Introducing Chatterbox Champions!

I haven't written for a long long time but when I got my 1k like on Facebook today, I thought it was about time I dusted off the keyboard. Luckily for me, someone else has written my next blog...over to Elaine...

An index of my blogs so far

I've realised there is no search button on my blog page, so here's a list of all my blogs so far; I thought you might find it useful!

How to say /k/

There are a lot of children I'm working with at the moment who are calling me "Tafrin" must sort that out!

Three tips to help the child who stammers

Given that stammering generally emerges in early childhood, it is likely that you will come across a child who starts to stammer in the EYFS.

Some more social media posters to share

This time on really early language, including talking to your baby and your bump! COmmunication starts from before birth!

Some free parent information posters for sharing

If you have a social media page or like to put up posters on your parent information board, here are some from me totally free! This week is all about behaviour - parent and child!

I wrote a blog for Alistair Bryce-Clegg!

I was wondering if my blogs posts had been a bit scant recently; then I realised I have been writing, just not for myself!

How to create an individual communication profile in your nursery

So, we know that language development is important. But how do we identify the children who need a targeted intervention? I give you my top tips and best-loved programmes.

What is Glue Ear?

Glue ear. It's not a Prittstick in the lughole. If you have children with permanent train tracks of snot coming out of their nose, even in the summer, maybe they have Glue Ear.

Child-led learning and speech and language intervention - an oxymoron?

When it comes to speech and language support in nursery, is it really possible to be child-led? I say yes!! And 2018's theme will be all about this!

My 2 year old isn't speaking yet - can an ipad help?

I received a message from a parent today and it was such a commonly asked question, that I thought I'd turn it into a blog post, so you can share it with parents who come to you with the same question!

How to Talk so that Children will Listen

If it feels like you're always talking but none of the children are listening, then this blog is for you! We discuss 8 strategies that improve listening - which ones do you already use?

10 games to encourage language development in older children

I usually focus on wee ones in pre-school, but I was asked recently a couple of times for ideas for older children - here's my top 10!

7 engaging ways to develop language skills using u-nu construction

I recently saw this at Childcare expo and was blown away by its simplicity and ability to engage children no matter regardless of their age, gender or attention levels. I immediately knew I would need to add it to my therapy resources and so this blog is what I've learned this week using it in speech and language therapy sessions.

Think Dyslexia can't be detected in pre-school? Think again!

It's Dyslexia Awareness Week next week (2-8th October 2017) in the UK and so this week's blog is all about the link between Developmental Language Disorders and Dyslexia

Snack Time - chaos or kiosk?

Does your snack-time encourage these 8 pay-offs? Do you embrace daily snack as a learning opportunity or is it something to be endured and gotten over with as quickly as possible? Is snack in your early years setting a relaxed, open event or timetabled and rushed? The next blog in my series of developing vocabulary focuses on snack time.

Let's focus on vocabulary - when reading a story

This is the third blog in my series of focusing on vocabulary. When you look at a book with a child, you don't need to actually read the story.

Have you missed any of these Top Ten Early Language Books?

It's #LiteracyDay so I thought I'd post my top ten favourite books for early language development. All of them were firm favourites in our house. What are your favourite books?

Not school ready? Speech Therapists have been warning you for years.

I'm a speech and language therapist and what head teachers are saying about children not being ready for school is true. Speech, language and communication skills are on a downward spiral and this is why.

5 Reasons you Should Attend Childcare Expo

And it's not just because I am presenting there...though maybe that should read 6 reasons!!!

Let's focus on Vocabulary - During Outdoor play

If there’s one thing that gets my goat on a regular basis, it’s seeing all the kids playing outside and all the adults standing together in a huddle chatting. Because, guaranteed, the only interaction that will occur between adult and child will be to yell across the playground “Carl, stop that, Macy doesn’t like you hitting her”

Let's focus on Vocabulary

The “Let’s focus on Vocabulary” series of blogs has come about in response to me recently screening a whole nursery and identifying that 50% of the children had vocabulary below what was expected for their age. On top of that, most of the children hadn’t been identified as having any ‘language difficulties.’

7 Effective Steps for transforming 2 year olds’ behaviour from “terrible” to “terrific”

Whether you’re a parent of a two-year-old or have a whole roomful of two-year-olds in your early years setting, you’ll know that their behaviour can be challenging! However, I get really upset when people call it the ‘Terrible Twos’ because they’re not really being terrible, they are just learning about boundaries....

How to help toddlers you suspect may have Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia

Following my blog post on spotting Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia early, here's a follow-up post on how to help children with Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia. I've done a literature search for exercises to help DVD so that you don't have to! So If you want to know how you can help a child with Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia, continue reading!

When you wonder why you bother at all...

Do you ever get months like this; where you experience a lack of confidence, imposter syndrome and worry about criticism? I'll be glad when June is over, but at the same time, it was recommended that I reflected on how much I've achieved these past 6 months. It's made me feel a wee bit better.

Reduce Stress: My free gift to you!

As the end of term approaches, the stress levels tend to rise. My free relaxation recording and five top tips will help to reduce your stress levels and look after yourself so you don't experience "first day of the holidays-itis"

The one thing you should do to improve children's language skills

So, we all want to improve children's language skills. But before we look at them, we need to look at our own interaction skills to make sure we are maximising their communicative potential. Adult-child interaction is important to ensure that every interaction supports a child's language development.

