Wednesday 30 March 2011

My child isn't talking, why is this?

Reasons Behind Speech Delays
Written by the Admin team at YGOY
Most parents eagerly wait for their children’s first words. Hence, it can be worrisome and disappointing if they are slow and don’t utter those precious words. There are several reasons behind speech delays. However, the good news is that many children who seem to talk “late” catch up on their speech without any problems by the time they turn two years old. About one in four children is usually a late talker. Also, most of them don’t need any special help to get them back on the right track. Read on to know about the reasons behind speech delays.
Reasons Behind Speech Delays
Temperament and heredity can hinder in speech delivery, as can a eager parent’s anticipation of their child’s every single need rather than letting them speak for themselves. Here are a few reasons for speech delays in children:
  • Boys – They mostly develop speech later than girls, even though there is generally 1-2 month lag. By 16 months, boys use only 30 words on an average whereas girls use around 50 words.
  • Premature babies – Babies who are born early usually take longer to reach speech development milestones than others. However, by the time they turn two years-old, they catch up with other children’s speech development. According to pediatricians, parents should start counting from the child’s due date rather than his or her birth date, when they are analysing a preemie’sdevelopment. A premature baby born 3 months early than his or her due date might seem like a late talker but in reality it might be progressing fine.
  • Multiples – According to speech-language pathologists, it is estimated that nearly 50% of all multiples have some form of speech delays. Medical intervention during delivery, low birth weight and prematurity can occur more frequently among multiples. This can lead to speech and language delays.
  • Kids with chronic ear infections – If a child has fluid in the ear for months – more importantly in the first year when he or she is beginning to process language – it can lead to poor hearing. Thus, this may lead to delayed speech.
Of course there are other reasons why, such as they don't need to talk, an overall developmental delay, specific language impairment or even ASD. A Speech & Language Therapist would be able to assess and give advice. If you are worried contact your local NHS therapist or

Our Teeny Talkers classes help 2 - 3 year olds who might need a little help

There are some great articles at

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Saturday 26 March 2011

Talking to your baby

The March theme for the national Hello Campaign is to hi-light the importance of talking to your baby. This video shows this really well.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Comments please: What can we do to address the problems??

The last post looked at the fact that children's communication skills are declining and the link between lack of interaction with babies. Many people will have read it and dismissed the ideas because they feel that interacting with  babies is an innate skill and doesn't need to be thought about. The reality, however is that a huge part of society are not interacting adequately with their babies and children. This is not restricted to poorer areas of socio-economic development either as some of the worst cases of language deprivation I have seen are from high income families.

I watched some of Friday's Comic Relief's many videos of abject poverty and utter despair..... and yet ALL the parents were interacting with their babies! There was even an extremely depressing one where the mother was dying. She had no reserves to eat or stand but was still smiling and mouthing to her baby (she had too little energy to vocalise). Unfortunately both mother and baby died after the filming (I'm not watching next year as its too sad..... although I think I said that last year too!).

So why are we failing to do this now? What has changed in the West in 21st century? Are our stresses different, do we take things for granted, have we had parents who didn't bother either so our brains didn't fully develop the area necessary for interaction, empathy and higher level skills?  We can observe the problem but what is the solution? Website like 'talk to your baby' are great but how do we get the people who need to know to read it? Every time I do a  Baby Talk group it attracts those who a already know they want to learn more. The Hello Campaign is only being accessed by those who know about it.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your views please?

Another chance to see the babies at Landywood!!

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Saturday 19 March 2011


National Literacy Trust launches ‘Talk To Your Baby’ Campaign 

New research released by the National Literacy Trust today, shows that a fifth of parents-to- be (19%) believe it is only beneficial to communicate with their baby from the age of three months and one in 20 (6%) believe that communicating with their baby is only necessary when they are six months or older, while one in eight parents (13%) believe the primary responsibility for developing their child’s communication skills lies outside the home. 

