Back in 2014, I started this website to help me build up my private Speech and Language Therapy business. I toyed with the idea of writing a blog, but I held back; I wasn't sure what I had to say that might be interesting to anybody.
Two years on, and I am now juggling life as a Mummy to my 14 month old son (who I'll be referring to here as N!), with my NHS job and the odd bit of private work. We try to get out and about to classes and to meet friends as much as possible, but often it is just the two of us at home - and nobody prepared me for just how boring that can be!
I know - I feel guilty saying it, but it is true. Of course I enjoy spending time with him, but after 11 readings of the Hungry Caterpillar and 21 enthusiastic rounds of applause in appreciation of his shape sorting skills, my eyes inevitably wander to the clock to see when I can get started on dinner, bath and bed!
As N's skills have been developing over recent months, I have found myself racking my brains for activities we can do together that will keep us both entertained, and so far we have a few firm favourites. As a Speechie, it has been fairly natural for me to incorporate language development into any activity we do together, and this has got me thinking.
When children first come to Speech and Language Therapy with delayed language, the first step in many cases is to offer parent-child interaction therapy (PCI). Essentially, we are showing parents how to promote their child's language and communication development at home, by using strategies to build their understanding and use of language in meaningful, every day situations. In many cases, this level of therapy is enough to kick start a child's language development without ever needing to sit across a table to work on language 1:1 with a therapist.
But what if parents used these strategies from the start? Could this potentially prevent some children from needing intervention further down the line? Unfortunately there aren't sufficient resources available to test this theory, but I am confident that even small changes can have a positive impact.
I will be using my blog to share some of the activities that N and I enjoy together, with tips on how I incorporate language development into our play. I hope that some of my ideas are useful - I'm always open to new ones and comments!
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!