June 18, 2013: the first five years of life
On LinkedIn today on one of my speech therapy groups I read the following statement from Hillary Clinton in America:
"ONE OF THE BEST INVESTMENTS WE CAN MAKE IS TO GIVE OUR CHILDREN THE INGREDIENTS THEY NEED TO DEVELOP IN THE FIRST FIVE YEARS OF LIFE". .......how very true. The Early Years are crucial and hence I am working closely with various Early Years settings (preschools and Nurseries), with staff and with parents to promote communication for ALL.
Did you know?... A baby can hear and recognise voice in the womb, and this helps them to interact with you once they are born
Did you know?... 75% of brain development occurs between birth and the age of 2
Did you know?... Before the age of 5½ is the "golden age" for learning to talk
SO.......I know I am always saying it, but Early intervention and input is best and............IT WORKS!
April 24, 2013: working with parents and Nurseries/preschools
During March and April I have been working closely with staff at Preschools and Nurseries. Language/communication is one of the 3 prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) of the curriculum, as is closer working with parents and families.
At the weekend I was invited to be involved in an Open morning at a local Nursery. This Open morning was for parents of children aged 2 and 3 years old to find out more about the Nursery day and environment, learn more about curriculum activities, and to be able to chat informally with Nursery staff. As a Speech and Language Therapist I provided some information for parents to take away about what to expect in terms of communication at 2, 2.5 and 3 years old, together with some practical ideas to support communication at home. It was a wonderfully sunny day which set the tone for a very relaxed, fun and informative morning for parents, grandparents, children and staff.
It was super to have time to informally discuss children's communication skills with parents. For some parents we were able to celebrate the fact that their child's communication skills are advanced. With other parents I could be a 'sounding board' to discuss expectations for speech pronunciation and language skill, and address questions or concerns.
The feedback from parents at the Nursery this week has been so positive and I very much look forward to further working like this in other Nurseries and preschools with the aim of promoting communication for ALL children and not just for children with identified speech and language difficulties.
Speech and Language Therapy aims to help children become happy and confident communicators. If any parent or practitioner wants to discuss further with me, then please do not hesitate to contact me: please visit the contact page on this website.
March 19, 2013: more about early intervention is key
Any of you that know me either as a client or practitioner, will know that I am passionate about early identification of speech and language difficulties, early intervention, and partnership with parents and other professionals. Yesterday I read an article with the following fact that gives yet more evidence as to why EARLY working with children and families is so important:
- A recent estimate shows that at least 10% of adolescents have language and communication difficulties severe enough to restrict their ability to express themselves verbally.
Speech and Language Therapy is an incredibly rewarding profession: supporting young children and their families with communication skills.. Communication is vital. Learning to talk is the number one life skill for the 21st century. It is the most important yet complicated skill that a child has to master.
March 11, 2013: Early treatment for children's speech is best
The British Stammering Association states that "delaying treatment exposes young children who stammer to the risk of this condition becoming a pervasive, life-long disorder. This can result in potentially debilitating effects on the individual, their health and well-being and their ability to contribute to society. This then leading to long term, costly and complicated health and social care issues." Therapy for young children who stammer is now high priority, with growing evidence supporting early intervention.
There is also evidence that early intervention and therapy is both important AND works for children with other speech and language difficulties. If these difficulties are left untreated, then a child's needs can significantly limit their potential.
As a Private Therapist, I can bridge the ever-widening gap between the increasing number of children with communication problems and the shortfall within the NHS. This can be therapy/advice alongside my NHS colleagues, or providing therapy for children whilst they are on waiting lists for NHS input.
Do contact me if you would like to discuss your child's speech and language difficulties further by
- email:email@example.com or
- phone: 07970 191985 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 07970 191985 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
February 26, 2013: Communication is Key
Speech is something we take for granted, yet over 1 million children in the UK have some kind of speech, language and communication needs. Recent information has been published this year from the Better Communication Research Programme (2009-2012) stressing the importance of early identification of childrens' needs and early intervention.
As a Speech and Language Therapist I can work closely with parents and professionals using evidence-based assessments and therapy to meet the needs of children as early as possible. The recent research suggests that numbers of children with communication needs are increasing and yet support for these children is often slow.
Please do contact me for a free telephone consultation to discuss your child's needs.
January 9, 2013: Confident and happy communicators!
- Yesterday I received this email from the mother of one of my former clients. This little boy is now 5.5 and I finished regular therapy sessions with him in May 2012: “Sometimes I forget my son ever had speech issues! He is doing great thank you. His reading, sounds, spelling and writing are fine and he's even in a higher group than others his age at school. I think we saw you for speech therapy at the right time, so thanks again for your help.” How wonderful to hear!
- Just before Christmas another parent wrote to tell me: “Our daughter was fab in her nativity-some of the parents and teachers commented on how confidently she spoke out both clearly and loudly-she was one of the narrators that you could actually hear!” This little girl was a child I saw for intensive therapy over 3.5 years. She is now nearly 7 years old and I completed therapy with her in July 2012. She also sent me a lovely Christmas card to say ‘thankyou’.
Did you know? As we start a new year, maybe a new beginning with New Year’s Resolutions, let’s think about the beginnings of communication. When does communication start? Did you know that in the first eight months of a baby's life the number of connections made in the brain multiplies dramatically? Interaction (talking, smiling, cuddling) from a trusted adult helps build these connections, developing skills for later in life. No one knows enough as a new parent. As a Speech and Language Therapist I am able to help Early Years settings (Nurseries and preschools) and parents think more about early communication messages, so that parents can feel confident and proud as a conduit for early communication with their child.
December 5, 2012
Fact for the week: Learning to talk is the number one life skill for the 21st century. Surprising research tells us that in some areas of the UK, over half of the children going into school don't have the communication skills they need to learn, make friends and succeed.
Quote of the week: When focussing on good listening and communication skills, I often encourage young children to put on their imaginary 'thinking cap'. One 4 year old girl commented to her father: "I can see your thinking cap" as she pointed to his head and balding hair line!!
My Therapist Journey: What a privilege this week to support a year 13 student with a mock interview as she prepares for University to study Speech and Language Therapy. We discussed her own communication skills, why she wants to be a Therapist and what she would consider as being the most rewarding part of being a Speech and Language Therapist. This student was able to demonstrate an understanding of her own strengths and weaknesses, an understanding of a holistic approach to working with clients, families and other professionals, and a really genuine interest and level of knowledge about speech and language therapy. I am certain she will be 'snapped up' by any of her University choices with such excellent qualities, range of experiences and communication skills.
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