Blog

Helping children to stop mumbling and to speak more clearly using pacing

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‘She’s always mumbling,” or “He speaks to fast.” These are two reasons that parents may refer their children to me. What I commonly find is that while the child may be reasonably clear in single words or when speaking in short phrases or sentences, as they move into conversation, their speech becomes generally indistinct, with words run […]

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Communicating about the Internet…and (of) Things like that

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend a very stimulating evening entitled, ‘Digitally Connected’ hosted by Network Cork and IT Cork at the Clarion Hotel. It was a very informative evening which highlighted opportunities and risks associated with the exponential growth of the internet, particularly as it becomes closer and closer to our lives. […]

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Spiralling conversations- Staying on topic

A good conversation has a natural flow, it meanders back and forth as we build on ideas, and share the same topic. Conversations are more difficult when a person stays so long on a topic that the listener loses interest, or at the other extreme jumps from one topic to another. This latter challenge is […]

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Speech rate and public speaking

There is a big difference between speaking and reading…No, this isn’t as obvious a statement as it sounds, because, even though we know that speaking and reading are different activities, we can sometimes forget this when giving a presentation. Think about it, if you’re an efficient reader, how many words can you read in a minute? While […]

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Snippets from Summer Course for Teachers

I had the privilege of providing a summer course through the West Cork Education Centre, to a very enthusiastic and motivated group of teachers at the start of the month. We covered a range of topics over the week, and I thought I’d share a few snippets of information related to topics raised during the course. […]

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Rejoicing in the right to be irrational

On Saturday 18th April, I attended a thought-provoking conference on Consent and Capacity- Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults (La Touche Training). As I drove home after the conference, I found myself reflecting on how fragile life is, and the importance of valuing the moment. In the midst of this process of deep and meaningful self-reflection (well not […]

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Freeing the Voice: Doing less to get more

When people come to see me for help with their voice, I both listen to their concerns and experiences of speaking and also observe how they use their voices across different speaking tasks. The two most common complaints are difficulty with projecting the voice, and/or vocal fatigue, i.e. the voice not lasting for the job […]

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Mind maps: What are they for and how to create them

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          Mind maps are an invaluable tool for students with language and literacy difficulties, and are a strategy that I often recommend in my reports. What are they for? Well what better way to explain, than to create a simple one to discuss the topic. Helping with understanding: Children with language […]

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Transitioning to secondary school, Part 1

At this time of the year, preparations for school or onwards begin. This month, I’m writing about the move to secondary school for a child with speech, language, literacy and/or learning difficulties. I’ll focus specifically on children who fall into the category of specific speech and language impairment (SSLI), but the information could be applied […]

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Take a deep breath…does this help or hinder?

I was privileged to do some voice coaching sessions and run a voice workshop over the weekend with some very enthusiastic and engaging participants. It was fascinating the number of times that the topic of ‘taking a deep breath’ came up over the weekend. It got me thinking about the sorts of reasons that people are often […]

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