With current demand being high for Speech and Language Therapy services, you may find that referrals are taking time and waiting lists are long.
However, there are some practical things you can do that will help your child and could even speed up the process when you do get an appointment.
Here’s 3 things you can do today:
Review speech and language milestones for your child’s age from a reputable source such as https://www.bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people/science-and-facts or our instagram page @chattybabies. Think about the types of difficulties your child may be having so that you can explain these well and get the right type of help your child may need. Find activities to help develop the areas that you think they may be having difficulty with and try a few at home together. Be sure to tell your observations to your Speech and Language Therapist.
Book a hearing test. Even if your child passed their newborn screening test, a Speech and Language Therapist will often recommend a hearing test to check if there are any underlining problems with their hearing, that may be affecting your child’s speech. For example, did you know that 1 in 5 preschoolers can have glue ear which affects their ability to hear high frequency sounds such as some speech sounds!? Best to get it checked out.
Ditch the dummy. Now being a parent myself, I know how much the dummy can soothe some children. Both my sons had dummies and they were an absolute life saver. It was so hard to think about taking it away. However, once children start to talk, dummy usage really gets in the way. If you can’t get rid of it completely, make sure they only have the dummy during naps, specified down time or bedtime. Any time they are playing or communicating, make sure the dummy is put away. You may notice an immediate improvement without it.
If you’re still concerned regarding your child’s speech and language skills, please contact your GP for a referral to your local NHS service or contact us on 07534043087 or email@example.com and we may be able to help.