The Expressive Child
Speech and Language Therapy
Jenni Lindinger – The Expressive Child
Imagine you are on holiday abroad. It’s really hot and you feel very, very thirsty. Just beyond your reach is a jug of ice cold water and a glass. You try to ask for the water, but no-one responds.
You can see the drops running down the side of the glass, condensing as the fresh, cold water meets the hot air. You want it so much you can almost taste the water. But whatever you try, you don’t seem to be able to ask for the water.
Maybe you don’t know the rights words, or how to put them together, maybe you’re not able to sound them out right, maybe you’re too scared to speak, don’t know the correct etiquette for asking, or you stumble over the words.
Our ability to communicate is vital to our wellbeing.
We need to communicate to get our most basic needs met. We also need to be able to have a good chat, to express how we’re feeling and to connect with other people in meaningful relationships. We need to communicate to be able to work, learn and socialise.
We need to communicate to stay psychologically healthy too, talking through problems and difficult situations, letting off steam and getting advice.
Admittedly, the examples above are simplistic, but they help to illustrate some of the things that happen for children and adults who have a communication difficulty and the wide-ranging impact this could have, left untreated.
Speech and Language Therapists are qualified professionals who specialise in communication difficulties, and know how to break down and identify what could be going wrong for people who struggle in this way, and then provide therapy to support them to communicate in a more effective way.
Despite being ‘speech and language therapists’, we work with all aspects of communication, not just talking and understanding, in fact, people are often amazed at the range of things we work with!
Verbal communication is only one aspect we cover; there are many other things that can get in the way of effective and enjoyable communication, things like struggling with the social skills, and also difficulties where a particular condition or disorder gets in the way of communication such as having a stammer, tics or a speech phobia.
At ‘The Expressive Child’ we have a small, specialist team of very experienced therapists working with children experiencing a wide range of difficulties with their communication.
We work holistically, identifying the underlying cause of the difficulty itself as well as any impact that difficulty may having on the child’s wellbeing and their family’s dynamics.
We then provide therapy to support children to overcome whatever is causing their problems, and to thrive with the highest possible confidence and self-esteem. We use a range of activities, from pretend play, colouring, sand-tray work to paper-based exercises.
To many people it my look like we’re simply playing with the children, and the feeling of happiness that comes from play is the same feeling we want our children to experience in their therapy sessions with us.
However, the games and activities we use are carefully selected and how they are played is often subtly modified to address the areas that our children need support with.
We might practise the ‘s’ sound whilst playing ‘Pop Up Pirate’, or create a story structure whilst playing with castles. We might practise using ‘he’ and ‘she’ correctly whilst colouring in pictures of people, or develop vocabulary by fishing out hidden objects from a bowl and naming each of them.
With older children, we might go to a cafe for a drink to practise speaking confidently and easily despite their stammer, or to work towards reducing their anxiety when speaking in a shop. We might visit children in a school to set up structured games in the playground so children can practice their team-work and co-operation. ‘Guess Who’ can be used to work on children using adjectives to make their descriptions more accurate.
The list is endless – being a Speech and Language Therapist requires a lot of creativity and imagination!
Our practice offers a free 15-minute consultation to anyone who wants to ask questions, find out whether an assessment would be appropriate and to find out more about what we do and how we work.
We work directly with children and families as well as directly with schools who commission services directly for children they want extra support with.
We even provide training to schools and nurseries, and to professional teams such as psychologists, and we welcome enquiries from anyone parents, teachers, healthcare professionals and even children themselves!
If you would like to find out more or to book a free 15 minute consultation please get in touch:
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