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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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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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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Speech development…what is normal?

As children start to talk, they vary in terms of how clear their speech is. Some children seem to speak clearly from the word go. Others start off clear and then become less clear as they say more. Others are difficult to understand at the start but as they acquire more words, the clarity also […]

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Language units for children with specific speech and language impairments

Some children have a specific difficulty with learning to speak and/or understand or use language, despite having an average or above average IQ. This difficulty has different names, most frequently , specific speech and language impairment (SSLI), specific language impairment (SLI) or specific speech and language disorder (SSLD). Children with SSLI need regular speech and […]

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Let me introduce myself…Communication Passports

What is it? A communication passport is a person-centred book which supports someone who cannot speak for themselves. It is a way of sharing information about a person in a clear, simple format, focusing on the person as being a unique, valued individual. What goes in it? It can include any of the following: Key […]

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For teachers: Working with school age children who are bilingual.

I am often asked about bilingualism by teachers, particularly in relation to children whose first language is not English, and it is now a topic that I always include on my summer teacher training courses at the West Cork Education Centre. Across the world, bilingualism (and multi-lingualism) is more common than monolingualism (one language). There are […]

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International autism specialist to speak at event in Bandon

SPECIAL Strength for Special Parents is a unique financial and health education evening for parents of young and adult children with an intellectual disability or autism. It takes place on Thursday 11th September at 7pm. The evening will feature Dr Caroline Goldsmith, a world renowned authority in the field of Autism, in addition to a number of […]

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Stormy stories…the importance of story telling skills, and some tips for helping them along

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“Our trampoline blew away….but we found it….”  “Well, our play house didn’t blow away….it’s very strong!” were some of the stories that came back from our son’s first day at school following Storm Darwin on 12th February 2014. These stories were still vivid in the children’s minds, even though power cuts had meant that it was […]

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I’m just not understood!

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It was proving to be quite a civilised dinner, food was being eaten and children were chatting… and listening…a model conversational meal… Our three year old said, “You and Daddy bwain.” “Playing?” I asked. “No, bwain.” “Brain?” “No bwain.” OK, so now time to pull out some more highly effective strategies. “I don’t understand you, tell […]

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