Well, I hope that your holiday time has been good to you and good for you. New Year is always a time for reflection and resolutions. This time last year was the time I got my act together and actually put my ideas into actions. I was really helped by the Business Bakery's 100 day goals project (if you have an ideas that you would like to see come to fruition, I highly recommend this wonderful group on facebook.) It helped my to stop talking about my ideas and actually putting them into practise. I still have a long way to go but I've come a long way this year!
I love to reflect at this time of year, so here are my hopes for 2017 from a Wise Old Owl speech and language therapist's perspective - my personal hopes are, well, personal!
Hope #1. For the NHS to remain public. I don't want to get all political and there's plenty about the NHS that needs improving (yes, from time to time I rant to my family, friends and colleagues about what needs to happen) but there is a lot that is good about it.
Hope #2. More funding for early intervention and prevention. This article in The Times has the headlines "Three-year-olds can be identified as criminals of the future"
Can we focus on what it is really saying, i.e. that we can identify children who will struggle to engage at school due to reduced language levels and that these children are at increased risk of becoming young offenders. And support them. All of us support them. I discussed a pupil with his teacher this year and outlined his significant language disorder. And her reply was "his language problems are the least of his worries coming from a family like his." As if, she didn't see the point of supporting his language needs because he was destined to become a criminal of the future. And before we blame the parents here, can we also remember that children with language difficulties/deprivation become parents and so the cycle continues.
Blimey, I got a bit gloomy then, let's move on!
Hope #3. That I get to connect with many new people who are equally passionate about supporting and identifying speech and language difficulties in young children. I will be attending the Childcare Expo in London on 3/4th March to promote my speech assessment apps and to deliver a seminar on the top ten tips for supporting language development in all children. I hope to catch many of you there!