To mark the ‘National Year of Communication’ as part of the ‘Hello’ Campaign the National Literacy Trust is launching a ‘Talk To Your Baby’ Campaign to educate parents about the hugely positive role they can play in helping their baby develop vital communication skills in the first three years of their lives.  
TLR as crucial to positive child development as TLC Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, comments:  ‘The first three years are pivotal to the development of communication skills.  By the age of three a staggering 80% of a child’s brain will be formed.  A child’s brain will never grow faster than at this point in their lives so we’re urging every parent in the UK to use this window of opportunity to talk, talk, talk!   

‘We all know how vital it is to give a young child plenty of TLC.  Our message is that TLR (Talking, Listening and Responding) is every bit as crucial to their future wellbeing.’ 

The National Literacy Trust’s new campaign is launched amidst growing concern about the increasing number of children entering primary education lacking basic communication skills. National Literacy Trust research demonstrates that to reverse this trend parents need to be helped to develop a greater understanding of how vital their role can be and how much their baby is able to understand and enjoy communicating: 
• Around a quarter (23%) of parents believe less than a third (30% or less) of their child’s brain has formed by the age of two and 44% of parents believe half or less of their child’s brain has formed when in fact the figure is 70% 
• Over a third (38%) of parents expecting their first baby are unaware that there is any benefit in talking to their baby while it is still in the womb 2
• One in 20 (6%) of expecting parents believe that language skills develop entirely naturally and that they have no role to play in their development 
• While over three quarters (78%) of parents believe it’s crucial for children’s language and speech development to be supported, one in eight (13%) believe the primary responsibility for developing communication skills in their child lies outside the home (eg. With nurseries or healthcare professionals)  

The new five a day rule: 
As part of the Talk To Your Baby campaign the National Literacy Trust is urging parents to 
consciously incorporate some TLR (talking, listening and responding) time with their baby at least five times a day.  Tina O’Brien, star of Waterloo Road and Strictly Come Dancing and mum to Scarlett, age two, comments:  ‘TLR is the new TLC!  You and your child will get so much out of talking together and it doesn’t have to be hard work.  Scarlett and I chat all the time, when we’re shopping, at bath time or even while we’re doing the weekly food shop.  We have such a giggle when we’re talking together and it’s great to know that I’m giving her language skills she’ll have for life.’ 

Get Involved.  Get Talking! 
With 82% of parents saying that they’d welcome more information about the development of speech and language skills in babies, March sees the launch of a brand new website – designed to be a hub of information for parents and carers of babies and young children to access: 
- free information about key developmental milestones of babies
- free activities to stimulate talk with young children including Maisy colouring sheets, 
Barefoot Books video content, podcasts and song and nursery rhyme lyrics 
- hints for incorporating beneficial ‘talking sessions’ throughout a busy day 
- tips for talking to your baby from celebrity mums and mums-to-be 
- video and audio contact throughout for accessibility 
Parents are also being urged by the National Literacy Trust to commit to talk to their baby more by going online to make a pledge, for the chance to win one of 150 free children’s books (from Walker books and Barefoot Books).   
The charity is also encouraging parents with babies and young children to hold a ‘Talk To Your Baby’ party and is providing party packs and inspiration on the site, with the first 300 parents to commit to holding a party receiving a ‘Driving My Tractor’ book and CD package from Barefoot Books, worth £6.99.  

A magical moment:  Baby’s first word 
Around a third of parents (31%) expect to hear their baby’s first word between the ages of 6-8 months while just over a third (38%) expect to wait until their baby is around 9 – 11 months.  
Over a quarter (28%) anticipate that a full year will go past before their baby will be able to say a recognisable word, when in fact the average age for the emergence of baby’s first word is typically around 12 months. 

