Giving Voice – speech and language therapy

So I’m the mum of Patrick. By the age of two I realised that there was actually quite a problem that we needed to address. Because he wasn’t talking it’s a very basic thing of not being able to communicate his needs. It’s caused a lot of frustration for him, a lot of anger from him. It made things very difficult in the house for us. I struggled with how to deal with it until I had help from speech and language therapy. Speech and language therapists can work to support children with speech, language and communication needs in a range of different ways. Sometimes we work with children in one-to-one sessions, we work in groups, we try to make them as fun and as exciting and motivating for that child. So we use play a lot in our therapy sessions because play is children’s work. Children learn a lot through play where they are exploring, and it’s a great opportunity to give them language to support their communication skills. We often start with the introduction of one activity followed by a different activity which is working on the same target word, so a different game. And then we may finish it with a story or a song just to enclose everything that we’ve been doing. Parents are invited, parents are given information about their child’s level and then we work with them to help write our targets and goals. And follow with maybe an activity which we then talk about how the parent can do that throughout the week with the child. Making sure that the parent or the adult that’s working with the child knows what they’re going to continue doing after our session is finished. Well they enjoy the sessions in school so much because they’re really fun and they’re really hands on. The children can get involved, it’s quite exciting for them to come out of class and get that one-to-one attention. And, we can see the improvements over time. We can see their speech developing. Speech and language therapy has enabled my children to reach goals that I never thought that they would reach. I can see the progress, I can see it because I get reports so we can see the difference. They’re the angels sent to me from heaven. Ever since starting the sessions I’ve seen a week on week improvement in Patrick. He’s rapidly improved his speech. The skills that it gave to me as a parent have been invaluable. It’s really important that people come to their speech and language appointments because in the sessions we’re showing them activities that they can carry out to support that child’s communication skills. This means that we’re able to make a lot of change by working really closely with parents, carers, nurseries and schools because communication is everybody’s business and happens all day, every day.

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