are many ways you can support your child’s learning at home, without workbooks, learning apps, and other programs and purchases that add to the family’s stress level.”

Boyd is providing advice on what most children—especially those with speech, language and social communication disorders—need more of this summer. She notes that so-called “down time” is can be time well spent when it comes to building communication and learning skills. This is true for children of all ages.

Activities Children Need More of This Summer

Boyd encourages families to prioritize these activities:

Boyd is also providing some recommendations for activities to take a break from, including these:

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