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  • jenaedunlop0

When your child is screaming in frustration because they can't be understood... I get it!!

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

When I was a young child I struggled with significant speech and language delays. I was late to start using words to communicate, and when I did try to communicate verbally, my speech sounded like complete gibberish! Even my family couldn't understand me most of the time.

This created a lot of frustration to say the least. Imagine me, 3 years old (in the early 1990s) standing in the shoe isle at Zellers, flailing my arms and crying "Mom, mom, I want payntuns, I want payntuns!" My Mom, completely bewildered, turned to my brother. "Mom, she wants the PINK ones!"

Fortunately, I didn't always have that much trouble communicating; fast forward about 25 years and I was walking across the stage to be awarded a Master of Speech-Language Pathology. You might ask, how is this possible?!

First - early intervention! I cannot express enough the importance of getting services for your child early on. I started seeing a speech therapist when I was only 2.5 years old. Research shows that only 40-50% of toddlers who are ‘late to talk’ catch up on their own. So the other 50-60% end up continuing to fall behind in their milestones unless they receive early intervention. This makes sense when we think about how every milestone hinges on the success of the milestone before it; until a child can successfully say the 2-3 word phrase “I love cookies” you can’t expect that they’ll combine words into a full sentence to create a more complex idea. Several studies have shown that early intervention programs result in benefits to later academic achievement, better mental health, and better career outcomes in adulthood. 

But what if you feel completely overwhelmed - by your child's communication struggles, their frustrations, or simply by being a parent in 2020 during unprecedented times!? You are not alone! A couple of years ago I worked with a lovely family and their 3 year-old twin boys. When I arrived at their house for our first session, one of them was sliding down the stair bannisters, and the other was climbing up... they were rambunctious (but not unusual) 3-year olds. I could see the look of exhaustion in their Mom's eyes. I knew that working on speech through movement activities was essential. So I printed out pictures of animals, toys, etc., representing the sounds they were working on, and hid them to create a treasure hunt! They thought this was so great... they worked hard on their sounds, while having a blast. That day, a lightbulb went off for their Mom; she realized that practicing speech was possible --- even for her active little boys! Fast-forward to today, two years later, and both boys are thriving.

It's my passion and mission to empower parents with simple, effective strategies so they can support their children to learn how to communicate with confidence!

I want to make speech and language support accessible to your family! To book a free consult, click here!

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