Communication With Your Child

Hi. I am here with an amazing speech and language therapist. SL therapy. And she is going to talk to us about communication. I know a lot of people are at home and wondering what to do with their child. So, I am looking forward to the discussion.

Morning. I’m Sarah Lyons. I am owner of SL Speech Therapist. I’m really happy to be here to share some free ideas and activities that you can be doing at home with your children during lock down and then beyond.

What can parents do to help a child concentrate at home?

This is what we would do. During the therapy sessions you’re working with a young child who finds it challenging to sit and focus. If they have their own cushion to sit on, it could be a cushion with their name on it that you decorate together.  It is a physical object that the child has to stay on to sit and concentrate. It makes it a really concrete concept. Then it is easier to sit and listen and not to move from cushion.  The cushion means that it’s time to sit and listen which works really well for older children.  

What about children with sensory needs?

It is useful to have visual prompts on the table like flash card type things or to have it on an iPod in front of them as a visual timetable that works really well. If your child has sensory needs as well, maybe have a sensory bin or sensory bucket. This is really falling off Gina Davis attention autism program.  Having a bucket, you could use a shoe box or anything that you find around the house. Everything that I suggest doesn’t have to cost that much. It can be tools you would have in a house.

 Filling a bucket up with sensory activities maybe

  • Sensory foil or tin foil (can be from your kitchen cupboard there’s a slightly different texture but it’s the same concept)
  • Wind-up toys
  • Sensory play squeezy balls (really good cold gooey mash balls).
  • Bubbles (really simple and can easily use fresh liquids from the kitchen.)

So if you think, if went I into my room and had a look round right now what three objects would hold the child’s attention.

It is great that a lot of the activities can be easily done to help a child at home

All the strategies and all the resources that I suggest can be found and done around the home. SL Therapy London are a functional therapist. All the advice and homework that we give is always very functional and can be done in a busy family household.

 Tasks can really easily be fit into everyday life. A key example is mealtimes three times a day. There will be meals breakfast, lunch dinner. This is a brilliant time at least three times a day to practice the strategy that you might want to work on. It might be turn taking such as taking turns in a conversation.

Another activity that you might do twice a day with a child is brushing teeth. Morning and evening again it is a really clear language opportunity. Then beyond that we go into daily activities such as cleaning, TV definitely cooking.

So all these activities help with supporting a child’s speech?

We work with child to build up core vocabulary. And this can be a child from 2 to 15 developing vocabulary skills. This can be done really functionally interactively such as cooking you can be naming the ingredients, naming colours, looking at prepositions in on and under. You can look at words such as stirring pouring, all that language is in one simple activity. There are no worksheets, there’s no reading there’s no working. It’s simple communication skills that be done through a joint activity, so they won’t even know what they’re learning which is what we want.