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Hi

 

I have recently started a new job working as a speech and language therapist for Early Years. As my post is predominantly to deliver training to Early Years settings, I would really value any ideas from professionals working with children in the Early Years as to what kind of speech and language training you would think would be useful. Thanks very much, it will really help me to structure my training around the settings to what they actually want and need!

 

:)

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Hi jccam and welcome.

 

What an interesting job! I have always felt that some detail of normal speech development would be helpful to determine those children who would benefit from some more input rather than time, if that makes sense? Although, maybe that is too broad a topic and I should have been a speech therapist myself?

 

Good luck with the new job, I am sure you will be able to help lots of us here.

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Hello and welcome. :) We always seem to have children with poor pronunciation - often missing off initial letter sounds or mixing up sounds. Also having difficulty with some blends. Some sort of advice on really useful games to sort out common problems such as these would be good. :)

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Guest DeborahF

Have you come across the "Communicating Matters" training package yet? I think it is just being rolled out to different authorities at the moment - I was trained up as a "trainer" to deliver the first of three modules last week and really liked the content. It's all about the development of communication, speech and language in the early years and focusses very much on the role of the practitioner in promoting these skills, encouraging them to reflect on their current practice and look at alternative strategies. Sounds right up your street! Other people on my course were talking about the "I Can" training package, which they thought would be good to do BEFORE this course.

 

There's a bit of info about the Communicaing Matters course on the Literacy Trust website - if you want any more I've got the training materials here and may be able to answer a few questions!

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we seem to have so many children with speach and language difficulties that we have referred to speach therapy , that they come in to assess the children at the setting.

at the moment we have a speach therapist who comes in once a week to work with the children, and it is helpful to us when he shows us games and mouth exercises we can do with small groups of children during the week.

We have found that we have made up our own box of suitable games for speach therapy and the children love to see the box come out and quickly join us for the simple games. This has helped all the children in the group and those who need extra help are willing to join in games wth us when they were not doing it at speach therapy sessions where they felt self concious.

 

we are getting more help to extend this this term, and are lucky enough to have been offered in house Makaton training for all staff and some training in Pecs which we are beginning to use sucessfully with one child with autism.

 

on hand advice and help with difficulties are useful to us, help in what is expected at what age, what to listen for how we can best help the children and how to approach parents when we do have worries about a child perhaps with support at those difficult times, when you approach a parent who really is not aware of a need or willing to accept there is one. How to help parents who want to help the children at home.

 

We have ensured we learn from the people who visit us but we know that not all groups do the same perhaps becuse they need some help in understanding more about childrens speach development.

 

I am sure there is many more things groups would want help in, depends on the area as to the help they already recieve, we get support in our setting but realise others may not.

 

we get help by pushing ourselves forward, if a child has speach therapy at local childens centre we ask mum if we can send a member of staff too, same with sure start special needs sessions etc, and by doing this we get input from them in our setting.

 

 

Inge

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I think ideas for games would be great. We have may children with speech problems and common sounds are d/j/t/f/s and blends such as fr/tr,etc that cause them problems. We do have a puppet with a tongue that helps but would like reinforcement of which sounds are fricatives/plosives etc because I've forgotten all that information since my degree years

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I have a small group of children which i have identified with some speech problems (some recieving speech therapy) who spend some time each week with the nursery nurse playing a game that requires them to talk, describe, give clues, but some more specialised ideas for games would be great.

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Hi All

 

Wow! Thanks everyone for replying to my post. :) I have had a great response from everyone I have appraoched about providing extra training around speech and language for staff, so it is really positive that we all have the same vision in some ways!

 

I was able to chat to the EY sencos in my area and a lot of the things you have identified are the same kinds of things. Mainly information regarding what is 'normals' and what is not and some really practical, hands on activities to try with kids. I have heard of communicating matters, in fact I went on the training for it back in March. We have decided to focus on 'Learning Together, Working Together' from ICAN in our are. This is because we have found that, although the Communicating Matters info is very sound and useful, it is slightly too high level for some of the early years staff in our area, who have had absolutely no previous training in speech and language. The area in which I work is one of huge deprivation unfortunately.

 

In regards to the speech sounds, I can give you a quick 'crib sheet'!:

 

Plosives= p, b, t, d, k, g

Nasals= n, m, ng

Fricatives= f, v, th, s, z, sh, s (as in measure), h

Affricates= ch, j (as in juice)

Approximants= l, y, r, w

 

ch and j, along with r, l, y and blends (e.g. tree, spider etc) tend to come last (often not until 4 - 41/2 years or even later for ch and j. I would not tend to worry too much about these sounds when children are in pre-school.

 

The most important ones when kids are at pre-school age are the plosives, nasals (especially m and n) and 'easier' fricatives, which are f and s and perhaps v and z. What can be important is what children use instead of these sounds, as this can indicate whether the difficulties are indicative of delay or disorder. So training on normal speech sound development sounds like it might be useful? Where I work we do not tend to work on 'th' as it is dialect in my area for kids and parents (and some staff) to use 'f' instead.

