Parents love first words. This milestone is one of the most exciting because all of a sudden your baby has become a real little person. It is the icing on the cake when the first word is also your name. “Dada” (heart melts). As speech pathologists, we are often asked when should my child say their first words?
Well the short answer is at about their first birthday but what many of us don’t realise is that there is a set of skills known as ‘pre-language’ that develop well before they are of ‘speaking age’. In fact, there’s a lot you can be ‘looking’ for when you are busy ‘listening’ for first words. Here are our top 3 ‘look fors’ before first words:
Don’t worry, “A banana a day keeps the speech lady away” is not a real saying so how could a banana be relevant in the field of speech pathology? We are actually talking something commonly known as the ‘speech banana’. Sharing an interest in this are audiologists, as the speech banana refers to the banana shape that you see in audiograms. Continue reading “Banana and speech – how could the two possibly relate?”
‘I spy with my little eye’ another parent resorting to screen time to avoid the overplayed car games or backseat arguments between siblings on long car trips. Guilty! As a child, I remember playing “punch buggy” which involved hitting your sibling when you spotted a VW, this was before devices of course. This generations’ version of ‘punch buggy’ is known as ‘Spotto’ and involves counting yellow cars (with no punching involved). While many car games like ‘Spotto’, ‘Punch buggy’ or ‘I spy’ are observation games, these car trips are also an opportune time for your children to practice their vocabulary and word finding skills. So when you have the energy these holidays, here are three easy and fun word games to play with your little people in the car that will build their vocabulary skills (plus you can rest assured that you will be setting your child up for literacy and life!) Continue reading “Tripping in the car with kids?”
Having strong oral language skills prepares our children to socially navigate their world by requesting, commenting, asking questions, joining in, negotiating with and complimenting others. Every book box provides ample opportunities for these language skills to be practised. Let us talk you through 3 highlights of our Be Yourself book box. Continue reading “Be the odd one out!”
If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.
Kids try an exponential number of new things in the first few years of their lives, from when fear starts to appear, even as young as a few months through separation anxiety. But with our patience, consistent support and acceptance, young children learn to grapple with the many fearful feelings that are part of their development. Picture books provide the platform to build on your child’s courage and resilience while giving them a boost with their language and literacy skills. Let us talk you through 3 highlights of our Be Brave book box. Continue reading “3 things you didn’t know about our Be Brave box”
Which picture books have sparkled under our speech pathology lens this month? As you may know already, as speechies and mums, Tania and I look for books with robust vocabulary, strong story structure, captivating illustrations and to be frank, sound good when read aloud as picture books needs to be read aloud to young children and when they sound good, it is easier for parent and child to enjoy them time and time again.
SoundPLAY is just as the name suggests…..playing with sounds! Not on a piano, your i-phone ring tones or beats from Spotify but playing with the sounds from the English speech sound system. Educators and parents who understand the value of SoundPLAY for their children and its relationship to early reading success are a speech pathologists’ dream. This SoundPLAY skill is known as ‘phonological awareness’ and is best described by Fitzpatrick (1997) as the “ability to listen inside a word”.
“It is widely recognised that phonological awareness is a strong predictor and prognostic marker of early reading success (Gillon, Carson, Boustead, 2007).”