For some parents talking can be something they worry a lot about. When your child doesn’t start talking at the same time as the other children around them, or is getting frustrated because they can’t get their message across to you, all we want to do as parents is wave a magic wand and fix it. We want to give them everything. I have a wonderful friend who always says ‘if you are worrying about it you are most likely already doing some really good stuff’ and I believe this completely. Often when I go and meet families for the first time they can tell me some great things they are already doing. So why read this blog then? Well, let me get to that bit…
If the above sounds like you, the first thing I would do is have a look on the i-can website to see if your child is in fact developing where they should be. Children all develop at different rates and it is known that boys can be a little slower than girls. www.talkingpoint.org.uk
If you are still concerned the next step is to think about all the ways your child CAN communicate. Are they able to:
Use their face to show you how they feel about something?
Take you to or point to what it is they want?
Get your attention when they are hurt/excited/happy/sad.
Copy simple things you do e.g. play hide and seek/copy silly sounds/ change the pitch of their voice to make a song.
These are all perfect examples of how powerful our bodies/ face and sounds can be to help us communicate and should not be overlooked. Communication is more than words.
But those pesky words still aren’t coming.
Don’t worry on your own, get some FREE advice on your child. At MTW we offer a free, no obligation, initial appointment at your own home. This lasts about 45 minutes and there are usually two of us. One will chat to you about your concerns and the other will play with your child. During this play the SLT will be informally assessing your child (but your child would never know! J) We can then have a chat about what the next steps could be. Sometimes we identify that your child has emerging skills and so it is most appropriate to wait and give your child time. Other times we may discuss with you which areas we would want to support your child with in therapy.
We offer 1:1 and group therapy. Our group therapy is 80% cheaper than our 1:1 sessions!! (Please note; only one group is run per half term, places are limited to only 6 children per group, and classes are run by two therapists)
We are about to start our next under 5’s early language groups at the Willow Centre in Cringleford. These will be 1:15 to 2:15 starting on the 7thFebruary.
The first 30 minutes of the hour therapy session is a really fun interactive story. We have previously told well known stories like ‘Stick Man’ or ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’. This allows us to weave in support and opportunities for all of the different main areas that Speech and Language Therapists support children with; attention, play, understanding of language, expressive language and speech sounds.
We then split into smaller groups to work on particular areas your child may need.
As with all good play dates we end the session with a drink and snack. This time is invaluable as it gives us the opportunity to answer your questions and suggest things you could be doing at home to support the work your child has done in the group.
If you would like to know more about what we can offer, book a space on our upcoming group, or book your free initial consultation please contact us via our WEBSITEor via Facebook.
For now though, here are some ideas of things you can try at home.
Imagine your child has a speech-bubble over their head and fill it for them yourself as they play. “Oooh a ball, what a bouncy ball, boing! Boing! Boing! My ball is under the sofa!
If you try the above technique you will be repeating the simple noun word ‘ball’ a lot to give your child lots of opportunities to learn it J
Sign with your child.
There is still a concern with some families that signing prevents talking. This is simply not true. All of the evidence suggests that signing is a very good way to support your child to use words. Always say the word at the same time that you sign it.
Make silly sounds with everyday objects and encourage your child to copy you.
Before a child can learn to copy words they need to be able to understand how to copy. You could do this through gestures or sounds.
Other FREE things we offer families are:
FREE drop ins for schools/their staff and families
FREE advice via go live sessions
FREE newsletters for schools
FREE advice on our facebook page
Sarah (right) is a co owner of MTW speech and language therapy. She joined forces with business partner Caroline in 2015. They both have young families and watching their children’s communication develop has only made them more passionate and enthusiastic for their jobs. They now have a team of 9 speech and language therapists creating the MTW family.