Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Parent Talk

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Parent Talk

Article excerpt

Byline: By Shona Russell

Bringing up babies and children isn't always an easy job. Shona Russell aims to help you with practical guidance and information, based on her experience as a counsellor, a childcare writer and mother-of-three. If you've got an issue you think she can deal with, write to her here at the Evening Chronicle. She'll do her best to share some down-to-earth advice.

Q. My daughter is three and she has been referred for speech therapy.

The speech therapist comes to see us once a week and has been doing so for a month now. She thinks my daughter has no underlying speech or language problem and her ears have been checked out so we don't think there is any hearing damage. But we are worried because she doesn't say anything anyone can understand. She makes certain noises but no-one but the immediate family know what they are.

The therapist spends about an hour playing with her and she tries to encourage me to do the same. But I feel awkward. My own family life wasn't good, and no-one ever played with me. I know I probably should play with my little girl but I find it very hard to do. Is there anything I can do to get lessons in what sort of things will bring my daughter's talking on? I know I could copy the therapist but there is no way I can see myself playing games for an hour. I have two older children and there just isn't the time.

A. You can ask the speech therapist about this. She will help you work out how to help your daughter, maybe not by playing with her for an hour at a time, but with several bursts of 10 or 15 minutes in a day.....this is how children learn and their conversations and interactions with their parents are the most important lessons they can have. It is far more valuable for your little girl to play with you twice a day for 15 minutes than to have an hour a week with the speech therapist. …

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