The National Literacy Trust research reveals that the top 10 most popular first baby words (other than Mummy or Daddy) are: 
1. Dog 
2. Cat 
3. More 
4. Baby 
5. Ball 
6. Duck 
7. Teddy 
8. Milk 
9. Gran 
10. Again  
Jonathan Douglas comments:  ‘Few moments in life are more magical that the first time you hear your baby talk.  It’s the start of a lifelong conversation.  But we want parents to understand that talking with your baby doesn’t have to involve words.  Your baby cooing, babbling or even simply holding your gaze is a way of them communicating.  ‘The Talk To Your Baby campaign aims to help parents understand that by responding positively to their baby’s earliest attempts at communication and taking every opportunity to talk with their baby they will build their child’s confidence and help them develop language 
skills that will be with them for life.’ 

Tuesday 15 March 2011

How to develop your child's phonological awareness skills

Another post from the fantastic Australian team at Talking Matters.

Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and understand sounds and sound patterns within words.  A child’s phonological awareness abilities at the preschool age have been identified as the biggest predictor of early literacy development.Phonics is the ability to link sounds and letters and develops from phonological awareness. 
Children usually develop the ability to hear syllables, rhyme and beginning sounds prior to beginning school. Having these skills means that your child is ready for formal teaching in reading and writing. In the first year of school children typically develop the ability to break words into separate sounds (segmenting) and blend separate sounds into whole words (blending) as well as learning to link sounds to letters and recognise letter patterns (phonics). They also learn to recognise common sight words.                                           
Ideas for preschool children:
Rhyme. Story books and nursery rhymes are often children’s first introduction to rhyme. Initially children need to be able to recognise if two words rhyme, e.g. “Do “big” and “wig” rhyme?”  Later they will learn how to make their own rhyming words. Young children often enjoy playing with rhyme, e.g. “can I have cheese please” and “look at the funny bunny.” You can help your child learn about rhyming by reading stories and rhymes, listening to rhyming songs and making up your own rhymes.  
Syllables.  This involves being able to break up a word into beats. This is often learned by clapping out the beats in words. Start with your child’s name e.g. “Jess-i-ca” and other family names then move onto other words e.g. “el-e-phant”.
Identifying sounds in words.  Children learn to hear beginning sounds first. Talk about the sounds words start with as you look at books and play games with picture cards.  Look for other things that start with the same sound as your child’s name. Later look for and match other things with the same beginning sound. Once your child is skilled at listening for beginning sounds (they most likely have started school by now) you can listen to end sounds and later middle sounds (use simple words with three sounds such as “cup”).   
Ideas for school aged children: 
When children can hear individual sounds they can learn to: 
Blend sounds to form words. Break down words into sounds (not letter names or spelling but the sounds you can hear e.g. “m-u-g” not “em-you-gee”) and see if your child can work out what you are saying e.g. “can you pass me a c-u-p please”. Make it a game and praise your child for success or for trying.  Look at a book and see if your child can point to the picture that you sound out.  Sound out your child’s name when you call them.  
Segmenting words into separate sounds. Next your child can learn how to break words into sounds all by themselves. This is a skill which is needed for writing and spelling. Try the above activities and see if your child can break up words for you to guess.
Manipulating sounds. Once your child can break words down into sounds you can try:
  • changing sounds in words, e.g. changing the first sound in “pet” to make “get” or the last sound in ‘pet’ to make ‘pen.’
  • re-ordering sounds in words, e.g. re-ordering the sounds in ‘pan’ to make ‘nap.’ 
  • removing sounds in words, e.g. ‘spoon’ without the ‘p’ says ‘soon.’
By now your child is well on their way and can probably recognise letters so magnetic letters are a fun way to develop these skills. Once your child has mastered these skills they are well on the way to being skilled in the early stages of literacy. 
What else can I do?
  • Log into the “plus” section of our website and download free ideas and activities to develop your child’s understanding of rhyming, syllables, beginning and end sounds, segmenting and blending.  Just go to the “phonological awareness” section.
  • Look at the Reading Doctor program in the “resources” section of our website as this is a program designed by a speech pathologist to develop phonological awareness and phonics skills.
  • Look at the “ready to read” program at Talking Matters which teaches phonological awareness skills and oral language skills to help with the development of literacy. If this program may suit your child contact the office for more details.
If you are concerned that your child may be having difficulties consider an assessment by a speech pathologist. For details about assessments at Talking Matters see our website or contact a speech pathologist in your area.
Talking Matters Team

