Summer is a great time for dusting off the bikes, going on those trips you've been planning for ages, spring cleaning, refreshing your wardrobe and enjoying a cold one with friends and the footie. But it's also a really good time to work on speech, language and communication difficulties. Here are 7 reasons why getting summer-ready should include booking that appointment with a speech and language therapist:
1. School's out!
Maybe your little one is about to start school in September, or making the transition from infant to junior, or just about to enter their SAT years. Either way, a new school year brings lots of new challenges, and getting a communication skills boost over summer will set kids in good stead for succeeding academically come September. Click here to see the importance of communication skills for reading and writing https://www.kidshealth.org.nz/early-literacy-skills
2. Time to talk
The school term is an exhausting time for everyone with the early mornings, traffic on the school run, homework and after-school activities to name a few. Chances are your whole family will be enjoying some well-deserved downtime and family time, which is the ideal environment for learning some new speech and language skills. Children will be much more likely to engage in some practice when they're not exhausted from a long day at school - and those long car journeys you have coming up will be perfect to whip out the practice cards and get everyone involved in practising new sounds and strategies!
3. NHS Service Downtime
NHS speech and language therapists also enjoy a well-deserved quieter pace of life during the summer holidays. With schools closed and lots of patients away, therapists, managers and administrators are taking this time to have holidays and time with their own families, and catching up on the mountains of reports and paperwork that have built up over the school term. A referral coming in at this time of year will likely not be addressed until the new school term. Don't battle with waiting lists and out-of-office emails, pick up the phone to us today and get an appointment sorted!
4. Flexible Appointment Times
Now that you're not having to juggle 5 different social schedules and coordinate school runs with karate, ballet and piano lessons, there's likely to be more time when you can fit in a quick 1 hour assessment. (Yes that slot between Flip Out and dinner at Grandma's will suit just fine!) If you're feeling anxious about the results it's a much better idea to get it sorted so it's not hanging over you. Remember it may be nothing at all to worry about - meaning that you can enjoy your trip to Cornwall stress-free!
5. Brain Training for Screen Zombies!
It's all-too-tempting for all of us to be drawn like moths to the inviting glare of the TV, ipad or phone during our downtime. As well as the reading lists they've probably been given over the summer, speech and language practice is a great excuse for the whole family to switch off, unplug and spend some quality time practising communication skills that will help with reading, writing, storytelling and problem solving. Their teachers will thank you later!
6. Sunshine and Smiles all Round!
Everything looks better in the sunshine - and this could include a positive attitude towards your child's developing communication skills. Children learn much better when they're having fun! Without the hassle of a fixed routine, using rewards and encouragement to support your child to practise their new skills should be much easier. Out at the beach? Let's practise for 10 minutes then we can get an ice cream. You need a lift to your friend's house? Let's talk about these pictures first and then I'll take you.
7. Avoid Speech Therapy Rush Hour!
If you're tempted to think 'I need to get this sorted but I'll wait until school starts' - think again! September is a crazy time of year for teachers and speech therapists alike. New teachers, new pupils, new referrals, new therapists, new policies, new activities, backlogs of emails and phonecalls and meetings. Educators will be getting their heads round the new normal for weeks before they can begin to think about a referral for your child - and it may take them a while to get to know them in order to provide the appropriate amount of data for the paperwork. Beat the queues and get in quick! Imagine being able to say 'they've made so many improvements over the summer' - that's an academic head start for your little talker and brownie points for you being a proactive parent!
Speech and language therapy is NOT a week-by-week time commitment, it's about one-off consultation sessions teaching YOU valuable skills for supporting your child's development through your daily interactions with them. Small changes make a BIG difference! Talk to us today to arrange an assessment.