My 3 year old bundle of trouble and hugs has had a few hiccups on the road to communication and we find ourselves on the path of Speech Therapy. This path has had it's ups and downs, frustrations and triumphs and I just wanted to share a few things.
I have never had a problem admitting that Alfie needed a little extra help in the speech department. I had hoped that one magical day he would wake up and talk perfectly but I knew deep down that that was not going to happen. Alfie drops letter sounds at the start, middle and end of words, even though he is capable of saying most of the sounds. Our dog is called Nutmeg and up until very recently Alfie could say Nut and Meg separately but together we got Nutegg! D's and G's are a problem and often get mixed up at the end of words, whilst S's were dropped from the start of words.
I started the process of Speech Therapy with a positive attitude that together we could crack it! Twelve months down the line and with the help of a fabulous Speech Therapist, a few helpful websites and iPad games and the sheer determination of our family we are getting there and the progress Alfie is making is a joy to watch.
Here are a few of my hints and tips if you are about to start the Speech Therapy path too:
* Know your child's issues- Before starting Speech Therapy with Alfie I knew his speech was delayed but pinpointing what his actual faults were took a trained ear and once we knew his weaknesses tackling them seemed less daunting when we only have to deal with one problem area at once rather than the whole issue.
* Use what you have- I love Internet wandering and the kids love stealing my iPad. I found some great sites and Apps for printables, games, hints and tips;
- Mr Printables- excellent for flash cards and activity sheets
- Mommy Speech Therapy- printables for all letter sounds and great advice
- Toontastic- iPad App- If you own an iPad then this is a fabulous App. It's not designed for Speech Therapy so no forcing your kids to play this one, they will love it anyway! You move the characters around and talk, whilst it records you. Once finished you watch the cartoon back and listen to what has been recorded as the characters voices. I honestly believe that Alfie has learnt so much from listening to himself back as he can hear words that are said with sounds missing. Realising they are saying something incorrectly is very powerful in getting them to correct it.
I have worked hard to make our Speech Therapy activities fun, easy and short! Alfie gets distracted easily and can shut down if you push for too long. I have found ways to fit activities into our everyday life as well as having a set time each day to work on things. It's important that you find your own pace and methods that suit your family life and then everything seems much less scary.