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Saturday 12 March 2011

Another parental dilemma: baby signing

We hear a lot about baby signing in the news; on the one hand there are those who say it enhances IQ and there are others including the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists who say it shouldn’t be used with children without a speech therapy need or Karen Pine’s team from the University of Hertfordshire, who say it could be linked with increased parental stress.
So what is a parent supposed to believe? How is a parent supposed to react? It’s yet another baffling issue for parents to figure out. Let's look  at the pros and cons to help you make up your own mind. 
What is signing?
Signing is the use of an extended gesture system usually Makaton, BSL (British Sign Language) or ASL (American Sign Language). We all use gesture in our everyday communication but if we feel we are having difficulty getting our message across e.g. when talking to a foreigner or maybe someone elderly, we will use it much more. Our attempts to explain using this added gesture are usually much more successful at helping the person understand and this is exactly the same with babies and young children.
The benefits of signing:  
·         It empowers babies to communicate earlier.
The more you know about all the factors involved in making speech sounds, the more you wonder how anyone manages it. The brain has to send a signal to the muscles, and then the airflow has to be co-ordinated with moving the tongue, mouth and gums (teeth in older children and adults). A baby can move their hands with some control from very early on.  Babies will not talk until 12months of age or later but they can indicate by gesture or sign much earlier. Early communication intention is about making choices and making your needs known. It is estimated that a baby understands a word several weeks before he can say it.
·         Increases self-esteem
Helping a child’s self esteem isn’t just telling them how well they’re doing. Being seen as having something worth saying and that someone will listen and respond, is a huge component in the development of self esteem in both children and adults. If you can’t get your message across, self esteem will always be affected. If the baby signs and is rewarded, he knows he has something worth saying even before he had the spoken vocabulary e.g. that he wants milk or that he’s hungry.
·         Reduces frustration
If someone can express themselves they will be less frustrated. Sign can also be used as part of the explanation about why something can’t happen or has finished. A case study done recently by Small Talk showed fewer toddler temper tantrums when sign was used. Kim Nash, mum to Oliver felt it really made a difference, ‘When you’re too upset to ‘hear’ explanations, a visual prompt may get through’. The general consensus of opinion is that up to 90% of temper tantrums are linked to frustration (Shelley Ensor 2010).
·         Enhances language skills.
Language is not just the words that are spoken. A huge part is the understanding of what is said to you. Children learn in different ways and use different means e.g. auditory (what they hear), kinaesthetic (what they can feel) and visual (what they can see). These days the visual channel is usually stronger so than the auditory channel. To learn words/vocabulary is mainly auditory, when this is boosted by a sign it capitalises on this strength and so it helps the chid to learn the words more quickly. At Horn End nurseries in Staffordshire, where they use sign as part of a consolidated approach to encourage language development, they know that if they sign to accompany an instruction e.g. perhaps with a preposition, the children will follow more quickly. They have had training from Small Talk about enhancing all communication opportunities. Deborah Falshaw, nursery owner and Early Years professional sees it as ‘another layer to encourage children’s understanding and expressive skills’. OFSTED have made particular reference to it in one of the nurseries who received outstanding across the board.
Katya O-Neill has used sign very effectively to help develop the communication skills of children whose first language is not English in her excellent ‘Sign a Story’ project in Luton. This was a pilot project which will undoubtedly be used in many other areas of the country where this is an issue.
·         Enhances bonding and enriches parent-child interaction
The main benefit of baby signing is that it gives the parent a reason to interact very early on. The sign is the vehicle for the enhanced interaction. The more communication attempts are recognised and rewarded the more they will develop. The less a baby is interacted with, the slower the brain connections necessary for language and communication will develop. Studies have linked a lack of communication with babies with later difficulties including ADHD and a lack of social understanding especially empathy. Sue Gerhardt’s Book ‘Why love matters’ is an excellent reference for this area.
·         Makes signing socially acceptable
One of the benefits of it being widely accepted is that parents of children with a clinical need to sign are more likely to agree to their chid signing. Previously, when a speech and language therapist wanted to introduce sign to assist a child’s understanding or expressive language skills, parents frequently felt that it would single their child out even further. A greater use in all children prevents this and promotes better acceptance.

