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...

Junior Art Competition: Kids only, free entry, great prizes

Junior Art Competition Our “Chatterbugs Gallery” is in need of an update and we need your little artist’s creative genius to make it happen. Entry is free and open to any child under 18. Entries from children with disabilities is strongly encouraged. Our first online entry has already won a prize and a position in our gallery. For full details check out the offer on Facebook. You can enter online by posting a photo of your child’s masterpiece or in person by dropping off A4 or A3 sized art pieces to Chatterbugs 164 Margaret Street Toowoomba. Don’t forget to like our Chatterbugs Facebook page to complete your child’s...

My child has a speech problem…is it my fault?

An open letter to every parent who blames themselves for their child’s communication difficulties: Dear parent, Let’s just get this question out of the dark recesses of the back of your mother-guilt-ridden mind and out into the light. “My child has a speech problem…is it my fault?” I’ve seen way too many of you come to see me in clinic with your precious little person and as we finish up the assessment and I provide feedback of where your child is at and then we are just preparing a plan a solution, the tears start rolling down and then this phrase emerges from your grief stricken heart: “It’s my fault because…..” e.g. I knew something was wrong and I didn’t do something earlier, I work too much, I had post-natal depression, my genes are inherently flawed, I let him watch TV as a baby, I had to move him to escape an unhealthy relationship, I didn’t breastfeed her….feel free to insert your own guilt ridden thoughts here, as parents we all seem to have them. Well I want to tell you right now it’s NOT your fault. Unless of course your child has been personally neglected or abused by you, in which case you wouldn’t be the sort of parent who is desperate to help them develop the skills they need. You did the best you could with what you had at the time. No, it probably wasn’t perfect but no parenting is. Speech and language difficulties are not “caused” by any of the plethora of reasons I hear from parents blaming themselves every day. So, if you are blaming yourself for your child’s difficulties I just have two...