So, after what has felt like the longest wait ever, Joshua has finally started his speech and language therapy.
Joshua first had his S&L assessment about 4 months ago which I wrote about here.
The S&L Therapist had a few concerns about Joshua’s speech, attention and concentration so she referred him for the therapy sessions. These sessions couldn’t of come any sooner to be honest, I was so bored of medical professionals saying to me ‘oh he’s two and he doesn’t speak yet, you should refer him’ this is usually where I rolled my eyes and told them, that yes I had already done that…but due to the ridiculously waiting times of the nhs I was still waiting. It amazed me at the boldness of some people to blurt out and say that. I’m not a worry Mum but if I was, repeated comments like those would probably push me over the edge!
So, Joshua’s first session was last Friday and he’ll have one a week for the next 5 weeks. I’m guessing they will reassess him at the end of this period to see if he needs more.
Now this issue is obviously quite a personal issue for us, but I’m so over these fake Instagram/Facebook mums that make out their child is perfect and have no problems. We live in a generation where everyone has a fabulous social media life and it can really affect other people’s mental health if they are constantly surrounded by perfection, when their life clearly isn’t.
When I started my blog, I wanted it to be real, honest and transparent….I also wanted to share my trials and tribulations with others in case there was a Mum out there that reads it and thinks ‘I can relate to that’ if at least one person thinks that then I’m happy 🙂
Anyway, so like I said last week was the first session. The S&L Therapist is a lovely friendly woman that you instantly warm to. She asked us what our concerns were and how Joshua had improved since his assessment. My partner and I explained that even though Joshua’s attention and understanding had improved, his speech was still very limited and he was yet to put together any sentences…such as ‘juice please’
She explained to us that as Joshua was pointing to what he wanted, trying to communicate by babbling and following simple instructions that he was improving and these were all good signs. This was a relief to hear!
She went on to explain that most children learn through play. It allows children to explore their world and try out new experiences she also said that they have to hear a word anywhere between 30 and 400 times to remember and identify a word!!
We went through The Hanem Program, which is method around development. This included;
* observe, wait, listen
* Be face to face (at their level) when interacting with your child
* Interpret what they are saying
* Join in and play
Throughout the hour we carried out a pretend play session, using a play kitchen and a baby. I was surprised at how well Joshua followed the instructions….
The S&L Therapist told us that just 5 minutes a day of dedicated playtime with your child makes a real difference. So this is our homework lol!!
A few tips we were sent home with;
* turn off the tv and music during your playtime
* Sit face to face, this helps to develop your child’s non verbal communication
* Wait for your child to start talking, listen carefully and then take turns to talk, this helps develop confidence and gives your child time to put his/her words into a sentence
* Sometimes repeat what your child says but add another word, for example if your child says the word Ball, you could repeat this and say, Red Ball.
* Give your child choices such as would you like an apple or banana….this will help them learn new words
* Talk about what activity your child is doing, e.g when they are brushing their teeth
* If your child babbles, talk back in simple clear words and repeat the words
* REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT!! Remember I said 30-400 times lol…so if you need to say ‘oh that’s a nice apple’ 100x then do 😂
* Praise your child, if they are tidying up tell them they are doing a good job. Who doesn’t love praise lol
Now we are only one session in and I was doing a few of these things before, but I’ll be honest most of them I wasn’t….bad Mum!! 😩😩
After I post this, we’ll be doing our 5 mins of special play ❤️❤️
I hope anyone reading this has found it informative and if anyone is currently waiting for S&L Therapy then hopefully you can try these techniques at home.
I’ll keep you all updated as we progress through the sessions.