Your child is falling behind with talking, language, thinking and social communication milestones. Perhaps you know why this is and you are looking for help , or you may not know why your child is struggling and you need clarification; either way I am here to help you.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. Children with ASD or social communication difficulties find it difficult to express their needs and tune in or engage with others effectively or appropriately.
Your child might be presenting with any or some of the following:
- Social interaction – making friends with other children
- Reduced attention and listening
- Limited eye contact
- Trouble with turn taking
- Not putting words together to make a sentence
- Repeating words you just said (echolalia)
I can help you with:
- Coaching and supporting you with strategies that you can use in daily life
- Helping you understand how your child is thinking and how you can engage better with your child
- Helping you to help your child to say more words and tantrum less
- Increasing your child’s attention and listening skills
- Help to understand words, concepts, pronouns, prepositions and other language concepts
- Understand and appreciate echolalia
Children with Down Syndrome experience speech, language and feeding difficulties due to anatomical, neurological and physiological challenges.
Orally, there are often challenges due to a high arched palate, small upper jaw as well as low muscle tone affecting the trunk and facial muscles, jaw, tongue and lips. Neurologically and emotionally we see learning difficulties or learning delay often affecting many of the building blocks of speech and language development. Early Intervention is highly recommended.
I can help with:
- Attention and listening,
- Early babbling and sound production
- Understanding language
- Use of gestures and signs (I am a Makaton Trainer)
- Early words and speech production
- Putting words together
- Sound awareness
- Total communication skills using signing, gestures and speech
- Higher level language skills
- Reading development
- Understanding questions, pronouns, prepositions
- Eating, drinking and swallowing – see Oral Motor Difficulties
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
This is the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. CP is caused by a problem in the parts of the brain responsible for controlling muscles. There can be several causes for CP such as a difficult or premature birth or an infection but sometimes the cause is not known. CP can occur with other problems such as epilepsy, hearing and/or vision problems and often mild to significant speech, language and communication difficulties.
I can help you with:
- Developing functional communication for children who are significantly affected and are non-verbal
- Developing an alternative/augmentative communication (AAC) system as a stepping stone towards spoken language
- Eye gazing or pointing for choice making with symbols or words
- Improving speech clarity
- Social Communication, turn taking, greeting, commenting, answering questions
- Feeding, eating, drinking and swallowing – see oral motor/speech development