07 Sep EASY ACCESS TO EARLY YEARS COMMUNICATION….AT A BUS STOP NEAR YOU!!!
The 3 Foot Festival in Chelmsford was a great success this year despite the copious amounts of mud!! It was lovely to hear from parents and their concerns regarding their children’s speech, language and communication. What is so evident is how different people’s perceptions are of children’s developmental milestones and the varying expectations of parents. The opportunity for parents to ask general questions was refreshing and highlighted how important access to information is for parents. Whilst most parents had heard of Talking Tots which offer fun interactive communication based classes for early years, many hadn’t heard of ICAN and Talking Point which offer huge amounts of free information and resources. Previous reports on early years communication have highlighted that “early communication is not an area that health visitors generally prioritise as they must cover a range of topics with families in a very short period, and everyday difficulties tend to take priority”. Most health visitors supply parents with a parenting book, such as The Red Book or Birth to Five which both include sections on learning to talk, however there seems to be lost opportunity for signposting to children’s communication sites which provide invaluable information. A lovely article in the Bulletin (July 2016) celebrates the huge success of the Hackney Playbus which is provided by a small charity offering free play and support for families who need it most including drop in speech and language therapy sessions. Whilst we can’t all aspire to a mobile bus it would be nice to know that parents were being signposted to early communication charities so that many of those general questions can be easily resolved and hopefully gain some more information on the way!