How to play Ready, Steady, Go

There’s a reason why ‘ready, steady, go’ is such a popular routine amongst Speech and Language Therapists helping young kids learn to talk. It’s highly motivating, builds attention and anticipation and uses a familiar repeated phrase… all elements that lead to language learning.

In all of my therapy sessions I’m looking for the thing that’s really going to catch a child’s attention and give them something that’s worth talking about. As simple as it sounds, I’m often asked by parents how to make Ready, Steady, Go games really useful for language. So, in this video I share my top tips.

How to play Ready, Steady, Go

Remember: repeat your familiar phrase lots of times, pause to give space for your child to join in and respond quickly when they do join. Finally, think about how you can set up your play so you’re at eye level, to support their attention and language learning.

If you found this helpful, you’ll definitely want to check out my Toddler Talk programme, which has just opened for enrolment with a special group edition. Find out more here.

A podcast interview: helping children learn the first steps of communication

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting the team behind the SLP Happy Hour podcast. They’re an American duo whose weekly podcast gives practical advice and encouragement to help Speechies navigate the complex world of Speech and Language Therapy.

In this brief podcast interview we talked together about early language development, capturing a child’s attention, and acknowledging the emotional support that is also a key part of our role. You can listen here.

If you’d like a behind-the-scenes tour of the road trip that led up to this in-person podcast interview, you can check it out below.

Podcasting in person: SLP Happy Hour

Do you have a favourite podcast? I’m always on the lookout for recommendations, so do let me know below.

Speech and Language Therapy: The Whole Picture

For every therapy session there’s plenty of additional work that goes on behind the scenes. In order to provide quality comprehensive support to families it’s important to stay informed of current evidence and intervention models, to carefully plan therapy sessions and to communicate effectively with everyone supporting the child. All of these elements are an essential part of the process.

Of course, every child is different and so the support, the planning, the liaison is specific to your child. Regardless of the individual variation, therapy support usually breaks down into a pie chart a little like this:

Speech and language therapy pie chart breakdown

Is this your experience of Speech and Language Therapy? Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

You know that classic moment, when someone turns to you and says “So, what do you do then?”

Sometimes I’m tempted to answer with something un-work-related, like “I climb trees” or “I read books” or “I sing songs”. (Perhaps working with children helps me appreciate that we are more than the work that we do.) But, of course I know that they really want to know about my vocation, so I reply “I’m a Speech and Language Therapist”.

Often I’m met with a delighted smile: “Oh, that must be fascinating work!” or “That must be so rewarding.” Yes and yes; it absolutely is!

Just occasionally I’m met with a bemused expression: “So, is that like helping people with autism?” (Sidenote: it’s a testament to the success of awareness-raising campaigns that this is now the common response rather than: “Oh, is that like elocution lessons?” which is what I used to be asked ten years ago.) I reply: “Yes and also so much more!”

So, inspired by many conversations and attempts to explain a profession that involves a huge variety of work, I put together this super-quick video rundown of Speech and Language Therapy: what it involves and who it helps.

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

I wonder: what would you add to this explanation? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. Find out what to expect at a Speech and Language Therapy appointment.

Empty Space: giving children room to grow

Child with sandals standing on deck

Last week I left our little town by the sea to attend London’s Nursery World conference. I had the privilege of listening to the Director and Atelierista of Reflections Nursery; a beautiful setting inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early education, with no small dash of Danish forest school action.

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The Importance of Accountability in my Work

The Importance of Accountability in my Work

I recently spoke at the ASLTIP annual conference on a local group project to review the quality of our record keeping. All Speech and Language Therapists are expected to be proactive in developing their knowledge, skills and clinical processes such as record keeping. As a local group we worked together to set up a shared audit, to confidentially review each other’s notes and discuss opportunities for improvement. We all found it a useful process, which dispelled the potentially intimidating connotations of the word ‘audit’. We were able to share our successes, talk through potential pitfalls and learn from each other.

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What to expect at an initial appointment

What to expect at an initial appointment - SaLT by the Sea - IOW

So – you’ve decided to seek advice from a Speech and Language Therapist. Perhaps you requested an appointment from your local NHS service, or contacted an independent therapist. Regardless of how you access SaLT support, you can always expect the following.

What to expect at your child's first Speech Therapy appointment
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