It’s been over a year since I wrote anything here, I’ve missed it, I hope I’m back.
I’m listening to my kids in the kitchen with their grandparents. They’re doing a chestnut experiment. We collected loads, while out on walks. I can hear such varied vocabulary: peel, shell, sharp, brains. And they’re using a timer, to see how long they boil the chestnuts for, 2 mins – “poke,” 4 mins – “still too hard,” 6 mins – “perfect!” My kids love experiments you can eat! And they’ve been learning new words at the same time.
We have also put chestnuts into dump trucks and trains, eaten them at tea parties, and thrown them. Very multipurpose.
I’m using this Halloween craft from Made by Joel, tomorrow with a 6 year old client. We’ll be practising giving each other instructions – “colour the pumpkin with the orange pen” and “cut the bat with the small scissors.” Then we’ll use the finger puppets to act out sentences: “the ghost is scaring the cat!”
Let me know if you have any favourite seasonal craft activities for young children, I’m always on the lookout.
Here’s the first post in a new series, Real Life Language Ideas. Therapy targets need to be worked on frequently between therapy sessions, this is easiest for the family and most functional for the child, if it can be incorporated into activities they do anyway. In this series, each post will explain how a child can practise various language and speech skills during a particular activity. First up: blackberry picking! Continue reading →
In February, I wrote about wanting to spend more time outside in nature, two weeks later my family and I went on holiday to Wales, and 2 months after that we moved here! We’re now based in beautiful Llanelli, and feeling grateful, particularly for our daily walks along the coast.
I’m still seeing a small number of clients in London, on a fortnightly basis. I’m in the process of finding a therapy room in West Wales and excited about seeing clients here, too. Continue reading →
My partner has taken the kids out for a walk, so I have time to sit down and write this blog post. I’m reflecting on time. What do I want to use my time for? How can I use my time in a way that serves my purpose?
I haven’t written anything here on the blog for 4 months. I enjoy using writing as a tool for reflection, and ‘blog regularly’ features on my Goals for 2017 list. I meant to write earlier in the year about my intentions for my practice in 2017, but I didn’t make the time. I have two children, the youngest just 6 months old: quiet time to concentrate is rare. But I don’t want to think about time with a scarcity mindset, and I don’t want to live my life that way, rushing from one thing to another, frantically trying to do everything. That’s not connecting with my power. Continue reading →
A discussion with a therapist friend prompted me to think about how we measure the success of our independent therapy practices. There seems to be a tacit assumption, here in the UK, that as independent therapists we’re aiming to grow our practices, hire a team of therapists, and that more (employees and clients) is best. Continue reading →
One of my goals for 2016 is to make as many therapy resources as possible. I’m trying to spend more time rummaging through the recycling box and less time browsing on Amazon. I want to keep my clients interested, so I need a variety of materials. Continue reading →
In the conclusion to their book, Jane Stokes and Marian McCormick wrote that they hope it makes you think “Hmmm…” – it certainly does.
As Jane and Marion designed the curriculum for a new postgraduate course in speech and language therapy they collected stories, and then wrote this book to add to the conversation about issues that underlie the SLT profession. The book has 10 chapters, 5 written by Jane and Marian, and 5 contributed by other people. It raises challenging questions and explicitly invites the reader to examine their professional beliefs. Continue reading →
I recently attended a workshop at The Music House for Children on introducing musical learning to children with Autism. I was energised and inspired by the session and left with several practical ideas I’m keen to try out. The workshop was led by Kirsty Keogh, it was refreshing to hear from a professional outside of speech therapy. Kirsty is experienced at working with children and young people with Autism, I could see from the videos examples how well the children responded to her. Continue reading →
Last week I had what I thought was a winning therapy idea, when it didn’t pan out I had to improvise.
Two of my kiddies are working on verbs and we’d been practising “cutting.” I’m targeting /sn/ clusters (“snip!”) with another child. I was inspired by some recycled packing materials to try a hair cutting activity.
I drew faces on paper and taped wavy, strings of cardboard packing stuff on for hair, it looked great. I handed a pair of children’s scissors to the girl working on “snip” and she gave it a good go. But the scissors were too small and not sharp enough to cut the “hair” – oh dear. We started snipping other bits of paper, and then rapidly moved on to sticking things on to a picture of a “snail.” For the two boys working on “cutting” it was Toca Hair Salon to the rescue – phew.
Therapy is all about improvising: therapy sessions rarely go exactly to plan. We can’t follow a recipe, instead we spontaneously make communication opportunities from whatever is available, and teach parents to do the same.