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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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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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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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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