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Making Communication Fun. Maximising Communication in Infants and Young Children Lisa McNally and Nan Evans Early Years Speech and Language Therapists,

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Presentation on theme: "Making Communication Fun. Maximising Communication in Infants and Young Children Lisa McNally and Nan Evans Early Years Speech and Language Therapists,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Communication Fun. Maximising Communication in Infants and Young Children Lisa McNally and Nan Evans Early Years Speech and Language Therapists, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

2 Effective oral language skills are the building blocks on which subsequent literacy and numeracy development is based. Without solid foundations in language and communication skills, children run the risk of school failure, low self-esteem and poor social skills. Yet up to 80% of children in some areas of the UK are starting school without these vital skills. Reference: The Cost to the Nation of Children’s Poor Communication. I CAN Talk Series – Issue 2

3 A powerful report published in 2006 identifies that the home environment has as much impact on a child’s development as school. Reference: Wood, C. and Caulier-Grice, J. (2006) Fade or Flourish: How Primary Schools can Build on Children’s Early Progress Social Market Foundation We also know that the early linguistic environments of young children have long-term effects on their development and subsequent academic achievement. Reference: Hart, B. and Risley, R.R. (1995) Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children Baltimore: Paul Brookes

4 Training of others is viewed as central in achieving real change in children’s communication. For children with impoverished language, creating a communication supportive environment in the early years at home and in school is critical. Support for parents and skilled carers and educators in the pre-school years can minimise the risk of these difficulties developing into permanent problems that undermine school achievement and the ability to form relationships.

5 There is evidence to show that, during the sixth month of pregnancy, the baby can see, hear, taste, experience, feel, remember and even learn. Reference: Verny, T. (1981) The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. Dell Publishing: New York. ‘ Your Bump and Beyond ‘ was developed by Sasha Bemrose, a specialist speech and language therapist. The pack has been split into two main areas: learning before birth and learning as a baby.

6 During pregnancy, parents are keen and enthusiastic to learn about ways to help their baby. If they learn to communicate with their baby at this early stage it sets up good patterns once the baby is born and helps to form positive attachments. Parents are shown how the baby communicates through kicking, what music is soothing for the baby, and how the baby responds to their voice when it is born.

7 By 24 weeks of pregnancy, your baby can hear music and voices. Your baby does not like loud noises and will tell you so by kicking and moving. Your baby will move its body in rhythm to your talking. When your baby is born, it is calmed by the sound of your voice and other familiar voices. Newborn babies can pick up their mother’s and father’s voice within an hour of birth. Tapes of a human heartbeat were played into a nursery with newborn babies. Those babies who heard the tape did better than those who did not hear the tape (they ate more, weighed more, slept more, breathed better and cried less). Example:

8 National Literacy Trust: Talk To Your Baby Talk To Your Baby produces a range of downloadable resources for parents and professionals, including Quick tips, Communicating through music, Talk to Me and many more. Available in 13 languages




12 ‘Stoke Speaks Out’ asked a group of parents, which programmes they would recommend, here is their selection: 0-2 yrs: Teletubbies Tommy Zoom In the Night Garden Postman Pat Pocyo Mr Maker Thomas the Tank engine Noddy All age groups: Tweenies Blue Peter Horrid Henry Mama Mirabella's Charlie and Lola Dora the Explorer Smart Bedtime Story Rubbadubbas 64 Zoo Lane Art attack Newsround C Beebies Bob the builder Big Cook little cook












24 Other Agencies: Language and PlayBookstartLibraries

25 Talking Point is run by I CAN and funded by Hello - the national year of communication.Hello Access to activities and advice for Parents:




29 Also I CAN ‘Chatter Matters’ Downloadable charts DVDs for Parents and Staff working in Early Years settings









38 Other Useful websites offering activities for children to do to enhance communication skills and information for Parents and Carers:







45 Top tips for talking: Rear facing buggies, stop where the child can see what's going on Family meal times Quiet times with no background noises Routine – this develops understanding, simple repetitive language is easier to learn Turn taking play e.g. rolling a ball to each other, posting a car down a cardboard tube Listening for sounds and talking about what makes the sounds Pretend play – show the child how to pretend to cook dinner, feed teddy Sharing books – short and simple to start with Use short simple sentences to help your child to learn and remember more easily




49 There are many different ways that a message can be represented: Object Representation of an object Total Communication

50 Photograph Symbol Sign Written word Shoe

51 Makaton Signs: Latest developments: MyChoicePad: Comes with the Makaton Core Vocabulary

52 Communication Books Use family photos, digital pictures of child’s favourite food, toys, activities etc to make communication purposeful and meaningful

53 Visual Timetables: Help children to understand when certain activities will take place or when an activity has finished

54 Games used in Therapy: Lotto Feely Bags

55 Posting Games: Puppets:

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