What about disadvantages?
·         Will it stop my baby talking?
One of the biggest concerns is that children will not talk if they can sign more easily. If it’s done correctly, this won’t happen. A good deal of research has been done to address this and has shown us that babies who sign do not have an increased risk of delayed speech/language. In fact, research indicates that many babies who sign actually go on to have early, advanced speech. It’s very important, however, that parents talk as well as sign.  Christina Schabow speech and language pathologist from the US says, ‘Ultimately, signing will NOT cause your baby to have delayed speech. It WILL be one of the best things you do to help prepare your baby for talking!’
·         It shouldn’t be sold as a must-do for parents
All the previous well known research was done by Americans, however, we have our own team here in the UK now led by Professor Karen Pine, she feels that signing classes should not be sold as a necessity to all parents. There is perhaps, a great deal of commercialism which puts pressure on middle class parents to take it up. It’s the fastest growing trend in pre-school activities in the 21st century. She feels that its adding to parental pressure with families who already know how to interact and whose offspring are benefitting from stimulating, communicative homes. Her research at the University of Hertfordshire does not back up the American findings i.e. there is no proof that children have higher IQs or better vocabularies than the control group.  
·         Will it add to my stress levels?
Karen’s team also felt it was linked to high stress levels in parents. However, having a baby or toddler is a stressful experience anyway so parents of little ones are very likely to report increased stress
 It is a fact that anything which helps communication WILL decrease stress levels in adults, babies and children.
·         Is it just for middle class families?
Shelley Ensor from The Little Signers Club reports: "We've seen interest in baby signing increase dramatically over the last five years.  In our classes we see thousands of parents from very different backgrounds every year and they all want the same thing - the very best for their baby.  In my experience signing babies are more eager to progress to speech and their communication development is generally accelerated. How confusing - and patronising - to have it suggested that only babies and parents from certain backgrounds should experience the sheer wonder of baby signing."

·         Or should it only be used to target families who don’t talk to their children?
In any clinical caseload there are children with language deprivation. It is however, misleading to believe that only children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds will have problems which are a result of language deprivation. As an independent therapy team, Small Talk have clients from all backgrounds, ‘we’ve just introduced sign to a child whose parents are both barristers... she is the one of the most language deprived children I’ve met’ reports Franky Shepperson SLT for Small Talk.
·         There’s some wild claims made that I don’t believe
Some of the American research promotes the idea that signing will somehow create young geniuses with higher IQs and vocabulary than their peers who have not experienced signing. This however, is not supported by recent more valid research.

