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....

Best ever strategy to help a child’s eye contact

I often have parents ask me for ideas to help their child learn to use more eye contact. I first used this trick many years ago (can’t remember how or who I learned it from or I would give them a hug and BIG thankyou!). Years later, I still use this strategy regularly with children who struggle to make eye contact. Here’s how it works. During play choose a preferred/interesting toy (eg one with light/sound if they don’t have favourites) and hold it near your eyes. As soon as they look at the toy, give it to them. Then gradually as they get the idea of the “game” wait longer until their eyes flick across to your eyes then give them the toy. This would be the sort of activity you could do very quickly throughout the day without having to do any formal practice time. The really beautiful thing about this trick is that it not only teaches children how to make eye contact but also that eye contact is purposeful and makes things happen in the child’s communication world. Happy eye contact...

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...

Thank you, thank you, thank you

2015 has been a great year at Chatterbugs and we just wanted to say thank you to the Toowoomba community. To everyone who has referred children to us so we could help them, thank you. To everyone who has trusted us with their special children as your speech therapy service provider of choice, thank you. To all the professionals we’re had the pleasure of working with in 2015, thank you. Because of you we are making a difference and helping children in the Toowoomba region to communicate, learn and eat more successfully. As you are probably already aware we are the largest speech pathology practice in Toowoomba dedicated exclusively to paediatric clinical care. In addition to speech and language skills our team also gets great results for children with literacy (reading/spelling/writing including dyslexia) and feeding difficulties. Here are just a few examples of the outcomes we are achieving: Here are a few of our highlights for 2015: We changed a child’s life every day – in 2015 we helped over 365 children learn to communicate, read and spell, eat and interact with others more successfully. We’re proud of the number of children we help, but more than that we are proud of the individual outcomes we can achieve for each child and their family. We recently worked with a 12 month old girl who was having difficulty chewing and after only 3 therapy sessions and her parent attending our “Transforming Picky Eaters into Peaceful Feeders” workshop we are so excited that she is now successfully able to eat a variety of table foods. Her Christmas was so much more enjoyable because of...