A word on speech. “She’ll grow out of it…won’t she?”

I often wonder what it is that triggers parents to make the decision to bring their child to a speech pathologist. So many parents are under the impression with talking, that it is better to ‘wait and see’ if they catch up or let them develop ‘at their own pace’. I wonder if this ‘wait and see’ approach would apply if the child was not walking at 2 years of age or was not toilet trained by 4?
As speech pathologists we know that the best thing to do if you are concerned about your child’s speech or language skills is to ‘address it today and not to delay’. In fact, the timing of visiting a speech pathologist is actually crucial.

Research shows that from birth to 5 years, children learn language through back-and-forth interactions with their parents. The less a child speaks or the less intelligible they are, the less these interactions occur. Check out the full article written by the Hanen Organisation about ‘Why it is important to start early’.

However, I am as guilty as the next parent at putting my head in the sand and hoping things will just work out. So for argument’s sake, I have put together the top 3 reasons ‘for’ and ‘against’ taking your child to see a speech language pathologist.

Continue reading “A word on speech. “She’ll grow out of it…won’t she?””

The Magic of Pretend Play

My 3 year old son pulls a sheet over his shoulders and runs as fast as he can across the lawn. The air lifts the fabric and his jumps. “I’m flying, mummy!” the 3-year-old says. He’s a superhero, out to save the backyard from dragons hiding behind the bushes and find treasure buried in the garden bed.

Just as the child in the book, My Magnificent Jelly Bean Tree (included in our Box of Wishes), with the help of a frilly dress, tiara, and magic wand, your 4-year-old is transformed into the queen of a magical universe where her rocking horse is a winged unicorn. When you’re asked to taste the pink clouds, you agree that they’re a lot like bubblegum.

Parents of preschoolers have a front-row seat to some of the most imaginative theater ever produced.

These are the so-called “magic years” — when a child’s brain is developed enough to imagine grand stories but not yet complex enough to reason the way adults do and ask, “But can that really happen?”

Here’s why imagination is so important and what you can do to foster these magic years. Continue reading “The Magic of Pretend Play”

Talking Tips for the Late Talking Toddler

What do Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill have in common?

Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill were both late talkers. In fact, some say Einstein did not utter his first words until he was three.

‘Late talkers’ is a hot topic with mothers in the playground which is not surprising when they account for 15% of the toddler population!

Most well-meaning friends provide reassuring conclusions about:  how everyone develops at their own rate; a successful family member who didn’t talk till they were 5; they’re just ‘shy’; or a reference to a world famous late talker of genius status like ‘Albert Einstein’… and they were more than fine!

Your child might be like Einstein but just in case they aren’t… Tonight’s blog post provides parents with some practical tweaks to the way they communicate which will provide your child with the best platform for learning to talk. Continue reading “Talking Tips for the Late Talking Toddler”