Tag Archives: communication disorder

Teaching Communication Skills To 3-5 Year Olds

29 Oct

I receive emails on a daily basis from worried parents of toddlers or young children.

Many of these emails stress the same concern… My child still isn’t speaking or is speaking little for their age compared to that of their peers.

For others its their child’s lack of understanding of language or how to use it that’s the concern.

Little man was a very early and advanced speaker, only he failed to use certain words in the correct contents, had poor social interaction and would normally dominate conversation. His listening and communication skills are improving all the time now that he has weekly speech and language therapy (SALT) at school. This just proves its never to late to start a programme though the earlier we are taught the skills we need the better, especially in those with autism or any other communication disorder.

Its natural for us parents to worry if our toddler isn’t using communication at the rate we expect especially if we have their siblings to compare them too. But despite the worry its important to note that its not always due to a medical or developmental problem… Some children just develop that bit slower than others, where some just require a bit of help along the way.

Whatever the reason I believe it is important for all parents to encourage communication from an early age… If you feel that development is slow progressing or even too advanced, early intervention is the key.

Those with experience will know just how long waiting lists are for Paediatricians or Speech Therapist… But there are things we can do as parents at home.

I was extremely impressed to hear about a new developmental tool called “chatting with children” I haven’t really seen anything of this kind before and feel its something that could make a whole lot of difference to parents everywhere.

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Chatting With Children is an activities pack designed to build the language development in children aged 3-5. Even better its been developed by Kate Freeman a qualified Speech and Language Therapist.

The pack from I Can (the children’s communication charity) is the third in its series following Babbling Babies and Toddler Talk (also created by Kate Freeman).

Chatting with Children is a stunning pack of 30 fun and interactive activity cards aimed at helping parents and practitioners develop young children’s communication skills. The pack also comes with a well written top tips activity guide that has been designed to help its user get the most from it.

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Inside this kit that resembles a hard back book, you will find 30 beautifully illustrated cards that make up a number of activities designed to encourage the language and communication of children aged 3-5 years. Each task is simple yet provides effective ways of enhancing speaking, listening and understanding skills. The kit has been Designed in association with Studio Conran and illustrator Owen Davey, who has designed each beautiful activity card to feature an activity designed to develop a different aspect of communication.

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What I like most about this pack is that this is a tool recommended to professionals such as therapist & practitioners yet its simple enough for a parent to use at home meaning we have the tools of the professionals at hand to work with at home whenever we want to.

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The fact that the pack has been created by Kate Freeman A Speech and Language Therapist who holds over 15 years experience, gives me even more confidence when using the pack and applying each individual activity.

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Each activity is so simplistic and easy to follow that there is not really any excuses for not being able to try it on a daily/weekly basis. Its not time consuming whatsoever as there is always little if no set up involved.

Toddler Talk and Chatting with Children are each available in paperback for £7.99 or hardback for £12.99 and its available over at the I Can website

In my opinion this is beyond reasonable, I expected it to cost a considerable amount more considering the market its targeted at. I normally find most tools designed with the aim of encouraging a child’s develop within any area, to be over priced and beyond most families reach. So I’m seriously impressed with what I Can are providing here for little money!

What’s more every last penny of the proceeds are put back into the registered Charity “I Can” so they can continue to provide help and resources to parents like you and I.

Any parent with a question or concern about their child’s communication can contact the I CAN Help Enquiry Service for a call or email from a speech and language therapist – visit www.ican.org.uk/help

Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. I was sent a sample of Chatting with Children in order to share my honest opinion… I have decided that this will now be donated to a local Speech And Language Therapist in our area.

Never give up on the fight! The future seems bright.

25 Feb

OMG did anyone read my latest post to little to late? Well things have moved a long a little more! To be honest I’m still in shock, I’m happy, relived and also a little worried and skeptical!

