Enjoying a Baby with Additional Needs
Communication is fundamental for all areas of life. Helping children to build good speech, language and communication skills is really important.
There are four key areas where you can help:
- Listening and paying attention
- Understanding what is said
- Learning new words
- Communicating socially
You can help by:
- Encouraging turn taking and early two way conversations even before your child is saying recognisable words. Respond to the noises they make by repeating it back to them.
- Get down to their level and make eye contact.
- Play and talk; take the lead from your child, let them choose, copy what they do, describe what they do, use your imagination – empty boxes offer so much fun!
- Help your child understand by offering visual clues to support what you say.
- Read stories, join the library, make up your own stories.
- Make learning language fun.
- Babies and children enjoy hearing familiar songs and rhymes. Actions to the songs/rhymes become familiar and help your child to understand the words. See www.talkingpoint.org.uk for further ideas.
- Share pictures/photos – family photos are a good way of encouraging your child to talk. Talk about what you can see and what is happening in the picture – what could happen next?
- Use simple signs – Makaton can help your child to express their wishes and communicate.
Every child is different. The professionals already working with you and your child are best placed to give you help and support.
Sources of further information and support for children with additional needs:
The Early Intervention Team, Early Years Inclusion Advisers and Early Support Development Workers at your child’s Early Years setting.
You can contact the Early Intervention Team Office on 01225 757950.
‘Let’s talk’ and ‘Step by Step’ groups are run in some Wiltshire SureStart Children’s Centres.
For information about Early Bird courses for parents of children with Social Communication Difficulties / Autistic Spectrum Disorders contact 01225 771677.
Being able to speak and communicate with other people is an essential life skill. For most children and young people learning to communicate comes easily. For some children and young people however it is a major challenge as they have a speech and language impairment. Afasic England is working to support these children and their parents, enabling them to overcome their speech and language difficulties. This website contains a wealth of information for children, young people, their parents/carers and the professionals who are providing support and services for them.
Bookmark is a Booktrust web resource for anyone seeking information, books or advice relating to disability and children's books, including parents, young people, teachers, writers, illustrators and researchers.
This area of the Bookstart website can help you find more books that may particularly suit your child's specific needs. You can also find details of other resources and organisations that can provide information and help.
I CAN is the children's communication charity. I CAN's mission is to ensure no child who struggles to communicate is left out or left behind.
Encouraging parents and carers to talk more to children from birth to three.
A free website for the best children’s stories with sign language and subtitles. This website aims to help improve the literacy of deaf children nationwide by enabling them to share in the joy of storytelling. It is also designed to provide useful advice and guidance for the parents, carers and teachers of deaf children; and for deaf parents of hearing children.
The ‘first stop’ for information on children’s communication.
A database of services which support children and young people with Speech, Language and Communication needs, searchable by postcode.
The Speech and Language Therapy Department in Wiltshire has both Adult and Children’s Services. It provides assessment, advice and intervention for clients with a wide range of communication needs. It also offers training and support to families, carers and other professionals.
Contact details of Portage Services – North & East / West / South and for District Specialist Centres in Trowbridge, Devizes, Salisbury and Chippenham.