Is your child's speech ready for school?

This last half term will speed by, but it's not too late to squeeze in a targeted 6-week programme to encourage the sounds they don't have yet.

The one attainment trick you are missing

Attainment. It's the buzz word in Scotland at the moment and I'm sure the rest of the UK too. Extra funds have been awarded to schools to 'close the attainment gap' in these three areas: literacy, numeracy and health/well-being. But you can forget all three areas if you have missed the most important skill of all. Spoken Vocabulary.

Can you spot Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia Early?

Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (DVD) known as Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) in the USA is a neurological condition which is often misunderstood or not identified early enough. Yet it can be confusing to know when you should refer a child with speech sound difficulties to Speech and Language Therapy, because they should grow out of it, right?

Are you the Fun Prevention Officer? Using laughter to promote language development

It's World Laughter Day today (First Sunday of May) and it reminded me of one of the ten top tips by ICAN the communication charity, namely "have fun."

Everything you've been told about correcting speech is wrong!

All the advice says don't correct a child's speech; just model the correct sounds, but sometimes, that's not enough. There's so much conflicting advice out there - here's my take!

My Experiences at Childcare Expo in London 2017

I've written another article for childcare expo.

Cued Articulation to help speech sound development

Cued articulation is a visual support for the complete sound system. It is a series of signs to give a child more information about how to say their target sound, rather than them just looking at your mouth or hearing the sound.

Why Using Visual Supports Reduce Anxiety

Children can feel anxious if they don't know what's happening. And if a child doesn't understand (for whatever reason) they can be quite stressed a lot of the time. This week, I introduce 3 ways to use visual supports and problem solve for when people say "I tried visual supports and they didn't work"

8 words to transform a child's self belief

How to improve a child's confidence and self-belief by the way we talk to them. What we tell a child becomes their inner voice, so this week's blog gives you a simple technique to use with children to change a negative thought to a positive one.

Extending Words to Two Word Phrases

Children copy what they hear you say all the time. So, if you use long sentences, they will try to do the same, often resulting in a long string of gobbledygook (or jargon!)

British Sign Language - tell me more!

It's Sign Awareness Week this week which coincided with my family starting BSL classes. I asked Fiona Stewart, our facilitator, to write a blog to give us information about this beautiful language, with top tips for how to speak to someone who is Deaf.

Do you ask too many questions?!

Do see what I did there? We ask questions all the time without realising it, but it's not always the best strategy for encouraging conversation....

Supporting your fussy eater to enjoy that dinner you've spent hours preparing

It's European Swallowing Awareness Day today (6th March) and so SLT Deborah Little who specialises in assessing children who have difficulty eating has shared some top tips for getting your little one to try new foods!

Supporting Language To Make Friends

I've been writing for childcare expo again, this time on the subject of how to support language development to form friendships

Improving Children's Vocabulary with the help of Trump

What's language development got to do with the Presidential Inauguration, I hear you ask! I leave it To Trump to demonstrate his ever-expanding vocabulary skills in my guest blog for Childcare Expo

Language Disordered Children Doomed to be Criminals

A bit negative hey, but I've written a post for Childcare Expo all about the latest research

Language: Supporting word finding in children

I get it myself, but I put it down to my age. That tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon where you know the word you want to use, but you just can't find it from your 'memory bank' at the time you need it.

Wise Old Owl's Hopes for 2017

New Year is always a time for reflection and resolutions. Here's mine.

Teachers: Looking after your voice this winter

Tips to help teachers protect their voice this winter

Ditching the dummy over Christmas: The Dummy Christmas Tree

When I'm asked how to encourage children to give up their dummies, I often advocate the giving it to Santa/Easter Bunny/Dummy Fairy *delete as appropriate. In fact, I've even been known to dress up as the dummy fairy a long time ago - I must have been the most-hated person in Jersey that night!

10 top Christmas present ideas to help language development for under a tenner

Stuck for Christmas presents? I’ve come up with a list of toys that are great to encourage language if your child is between 2 and 5 years old.

Supporting Language Using Lego

Lego is a great way of supporting language development

making language and communication everybody's business

Reflections from my attendance at an early intervention conference....

Speech: How to say "L"

It's quite common for children to have difficulty with "L" but it's quite an easy fix...

Top Ten ideas for World Nursery Rhyme Week

OK, OK, I'm not going to win prizes any time soon, but I love rhymes and have even been know to have written a rhyming book about a haggis called Mac (make mental note, do something about it!!)

Tips to Support Children who Struggle To Understand Instructions in the Classroom

I wrote this blog for TES

Who am I and how will this blog work?!

A little introduction to the person behind Wise Old Owl SLT

Should I refer my child for Speech and Language Therapy?

If you're wondering whether to refer your child to speech and language therapy, this article will help you make a decision...

Speech Sound Development

What sounds should may child be able to say and when?

Articulation versus Phonological Difficulties

It's useful to know the difference between articulation and phonological difficulties so you know how to help.

Language for Reading and Reading for Language

How to get your children 'into' reading

Make Someone Smile Day Language Ideas for Autumn

Some lovely ideas for encouraging conversation whilst out and about in Autumn

How To Boost Your Baby's Talk

I was guest blogger for Shellie at the Mummy School. You can read my contribution on her website.....

#howtosay 6 Week Challenge

Join my challenge to help your child speak more clearly!

Blast off!

Welcome to Wise Old Owl SLT!