Will signing stop my child from talking?

If you’re considering teaching your little one some baby signing or Makaton, you might be wondering if signing will stop your child speaking. Sometimes there’s the worry that signing will be so easy that your child won’t bother learning to speak!
But actually, there are many advantages to teaching your child a few signs that supports their overall communication development. In this video I share my top three reasons why signing can support spoken language development.

How Children Learn to Talk

How Children Learn to Talk

A large part of my role involves helping you as a parent to better understand how your child is learning to talk and how you can help them with this.

I can’t tell you how many mums think that they are somehow responsible for their child’s communication difficulties. With so much advice from every corner and pressure to ‘do it right’ all the time, it’s no wonder that helping your child learn to talk can sometimes feel a little daunting.

Inspired by many conversations with parents I put together a short video to dispel the three most common myths about how children learn to talk and how us adults help them with this.

I wonder: can you relate to some of these common assumptions about language development? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. Find out what makes therapy successful.

Intensive Interaction and the Art of Being

Intensive Interaction and the Art of Being

Last week I found myself lying on the floor, looking up at Phoebe (not her real name) while she reached for my mouth. She laughed, enjoying the buzzing sound as I hummed against her open palm. In our therapy sessions we often play with stories and songs, taking turns with sounds and gestures. We usually sit on the floor, but lying down was a new ‘low’ for me. It was worth the shift. I was amazed by how positioning myself below Phoebe’s gaze made her so much more attentive.

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Adult-Child Interaction: the power of waiting

Adult-Child Interaction: the power of waiting

One aspect of being an independent Speech and Language Therapist I have particularly enjoyed is the increased time available to work with individual families. Across every area I work in I’m always struck by the importance of the interaction between adult and child. Whether targeting specific speech sounds, or encouraging the first steps of intentional communication, the way we adults engage and respond to children makes a great difference.

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Why Early Speech Development is Like Learning Russian

Why Early Speech Development is Like Learning Russian

A few years ago I found myself grappling with Russian pronunciation for a song my choir was rehearsing: a fast piece by Sergej Tanějev involving a lot of unfamiliar sounds. It’s a challenge to say the least. With my Speech and Language Therapist hat on, I was struck by the similarities between my own attempts to speak Russian and children’s early speech development.Read more →

Pre-school Play

Pre-school Play - SaLT by the Sea - Isle of Wight

Often my job takes me to pre-schools, to work and play with under 5s. Children get excited about so many great things at this age: worms in mud, big welly splashes and interesting sounds in the sky. Play-dough can be a million different things, and Brio never gets old. Playmobil people explore the murky depths of oceans, and plastic digger trucks brave the deadliest roads in the desert. Read more →