·         There’s no regulation of teachers, anyone can set up
Unfortunately this is reportedly true, so it is that there are some classes who may be are more interested in taking the money than enhancing communication. However, these are the exception. There are some great teachers with excellent classes available nationwide. Shelley Ensor at Little Signers Club feels that it may be time to begin regulation of classes to ensure adequate knowledge, training and integrity of teachers.
Ultimately, there is a major concern about the general levels of speech, language and communication which is resulting in up to 50% of children starting school without the necessary levels of spoken language development according to a Government report by John Bercow in 2009. If the signing was part of a programme to target national parental interaction and also used as part of a consolidated approach to reach families who don’t know how to communicate with their offspring or may be don’t even realise they should, then that would be much better way forwards. Good signing classes such as Libby’s Smart Talkers, Shelley’s Little Signers Club and Kasha’s Sign2learn sessions are part of such a regime so that they are developmentally planned and incorporate language and communication aims too. ‘The baby signing we do is also a forum for discussing parental interaction and the development of communication’, says Libby.   
So... if you are interested in knowing more about baby signing locally, then go ahead but be cautious.
·         Check out the teacher and the class, talk to other parents there.
·         Don’t expect too much of yourself or your little one.
·         If you see it as fun activity to share which will help communication between you, then great!
·         Just remember that you have to talk too.
·         Sign is only a part of your communication together. See Smart Talkers website for tips about how to talk to your child, you can give yourself a pat on the back if you are..... If not you’ll see simple free tips to help you

What parents say:

“I think somehow it’s easier for mums to develop ways of communicating with babies, they seem innately able to read those subtle cues, tell the difference between cries, but baby signing unlocks some of these mysteries for everyone. As a father I feel like I can meet my son’s needs now. When he first signed to me that he needed a nappy change (at 4 months old), and he did, I was bowled over!”  Ben, signing Daddy to Fin

"I decided to take Sam to baby signing classes for two reasons.  Firstly for some much needed adult company and more so because Sam was such an inquisitive and vivacious little boy.  I was becoming so despondent - needless to say tired and frustrated - by his growing dissatisfaction, no matter what I did with him or where I took him he seemed to be constantly needing more!  I was the Mummy at your average mother and baby group desperately trying to chat and feel normal again...whilst all the other little babies happily played on the mat, Sam was fidgety, frustrated and needed constant attention.  I was fighting the tide expecting him to play happily whilst I indulged in a cup of tea and chocolate muffin.  Sam wasn't that sort of child and so I decided to do something for the both of us.  It was a crucial turning point and the best decision I have ever made in what had so far been a hard and emotional first six months of being a Mummy.  I truly believe that taking Sam to baby signing classes opened a gateway in his mind, enhanced his brain development and helped him to become a calmer, more communicative baby.  I looked forward to each class as the pleasure and involvement Sam showed during the sessions was a breath of fresh air to me.  No frustration, no fidgeting...instead there were smiles, laughter and one contended little boy who I was at last able to understand and enjoy.... Oh and I made some wonderful friends too who made me feel very normal again."
Frances, signing Mummy to Sam

Libby Hill Specialist Speech & Language Therapist Oct 2010

Katja O’Neill
Debbie Falshaw
Why love matters-how affection shapes a baby’s brain by Sue Gerhardt pub by Bruner-Routledge 2004
Will signing stop my baby talking Christina Schabow www.smarttalkers.blogspot
To Sign or not to Sign?  The Impact of Encouraging Infants to Gesture on Infant Language and Maternal Mind-Mindedness by Elizabeth Kirk, Neil Howlett, Karen J Pine and Ben (C) Fletcher University of Hertfordshire School of Psychology
Hands on mothering: Improving infant communication in  low socio-economic families with gesture Karen Pine & Elizabeth Kirk University of Hertfordshire School of Psychology

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Thursday 10 March 2011

Guidelines for contributors to S & L World:the global bulletin for SLT/SLP

S & L World welcomes letters, news items and features/articles
How to submit your contribution:  E-mail articles to Please  submit email as Word attachments, together with a brief biography and suggestions for visuals. If you are using quotations, identify the sources and give full information for references.

The proposed article could not have been published nor submitted to any other publication unless specifically agreed in advance with the editor. If your article is accepted, you might be asked to do revisions, where necessary to clarify something. But do not necessarily expect to be able to make any changes once the article has been submitted. The article may be edited and you are unlikely to be able to approve the final version.

