Simple Tips for Supporting Communication
• Talk to your child, even when they are a baby: before your baby begins to talk he/she is listening to you and learning many of the skills needed for strong communication.
• Minimise background noise: turn off your TV and radio so your child can hear what you are saying.
• Simplify your sentences: use shorter sentences, emphasise keywords, use gestures and leave pauses for your child to contribute.
• Follow your child’s attention and join in with their play and activities: talk about what he/she is looking at for short periods on a daily basis.
• Use everyday activities for language learning: e.g. putting away the shopping, sorting the laundry, etc…
• Establish a daily routine at joint picture-book reading: talk about the pictures, rather than simply asking ‘where’s the …?’ or ‘what’s that?’ questions; you may not even read the words – talking and thinking about the pictures together is more important for language development at an early age.
• Put away your smart phones and tablets: your child needs your undivided attention to learn to communicate well, and many activities on devices do not encourage two way communication.
Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations
Developed by Carol Gray, Social Stories are a simple tool used to help children and adults understand situations from perspective other than their own.
The use of the stories aims to modify and reduce negative behaviours while creating more understanding of how to react more appropriately in situations they find difficult.
Carol Gray also developed Comic Strip Conversations. These are used to help people learn about different social situations and how different people involved in an interaction may have been feeling during the interaction.
We recommend visiting the National Autistic Society website for more detailed information on Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations including how to plan, write and implement them effectively.
Ages and Stages
If you’re concerned your child may not be making the progress with their Speech and Language Development they should be, or if you’re just interested in seeing if they are making the expected progress, please have a look at the following website for a link to expected Ages and Stages information:
Remember, these are just a guide and many children do develop at different rates.
Contact us on the contact link at the bottom of this page if you’re concerned and would like to talk to us.
Stuttering, also commonly known as stammering, is a speech fluency disorder. The flow of speech is broken by repetitions (sounds, part words, words and even sentences), prolongations of sounds or blocked airflow. Sometimes a person also has unusual facial or body movements associated with their stutters.
Stuttering usually develops in younger pre-school aged children. In some cases it develops in older children and even in adolescents.
Many people will ‘naturally recover’ from their stutters within 6 months of the stutters first appearing. Natural recovery becomes less likely after 6 months post onset of stuttering. If yours or your child’s stutter has lasted for greater than 6 months we strongly suggest you seek advice from a suitably qualified Speech and Language Therapist.
For under 6’s The Lidcombe Programme is considered the ‘gold standard’ treatment.
The Lidcombe programme may also be effective to some degree in older aged children.
For adults, some form of speech modification techniques alongside counselling is typically suggested.
We offer both the Lidcombe Programme for younger children who stutter and the Camperdown Programme for Adults and Adolescents.
There are many useful websites where you can gather information and find out about support for Speech, Language and Communication Needs. We’ve listed a few here:
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists – www.rcslt.org
The Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice – www.helpwithtalking.com
Afasic – www.afasic.org.uk
ICAN – the Children’s Communication Charity – www.ican.org
The Communication Trust – www.communicationtrust.org.uk
A charity that finds help and adventure for disabled children – www.skybadger.co.uk
The Autism Directory – www.autismdirectorycharity.com
The National Autism Society – www.autism.org.uk
The British Stammering Association – www.stammering.org
The Dyspraxia Foundation – www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk