Skills such as understanding simple instructions, responding to simple requests and imitating sounds are called speech and language milestones. Children reach these milestones in how they play, learn, listen and observe.
It’s very important to remember that children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to pin point exactly when a child will learn a specific skill. However, milestones give a general idea of the changes to expect as a child gets older.
As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with your child’s speech and language development, schedule an appointment with us and share your concerns.
Don’t wait. The “wait and see” approach is risky, you want to be proactive with this, as your child’s speech and language development impacts their life immensely. Early difficulties with spoken language and understanding language can result in problems with reading, writing and overall learning. Therefore the earlier a child gets assessed and has therapy the better. Early intervention is critical for children with communication problems.
Have a look at our age related guidelines that can help you determine if your child’s speech and language skills are developing.
Are you concerned that your child might not have met some of their speech and language milestones? Book an assessment with us to help you determine the best course of action for your child.
Did you know, the average person speaks around 4,300 words a day? We use our voice more often than we realize and it’s easy to forget to take care of what seems to be our most valuable tool.
Here are three very simple guidelines on how to care for your voice:
Drinking water throughout the day is one of the best things you can do to moisten and hydrate your oral cavity and vocal chords. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times so you remember to take a sip every now and then.
The Queen’s Cough
Coughing is natural reflex, but it can also cause a lot of strain and can potentially damage your vocal cords. So what should you do when you feel an itch in your throat? Practice the queen’s cough! It is a gentle method to resist the urge to cough uncontrollably, a combination of a gentle cough and clearing your throat.
If your work requires you to use your voice often, it is important for you to take mini-breaks throughout the day to rest your voice. It is exactly what it sounds, resting your voice means refraining from talking as much as possible. If you still need to use your voice, consider using the confidential voice as this puts less strain on your vocal cords than when you are talking in a loud voice.
Now let’s look at what you should avoid in order to protect your voice.
Very cold drinks
When objects get cold they contract. Your body is the same way. When you get cold, you tighten or curl up for warmth. Even though the liquid itself does not touch the vocal folds, cold drinks will cause your vocal folds to tighten. Over time, this can have a harmful effect on your voice.
Smoking already has many negative effects on your health. One of those negative effects is on the vocal folds. Smoke can dry out the vocal fold tissues, kill the cells in your throat, create mucus problems, and build tar in your lungs. This can affect the flow of air and the quality of your voice.
Vocal folds in the throat vibrate together when sound is produced. Yelling and screaming cause the vocal folds to crash together very aggressively. The harsh contact can cause wear and tear of your vocal folds over time.
Over the counter Throat Sprays
Pain in your throat tells you that there is something wrong. Throat numbing medications such as sprays and syrups temporarily relieve any pain in the throat. The pain may disappear for a while, but the real problem is still there. When you do not feel the pain you may continue to engage in activities that may harm your voice.
Please remember be mindful when participating in any activities that affect your
Contact us or leave us a message if you would like to arrange a consultation at our office.
In a country as diverse and multicultural as South Africa it’s little wonder we have eleven official languages. So it goes without saying that your little one will at some time or another either be exposed to or need to learn a second or third language.
There are many questions and concerns around this topic.
More frequently asked is :-
“Will learning two languages cause our child’s speech or language skills to be delayed?”
There is no evidence or research to suggest that learning two languages causes language delays. In fact, many children who are exposed to more than one language outperform their peers who only know one language on both verbal and non-verbal tests of intelligence.
“How should we teach our child two languages?”
The first and most important suggestion for parents is to ensure you are speaking a language that you are comfortable and proficient in when communicating with your child. For example, if you are fluent in Afrikaans, then speak Afrikaans to your child.
One method for teaching multiple languages at home is the “One Parent One Language” approach, where each parent speaks a specific language to their child all the time. For example, mom only speaks English while dad only speaks Afrikaans.
“When is the best time to introduce a second or third language to my child?”
The long and the short answer to this question is, when that language is needed. Languages are there to be used, and using them means having a need for them. Acquiring languages has nothing to do with timing and all to do with necessity. Your child will learn Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans or any other language, whenever he or she finds it useful to learn it.
Are you in the process of teaching or introducing your child to a new language? But still concerned about your child’s language development? Leave a message below and we will contact you.