Author - Anna Rooney

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Anna Rooney, MHS, SLP-CCC/L, is a licensed speech language pathologist who provides speech language therapy throughout Chicago, in your child's home, daycare, or school. Anna provides therapy to children of all ages who have a variety of communication needs. She travels throughout the north side of Chicago, from downtown to Devon. Her website is Her mission is to provide quality, family-centered speech language therapy in the child's natural environment. Anna is dedicated to helping children become effective, confident communicators. Anna is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO of Illinois.


The most surprising lesson I learned from toddlers was the importance of listening. When I first started working in early intervention speech therapy, I thought that I needed to constantly bombard the child with language. In graduate school, we learned that toddlers needed a lot of language models. We needed to use self-talk (talking about what we were doing) and parallel talk (talking about what the child was doing). During speech therapy sessions, I talked and talked and talked. But, I d...

Posted on April 09, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Anna Rooney

Encouraging Early Literacy Skills with Your Preschooler

Around the age of three, many children start showing “meta-linguistic awareness”; this means that they start noticing the structure of language.  They may demonstrate this awareness by making up silly words or laughing at the sounds of words.   Some children might even notice rhyming words.  Meta-linguistic awareness is essential to literacy development.  It includes sound awareness (phonological awareness) and print awareness.   We can encourage meta-linguistic awareness when we talk to o...

Posted on May 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Anna Rooney

Keep Your Little One Busy As a Bee With a "Busy Box"

What is a busy box? It is a box of 4 fun activities that can be re-used. The busy box contains 4 zip-lock activity bags. Each activity bag is filled with real-life objects that encourage fine-motor and sensory exploration. Many objects like cotton balls, spoons, cups, pasta, and sponges can be found around the house. The busy-box activities can encourage fun, purposeful exploration. It is influenced by the activities that I have seen in Montessori classrooms.

Who can use the busy box? ...

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Anna Rooney

Helping your late talker to communicate

Many parents ask me why their child is a late talker. Speech-language delays are common because oral communication is a complex process. There are many neurological processes that must occur to say just one word! A child has to get his parent's attention, know the word, find the right word in her brain, send the word from his brain to his mouth and coordinate movements of her mouth to form the word.  Sometimes, the reasons for these difficulties are obvious. Other times, it is unclear why...

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Anna Rooney