I just thought I'd introduce myself and let you know how I think this blog will work! My name is Catherine Jackson and I've been a speech and language therapist for over 20 years now - hence the 'wise old owl' title! More importantly though, I am a mum of children who are now teenagers - so a little older than in the photo!
I say more importantly, because as a parent, I get it. I understand the frustration when your child communicates with behaviour rather than words. I understand the worry of your child not talking and wondering if they ever will - my son didn't start to talk until well after his 2nd birthday. In the words of my health visitor at the time "If you weren't a speech and language therapist, I'd refer you to a speech and language therapist."
Now you might think that that makes me not a very good speech and language therapist if my own child didn't start talking early. But all it really shows is that there's a wide variety of what is considered typical development and for some parents (probably the ones reading this blog!) I want you to know, it's not your fault! Some children (in fact research tells us 5-7%) have difficulty with speech, language and communication development no matter how interactive and nurturing you are as a parent. But I'm here to help.
So, this blog is primarily for parents and early years practitioners (EYPs) who have children needing a little support with their speech and language development. I work for the NHS, so I know the reality of how long it takes to see a speech and language therapist. Many parents and EYPs are now turning to the internet to work out how to help their children whilst they wait for therapy or to make a decision as to whether referral is appropriate in the first place. I do the same before I turn to any professional - I do my research so that I can be informed.
From now on, the titles of my blogs will help you to navigate yourselves to the help you need. I'll make it really clear, by starting the title with words like these:
Speech How To:
Early Language Tips:
Or if I'm just rambling, I'll start it with Opinion:
And I'd really like this to be interactive, so if you would like to ask any questions, go ahead and comment below and I'll make sure my next blog answers it!
I look forward to working with you!
Wise Old Owl SLT