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Why first words don’t come first

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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:

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3 new books in July 2019

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.

So here’s a round-up of our top 3 this month: Continue reading “3 new books in July 2019”

SoundPLAY. Sounds fun.

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).”

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3 new books in June 2019

As speech pathologists, we love books because they support conversation, turn taking skills and language development and we regularly use them to therapy. Our new series will highlight five picture books each month that we have chosen for their message, vocabulary, text features or illustrations that we believe you will enjoy reading with your kids at home! Continue reading “3 new books in June 2019”

Q&A with Jo Williamson

“Papa Penguin and Pippin run the best cafe in the Antarctic, serving fish for breakfast, fish for lunch, fish for dinner, and even… fish ice cream! Everyone loves fish. Or do they?” What’s for Lunch, Papa Penguin? takes a penguin chef on a chaotic roadtrip around the world in search of new exciting foods to try. It is one of the two books featured in our Cooking Kit book box, we are celebrating its release with this 5 question chat with the author and illustrator of this hilarious picture book, Jo Williamson. Enjoy!

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