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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
And it's not just because I am presenting there...though maybe that should read 6 reasons!!!
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”
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.’
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....
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!
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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?
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."
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!
I've written another article for childcare expo.
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.
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"
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.
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!)
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 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....
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!
I've been writing for childcare expo again, this time on the subject of how to support language development to form friendships
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
A bit negative hey, but I've written a post for Childcare Expo all about the latest research
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.
New Year is always a time for reflection and resolutions. Here's mine.
Tips to help teachers protect their voice this winter
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!
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.
Reflections from my attendance at an early intervention conference....
It's quite common for children to have difficulty with "L" but it's quite an easy fix...
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!!)
I wrote this blog for TES
A little introduction to the person behind Wise Old Owl SLT
If you're wondering whether to refer your child to speech and language therapy, this article will help you make a decision...
It's useful to know the difference between articulation and phonological difficulties so you know how to help.
Some lovely ideas for encouraging conversation whilst out and about in Autumn
I was guest blogger for Shellie at the Mummy School. You can read my contribution on her website.....