Growing an Understanding of Your Child’s Needs
Imagine a small sapling, in the middle of your garden, surrounded by fully grown trees, flowers in bloom and bees buzzing. That small sapling started from a seed, and with the right soil, sunlight, water and nourishment, pushed itself through the earth and developed its first leaf. That small sapling will one day grow into a tree. But only if it has the right root system, a strong foundation on which to base its glorious display of greenery.
Your child is just like that sapling. All children need support and nurturing to find their first smile, to take their first step, to utter their first words. And as they grow, their needs grow too, some more than others. But as parents, it can be hard to know what kind of support your child needs. Knowing where to access the right information and build your own understanding is not always easy, but let’s think of that sapling in the garden. Because it received the right soil, sunlight, water and nourishment, it developed a strong root system on which to base its continual growth. Just like that root system, understanding and foundation skills can support the development of your child’s communication abilities, encouraging growth, and confidence.
Growing Your Understanding
As the name suggests, I created A Growing Understanding to offer services that were centred around ‘growing the understanding’ of not only children, but for those who care for and support them. Essentially, a place for everyone to grow and flourish.
I believe that a child’s growth is founded in understanding. Their understanding of the world around them and how they can connect with it. Our understanding, as parents, carers, speech pathologists, educators, of their abilities, their needs and how they relate to the world around them. But this understanding is something that is developed over time. You can’t expect to be an expert when it comes to every facet of your child’s life. Teachers, therapists, doctors and so on are there to help you navigate any challenging situation. Speech pathologist are there to help you navigate communication, language and feeding challenges, and can help you grow an understanding of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Speech pathologist can also provide you with the tools to support your child’s development at home.
What Can a Speech Pathologist Do?
A speech pathologist, speech therapist, or ‘my talking teacher’ as some children might affectionately say, is trained and qualified to help children with two of life’s fundamentals; communication and eating. While this is a pretty simplistic way of looking at what we do, it does emphasise the importance. These fundamental skills don’t come as easily to some children as others. Our work across a variety of delays and disorders, ranging from mild articulation delays, late talking and stuttering, to more complex disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down syndrome, hearing impairment, motor speech disorders, and other developmental delays, is essential when it comes to helping a child grow. Our understanding of these varying delays and disorders means we are equipped with the skills and tools to help your child build their communication skills, forge meaningful connections with the people around them, and grow their abilities and confidence.
More specifically, speech pathologists can help children with the following:
Speech Delays and Disorders
We help children with the production of speech sounds and how well they can be understood
We help children to use language to share thoughts, feelings and ideas
We help children to understand language, word meanings and instructions
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
We help children who have difficulties with speaking and writing to use pictures, communication boards or assistive devices that can support their understanding and expression of language
We help children who stutter to speak more fluently and with confidence
Feeding and Swallowing
We offer support and tools for infants and children who have difficulties eating, drinking and swallowing safely
We help children with learning to read, write and spell
We help children with disorders of the voice that may affect the pitch, quality, volume
We help children communicate for social purposes and to understand and follow the rules of conversation
We help children who may have difficulty with organising their thoughts, planning, reasoning, paying attention, remembering and problem solving
How Do I Know if My Child Needs to See a Speech Pathologist?
Think back to that sapling growing in your garden. Does it have all the things it needs to grow into a beautiful tree? The same goes for your child. While it can be hard to recognise certain challenges your child may be facing, you know them best. And if you feel for any reason that they may not have what they need to grow, we encourage you to seek advice. Early intervention is critically important when it comes to your child developing the fundamental skills necessary for future success.
A Growing Understanding’s Hanen certified speech pathologists are here to answer your questions. We possess the skills required to assess your child’s abilities and provide specialised support and therapy to help your child grow. Click here to make an appointment today.
For more information on the ‘warning signs’, click here. This information from the Hanen Centre will provide you with a few key things to look out for at varying ages.