Servicing Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Port Stephens (02) 4044 1122 hello@agrowingunderstanding.com.au

Play is our brain’s favourite way of learning. – Diane Ackerman

As speech pathologists who work with children, we have seen and heard some truly funny things in our therapy sessions.

One that springs to mind was when I was working with a young boy on procedures and sequencing. In this session, we were going to make fairy bread, and I was certainly surprised at his response when I asked him what we needed to do first. He responded with: “Well, first we’ll have to kill the fairy.” When he saw that I looked shocked, he continued: “Don’t worry, it would just be the tooth fairy!”

Moments like these are what make each session special. Every child has their own way of experiencing the world and our therapy sessions need to reflect that. These moments also remind us of the fun that needs to exist in these sessions to not only keep a child engaged, but to ensure the information imparted is remembered.

Now I bet that the young boy in this story remembers his first impression of fairy bread, just as much as I do.

But the idea of fun and play goes beyond the moments sparked by an innocent response to a question. Play and fun is an integral part of the children’s therapy we provide, and I will explain why within this article.

Play Based Therapy 

Nobody likes doing something that they know they are not good at repeatedly. And children are no different. Therapy and the practice associated with developing language and communication skills can take time. It is because of this that speech pathologists need to be inventive with how they keep a child motivated and interested throughout the session. Play is one of the best ways to do this.

Introducing play scenarios or games that are associated with a child’s interest will appeal to their natural sense of curiosity, can help them develop a positive attitude towards learning, and motivate them to participate. Essentially, your child is practicing a speech sound, a new word, a sentence or working towards another goal; all while having fun playing their favourite game.

Furthermore, we know that play is tied to a child’s development not only linguistically, but socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively as well. By introducing play in therapy, we can also cultivate a child’s ability to play in a broader context, help them understand turn-taking and increase the scope of their communication skills.

How We Put the Fun in Therapy

At A Growing Understanding, we implement a few key strategies to ensure the children we work with stay motivated and achieve their goals in a fun environment:

Interests are Interesting

Simply put, a child will be more interested in what you have to say and do if they can relate to it and understand it. By introducing books and games that align with their interests, anything from fire trucks, to fairies, animals to astronauts; we can capture your child’s attention and keep them motivated throughout the session.

Bite Sized Pieces

Breaking bigger and harder therapy tasks into bite sized pieces can be much more palatable for children. We find that doing lots of smaller activities, interjected with movement, play or reward breaks, is better than one long activity. Think little and often.

Excitement is Contagious

If you feel bored in a therapy session, chances are the child does too. That is why we ensure we are excited and engaged in everything we do. A child will not be able to do their best work if they are bored, so we ensure the tasks are enjoyable for both the therapist and the child.

Small Reward, Big Return

We all like to be rewarded for the good work we do, and children are no different. By offering small rewards throughout the therapy session, we are elevating a child’s confidence and encouraging them to keep trying. And that is what we need to see results.

Shake It Up

Incorporating movement and music in a therapy session can be a great way to lift the vibe of the space, move attention away from a task that is frustrating or challenging, alleviate stress, and shake it up. Doing something new and unexpected, particularly if it involves movement, can be just what is needed to enhance the outcomes of a session.

We learn through fun. It is the fun moments that we remember. Fun motivates us, helps us to engage and most of all, ensures we enjoy what we are doing. Fun is a big deal in a child’s world, as that is what it is all about.

Think of it like this – fun is the light. Without fun, the emphasis is placed on the challenge, the dark. When we introduce fun, the light shines in and can help your child grow.

15 hours ago

A Growing Understanding- Speech Pathology

The Carly Ryan Foundation Inc. has created these helpful fact sheets for commonly used apps/games/programs. With so many of our children accessing these programs, we strongly believe in their efforts for a safer online environment for all families!The Carly Ryan Foundation produces factsheets on some of the more common apps used. For a .pdf version of the apps please email info@carlyryanfoundation.com ... See MoreSee Less

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HIGH FIVE ✋🏻 Abbigail!! You have been working so hard on your ‘r’ sounds (it’s not easy to hear the difference between ‘r’ and ‘w’)! You are such a joy to work with and I loved the laughs we shared during our practise session today!
Also- Abbi shared the StorySign Android app with us today! This clever app scans the words in books and translates into signs to hearing-impaired children! Check it out! ~ Lauren

#growunderstanding #highfive #speechpathology #speechtherapy #excellence #newcastle #lakemacquarie #portstephens
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🎶🎵🎶Did you know that singing, including nursery rhymes and other ‘finger play’ games can be a wonderful way to interact with your child with ASD? These activities can encourage your child’s turn taking skills and requesting skills - essential for building early social skills. Today we had a happy time with Miss C, her mother and her teddies singing ‘Round and Round the Garden’.

What was your favourite nursery rhyme/finger play game as a child? ~Melissa 🙂
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What a night! Not only did Jess win Young Employee of the Year, but I am proud to say that our team was the last ones dancing on the dance floor!! What an amazing night and what an amazing team! I am unbelievably proud! The Lake Macquarie City Council presented a wonderful night of celebration, and we thank all the sponsors and supporters for helping to make it happen.

#lmbea #excellence #growunderstanding #speechpathology #speechtherapy #lakemacquarie #newcastle #portstephens #amazingteam
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We missed out on the Employer of Choice award this year (with the award going to Toronto Private Hospital). But with such a high calibre of businesses as finalists, we are still extremely proud! A Growing Understanding is a place to establish and grow a career and we want it to be well-known as an awesome place to work! With an amazing team like this- we can continue to provide high quality, awesome speech pathology services to children in our region! We are proud to be finalists in this category!

#lmbea #excellence #growunderstanding #speechpathology #speechtherapy #lakemacquarie #newcastle #portstephens #amazingteam
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Our Locations

Lake Macquarie
Unit 7-8, 48 Oakdale Road, Gateshead NSW

Port Stephens
Building E, 1 Technology Place, Williamtown NSW

Our Locations

Lake Macquarie
Unit 7-8, 48 Oakdale Road, Gateshead NSW

Port Stephens
Building E, 1 Technology Place, Williamtown NSW

Copyright © 2019 A Growing Understanding | Website Design and Development by Beverly Cassidy | PRIVACY POLICY

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Copyright © 2019 A Growing Understanding | Website Design and Development by Beverly Cassidy | PRIVACY POLICY