 

Hope that this helps! Thanks again for all your opinions, and let me know if anything I have said doesn't make sense!

 

:)

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Thanks so much for the crib sheet..I will find it really useful!

 

Just thought...does this affect the order we should teach sounds to FS children? Currently we use the 'playing with sounds' guidance and teach sounds in an order where they can soon build up 3 letter words

Edited by Guest
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Hi there. I'm so envious I would have loved to have been a speech therapist.

In our area we haev been able to access Elklan training. Have you had any experience of that? www.elklan.co.uk

I found it really really good and the booklet that accompanied the course (Early Language Builders) was packed with games etc to use.

For us one of the most useful things was to know when we should be referring children to SALT.

Good luck

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Kermit,

 

It's interesting what you are asking about the teaching of phonics, to be honest, I am just familiarising myself with 'Playing with Sounds'. I think for the speech and language side of things, we tend to place particular emphasis on listening to sounds (that is, everyday sounds, rhythms and then speech sounds as the child gets older), especially if a child is struggling with with speech sounds. Pre-schoolers can find it very difficult to change how they speak and reseach shows that emphasising discrimination of sounds can have a big impact on the speech output.

 

We play games such as musical chairs but instead of listening out for music they have to listen for the adult to make a sound - and for this we make a speech sound. We alternate the speech sounds used throughout the game and also try and make them quieter and quieter. When children get to age 4 - 41/2 we start more specific speech sound work, again with the emphasis on listening. This approach has been taken from popat

and feedback from parents and teachers in our area have found the children's reading and writing to have made big improvements.

 

Pandamonium - Thanks very much for the link to elkan, I have heard of it but am unsure what it entails, will look it up!

 

Jenny :)

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I've just looked on the website Jenny and Popat sounds very good, I'd love to see some resource examples , do you know if there are any to view on the web?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi kermit,

 

Sorry I have taken a while to get back to you. Unfortunately I am not sure of any resources for Popat on the web, I am lucky because one of my colleagues used to work with the lady who started Popat, so that's how I know about the approach. The only thing I can recommend is contacting Popat directly, they might be able to give you a little bit more informtion on it.

 

Sorry for not being much help!

 

Jenny

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  • 4 months later...

Hi everyone ,I am on the Elklan training at the moment .It is very interesting as I work in a pre-school and in the primary school as well .It looks as if it will come in useful for both settings. I have also just signed up for the NVQ level 4 childrens care and learning ( Suffolk) .They have told us it will only take a year and we won't have to attend workshops etc .Lets hope it was a good decision to do this as well as everything else we have to do in a pre-school setting.

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Hello Sue and welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy and good luck with your studies. :D

 

I have a child, aged 4 yrs, who is English but has spent 3 of those 4 years in Spain, thus having dual language, although English is his families main language.

He has only been with us a few weeks so we are still getting to know him. It became obvious quite quickly that he has problems with initial sound pronounciation, for example using 'd' instead of 'f' . Initial chat with parent was that she's not concerned, it's because of the spanish influence. :o Also would appreciatte advise re: children who have EAL, How to support them if pronounciation in 'home' language is correct ie: no developmental delay, but in English pronounciation is not as clear.

 

Peggy

 

ooh, just thought of another child in our setting, attends speech therapy and his speech is improving very well :D However, our concerns are more on hi9s comprehension abilities rather than speech. Any ideas of games to enable assessment of comprehension levels would be appreciated.

 

I have asked mum to ask for some guidance from his therapist, to share with us, but any more ideas would be welcome.

 

Peggy

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we have been given a couple of simple games for comprehension by our speech therapist, perhaps you could ask for their help,

 

They all involve a simple game which requires the child to undertake a simple task,

 

for example using big and little animals and 2 pictures of say a field and a barn and then ask the child to put an animal in the barn or field, eg, put the big cow in the field , big horse in the barn, small pig in the field or we use a Noah's ark and animals as well and put the animals in on next to the ark.

 

also posting a picture into a box asking the child to post a particular one, can also work with items from the cupboard, such as different coloured bricks shapes sizes etc

 

or use a puppet and food pictures of different sizes or play food and ask for the puppet to be fed with particular items, (we have a very noisy parrot one which only shuts up when fed!)

 

Once in the swing you can extend these to more complex requests.

 

For expressive games we use pictures or items under skittles, they throw a ball, and the picture under the skittle they tell us what it is or what is happening in it, eg a red car or a green frog, extending to a big red car or little one.

Can also use post box for this they tell you what the picture is before posting, we have a pop up dragon game from ELC we use for this too they have to choose a flag to put in the game and tell us about the picture under it before placing the flag in the game, fun waiting for the pop up. (like pop up pirate but cheaper)

 

I am currently in process of producing more games in this line with items on or under otr next to big and little items too,

 

we find once we start the children all join in and we are there for lots of the session!!

 

Inge

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Thanks for the ideas Inge, the young boy I referred to is really interested in 'posting', anything and everything :o , so I shall try your posting games with him.

 

Peggy

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