If an article does not meet the guidelines or if the editor has been misled about the writing qualifications of the author or any other detail, S & L World is under no obligation to publish the article. 

Please write in an accessible style. 
·         Avoid jargon or abbreviations, or make sure they are  made clear
·         The idea is to share ideas and information and not be an academic forum (see the RCSLT International Bulletin if this is your intention). Academic articles need to be made accessible for the general readership i.e. SLT/SLPs from many different specialist areas plus other students and SLT/SLP Assistants.
·         Bibliographic references should be according to the Harvard Format - APA style.

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The copyright of each article belongs jointly to the Bulletin and the author(s). This includes the style of commissioned and unsolicited articles as S & L World as copyright guidelines. Views expressed in Bulletin are not necessarily the official views of SMALL TALK LTD.

All rights of reproduction, translation and adaptation reserved for all countries. SMALL TALK LTD and employees accept no responsibility collectively or individually for the service of agencies or persons advertised or announced in the pages of this bulletin. The good faith with which S & L World publish offers no implied/implicit guarantee.

Please keep in mind that contributions are accepted on the basis that SMALL TALK LTD is granted the following rights:
• Rights of use in S & L World online.
• Non-exclusive electronic database rights, e.g. CD-Rom archives, internet, S & L World sites, online databases.
 S & L World normally permit re-printing, with due acknowledgement, but please contact the editor first.
Letters to the editor
A letter is the easiest way to let others know about your idea or opinion.
Letters are more effective if they are shorter, so a limit of 250 words is ideal with a focus of one concept or idea. The Editor reserves the right to cut to fit the space available. Please include your name, address, daytime phone number, your occupation and your area. The information (except telephone number and address) will be published unless specifically indicated.

News Items
S & L World is interested in printing information about any projects or research, pleas for help, awards or if you have held an interesting event in the news section. These items should be no more than 300 words (half page) but could be as short as 75 (quarter page).

Articles should be around 1,200 words in length, including references. You can include up to three tables, charts or photographs (see later). Longer contributions may be discussed with editor prior to submission. The minimum number of words for a one page feature is approx 600 words in length.
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Please contact me with any queries or email or

Saturday 5 March 2011

Speak Clearly Resources

As I was doing an in service training session last week, I was asked what materials I recommend. I  replied, 'Speak Clearly', so I thought share that with the blog readers too. They have been nominated for an award in the NASEN 2011 awards.
Speak Clearly Ltd bridges the gap between Speech and Language Therapy and schools/nurseries, giving clear, practical guidance about how to enhance speech and language development in busy classrooms.
Achieving high acclaim in primary and nursery settings across the UK, Naomi Mason’s specialist knowledge,  down-to earth-suggestions, cleverly designed teaching resources, and enthusiastic presentation style will refresh teachers and assistants alike.
So if you are passionate about identifying children's speech and language difficulties as early as possible, need workable strategies for helping these children within the contexts of a busy classroom, need help with a SENDIST tribunal,  or simply want to be more effective in improving speech and language skills across the board, trust in Naomi.
She hAs developed hundreds of refreshingly simple five-minute activities for teachers and their assistants to identify and help children who have Speech and Language difficulties or EAL. 
  • Create powerful and inspiring resources, packed with new ideas
  • Photo real artwork makes them suitable across all ages
  • Ideal for group activities and personalised learning
  • Presented on CD Rom, so can be shared across the school
Developed by Naomi Mason, eminent Speech and Language Therapist, then tried and tested by teachers across the UK, these resources are a vital addition to your Speech and Language toolbox. 
Simply print out the activity sheet (on A3 is best, but they work on A4 too)  – each one has everything you need on one side, and clear instructions on the back, making it even easier for busy teachers to implement these terrific strategies.
Each collection addresses a different speech or language skill, from early years right up to Year 6.
You can even use them on your whiteboard as a whole-class activity. 

I first met Naomi in 1988 when I started at Dudley HA, we've kept in touch since.