Babies are just the most glorious little things, aren’t they? I’m a new aunt again, and it has me clucking and cooing to the left and to the right (and no, there are to be no more babies in our own home!). Meeting the newest addition to our clan and smelling that newborn smell has got me remembering all the wonderful firsts that parents have to look forward to – and how along with the joy can also come concerns when it seems as though some of those firsts may be a bit delayed.

Telethon Speech & Hearing is a world leader in the research and treatment of hearing loss and language delay, with a history stretching back more than 50 years.

So, today’s blog is to be about baby’s milestones, particular with regard to speech and language development. We were so fortunate just a few weeks ago to have a guest speaker come to visit us at the Coolbellup Pram Jam. Daniel Lombardo from Telethon Speech & Hearing came to let us know about ‘Chatterbox’ which is the catch phrase for a series of early intervention programs that are available at the Cockburn TSH campus – and really, campus is the best word for the service, as it is truly multi-disciplined and covers all aspects in the one location.

But, how do you know when you may need to seek the assistance of a service such as Telethon Speech & Hearing? This is such a fabulous question, and one that truly there is no hard and fast answer to. The information provided at this link is very helpful, as it steps through each age and stage and what to ‘expect’ from your baby along the way (which really, is the first stage of forming a concern).

Book Suggestions

Small talk : simple ways to boost your child’s speech and language development from birth

by Nicola Lathey and Tracey Blake

Proven, simple, fun ways to enhance your baby’s language and communication skills to help make them smarter and more sociable by a leading speech and language therapist. This book will help you encourage and stimulate the natural stages of language development in the crucial early years. Featuring lots of practical Small Talk Time ideas quick, fun language games to play with your baby, toddler and preschooler you will feel confident you know what to do to enhance your child’s communication from birth to help them reach their potential and give them the best head start for lifelong learning. After all, a parent is a child’s best teacher.

Cover Image for REPLACE WITH TITLE OF ITEM
Cover Image for REPLACE WITH TITLE OF ITEM

Talk to me, baby! : how you can support young children’s language development

by Betty S. Bardige

Discover how to learn the language of pretend play and storytelling include children in conversations even when they’re too young to talk respond effectively to the questions children ask and the stories they tell boost language skills with fun games and activities that build on children’s natural curiosity select playful, age-appropriate books, songs, and poems to share and enjoy together engage children of diverse backgrounds and temperaments explore the language challenges children might encounter and how to help them help bilingual children develop skills in both languages create language-rich communities where children’s literacy skills flourish.

As a very basic starting point, here are some suggestions for problems to watch out for.

According to the Telethon Speech & Hearing website, the following are some signs that your newborn may be experiencing hearing loss:

*Unresponsive to noise (music, voices, sounds).
*Are not soothed by soft sounds.
*Not startled by sudden loud noises.
*Aren’t quietened by the sound of a familiar voice.
*You may just have a gut feeling.

According to the Telethon Speech & Hearing website, some of the common signs of difficulties in hearing in the preschool age group are:

*Delayed or defective speech and language development
*Have articulation problems
*Not startling to loud sounds
*Poor localisation of the sound source
*Is easily frustrated
*Parent/caregiver’s concern regarding hearing
*Turn up the volume of the TV excessively high
*Respond inappropriately to questions
*Not reply when you call him/her
*Watch others to imitate what they are doing

These two lovely Junior Kindy books both feature characters with hearing loss, with both appearing in the Children’s Book Week Shortlist this year. They are well worth seeking out and sharing with your children!

Olivia’s voice

Written by Mike Lucas ; illustrated by Jennifer Harrison

Olivia’s Voice is the story of a deaf girl who plays a big drum along with the other children in her classroom. The story is written from Olivia’s point of view and includes the most beautiful realistic collage style illustrations.

Cover Image for REPLACE WITH TITLE OF ITEM
Cover Image for REPLACE WITH TITLE OF ITEM

Boy

Written by Phil Cummings ; illustrated by Shane Devries

The king’s battles with the dragon were always mighty and loud… Boy lived in a silent world and couldn’t hear the fighting. But Boy could see the fear around him… and how everyone would be much happier.

Some Pram Jam favourites as our rhymes today!

So whilst the general consensus is that comparing your child to others in the same age group can be a dangerous pass time, ignoring your gut feeling that something may be .. not quite right, is just as dangerous. Early intervention is key and the most wonderful thing about Telethon Speech & Hearing is that their Family Liaison Officer is specially trained to hear your concerns and schedule you for a visit with the appropriate section of the organisation – with no referral required! What a wonderful option to have if you don’t feel that you’re getting the best responses from your usual health care professionals. If you would like to reach out to Telethon Speech & Hearing, the Family Liaison Officer can be contacted through this webpage: https://www.tsh.org.au/family-support/

Alternatively, if you’d like to hear more about the services offered through Telethon Speech & Hearing feel free to join us at our first Pram Jam for term 3 at Spearwood Library, when Daniel will come and introduce himself and let us all know what we should be watching out for with regards to our babies’ speech, hearing and language development. The session will be held on Thursday 19th July at 10.30am, at the Spearwood Library with our regular Pram Jam routine following on immediately from Daniel’s presentation. I really do hope to see you there and have a wonderful end of term holidays! Regular Storytime and Pram Jam sessions start up again the week of the 16th July 2018.