Reasons for all the above is this evening at 5.30 pm I received a call from little mans deputy head. She rang to inform me that little man would be spending time out of class tomorrow. He was on a red card as he had been rude to staff using swear words, then running around the school like a headless chicken. I once again expressed my deep and worrying concerns for little man future. I know that it’s not all down to his condition but most of it is. I’m concerned that taking him out of his classroom again will make him worse as his breaking his routine. Yes he needs to understand consequences for his actions but I still feel that it’s unfair his punished as he is in need of extra help and support and is not receiving it. For these reasons alone I see it unfair! Just then she tells me that from her point of view little man would benefit from a statement as she thinks he is struggling to cope in mainstream school. Hang the hell on let me pick up my jaw from the floor! A STATEMENT!! This is what I have wanted for two long years this is what I spend all my free time fighting for! Why have I been told for so long it’s not an option. I’m told that now she has seen his formal diagnosis she can now offer more support. She said that they are not able to cope with a child with little mans level of needs. He requires one on one but their staff are not trained to deal with his condition. She goes on to say that he would benefit from a special school and secondary school would be a challenge for him. Basically she was saying all the things I had said before over and over again.

I know that the school have done nothing but supple  me with stress. I have had no support and have battled with them over anything and everything. Yes They have really messed up by saying they never received his formal diagnosis when the evidence  that they did is so strong it makes  them look silly. Looking at all these factors I see that maybe they are worried that the Court will see my side and realise  that yes they have failed a child with ASD. Maybe that’s why we have this sudden big turn around but at the same time does it matter what motive is behind it. If  the end result would mean  little man gets the long-awaited support he so needs ?  A statement = A new school which means his needs will be meet by professionals qualified  in dealing with children with social communication disorders. Yes the treatment we have received is worse than poor but I’m starting to get used to this treatment. I found that once Someone listens and takes note they suddenly leave and I’m back to Where I started. The Deputy said that she will tell the school SENCO that she supports my choice in getting an assessments for a statement of needs and from this day on they must offer better support to little man. All of this I will request in writing as who knows what will happen if she decides to leave and I’m not prepared to go though it again.

It was only a few short days ago I took a copy of his formal diagnosis into the school office to be copied. If I hadn’t of done so the deputy assures me that yes he would have been excluded today. It makes me so angry that his diagnosis has only just began to offer a positive effect on decisions made about his welfare within the school. His had the condition confirmed well over a year It should never of gotten this far. What a bloody mess it all become.

We spoke for what seemed like ages. She tells me that the promise of extra help and the long-awaited backing for a statement will not be broken. She is a newish deputy head and this has to be the first time I have really dealt with her and I’m really hoping she is one in a million and keeps to her word and doesn’t let the system fail my little man again. I’m assured by her that the parent will get the biggest imput when applying for a statement. I’m told all the basic information and know its a long road and a hard one but once I have reached the end it will be a great and satisfying achievement. I’m advised to get support from our local GP and DR at kaledoscope where  he was diagnosed all this plus the support of the school will better his chances in gaining a statement. For the first time in ages I feel that things are looking brighter and little mans further in education could be a much happier one 🙂 It’s a feeling I don’t recognized as the situation has never reached this point and at times it did seem pointless. I told the deputy that I felt the school made me out to be a bad parent and all I ever wanted was what she was offering me now SUPPORT. Wow it cost nothing it’s free nothing flashy or over the top who would think that something that seemed so little and silly would mean so so much to me. Support was all I wanted and I wouldn’t ask for anything else in the world right now. We speak about Alice and how it’s all affecting her. The deputy says she finds Alice a very pleasant child who has perfect manners and has grade A behaviour with this she knows that my parenting skills are not an issue when it comes to Giovanni. Wow she must not have read the statements from the educational welfare officer. She made it seem that it was all down to my parenting skills, she made it seem as if I was lazy and didn’t care about his education I was chosing not to take him to school. Then It went on and on about his great behaviour when at school and the fact he displayed no signs of ASD when he was there. Ok she looks pretty silly now with everything that has been going on lately. Well this child with no problems has been excluded a number of times and his deputy head thinks mainstream school is not the right place for him. Yes shes phoned me and told me that she has only just become aware that his experiencing problems and that the school are not coping. I’m guessing she will be doing her best to think up excuses for her statement looking a little less than perfect. Oh well she has a few weeks to come up with something.

Well I just had to share this break through with you all. I’m praying that the end of this chapter is nearing and life for little man is on the up. God knows it’s about time.

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