The questions you’re too scared to ask your speech therapist (but really want to know!)

Q: Why did the emu cross the road? A: To prove he wasn’t a chicken. Sometimes as a parent in speech therapy sessions you might have some questions but feel too chicken to ask, such as: “Why does the therapist just play with my child?” “Why won’t she just get him to say some words?” “We’ve been in therapy for X weeks and my child’s still not talking! How long does this take?” “How many times do I have to repeat this? I feel like a broken record.” “Why does speech therapy cost so much? It looks like an easy way to make good money.” No one wants to seem rude or like they don’t care about their child, so often these questions go unspoken. So, rather than wait for you to ask those questions we want to make it easy on you and answer them upfront. Parenting is hard, and raising a child who also needs speech therapy is even more complicated, so we’re doing what we can to lighten your load. As a speech pathologist I sometimes feel a bit like a duck – I look like I’m gliding along floating on the surface but underneath I’m paddling like mad! Here are a few insights into what’s going on underneath the surface so that you and your child can understand and enjoy the therapy process more. 1. It’s not “just” play We seem to have a preconceived idea that playing is somehow goofing off and is in direct opposition to working and making progress. So when our child has trouble with something we expect them to have to “work” to learn it....

How to Read with your Child (and love it!)

We are pleased to announce the launch of our free online course for parents, “How to Read with Your Child (and love it!)”. After extensive community consultation we observed a growing need for parents to be able to access practical advice regarding how to successfully read with young children. So we wrote a course…then decided it was too good to keep for just our clients so we have decided to give it away free to any parent who wants the best for their child. Access the course here: http://chatterbugs.com.au/free-online-course Here’s what you’ll receive (for free!): Amazing video content designed to teach you everything you need to know to help your child learn through reading together (and have fun in the process) Easy to understand and use downloadable resources Real life examples of babies and children learning to love books Tips and tricks to make reading time learning time and to enhance your relationship with your child Happy...

How Children Learn to Read

 This post will be decidedly more technical than most of our articles but we feel it’s a vitally important subject area for parents and teachers to understand despite it’s complexity so pardon the jargon (we’ve tried to explain terms throughout for you)! Learning how to read requires several skills working together in a complex, harmonious dance. There are many challenges children face as they learn how sounds are connected to print, as they develop fluency, and as they learn to construct meaning from what they read. The primary challenge is the complexity of the task at hand and the number of different skills that can affect reading development. Three primary skills are fundamental to successful literacy development: sounds to letter links; reading fluency; and reading comprehension. Sound to letter links In English,  individual letters on a page are abstract and meaningless by themselves. They must be linked to equally abstract sounds (speech pathologists call these “phonemes”), then blended together and pronounced as words and then ultimately connected to word meanings. To learn to read English, the child must figure out the relationship between sounds and letters. A beginning reader needs to learn the connections between the approximately 44 sounds of spoken English (the phonemes), and the 26 letters of the alphabet. Research has taught us is that in order for a beginning reader to learn how to connect or translate printed symbols (letters and letter patterns) into sounds, the would-be reader must understand that our speech can be segmented or broken into small sounds (phoneme awareness) and that the segmented units of speech can be represented by printed forms (graphemes). This principle is at...