Information and sources of advice for parents and families
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The resources here will help you reach the outcome: "I know what general information to give parents and families about their young child's speech, language and communication and where they can find out more"
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Hungry Little Minds
Short videos demonstrating strategies and ideas for easy, fun games for you to use in your day to day interactions with children. This information can be shared with parents and carers so that they can also be used at home. The information is broken down according to the child's age and the suggestions can be used flexibly, in any language, by both parents and practitioners.
Balanced System for Schools and Settings
The Balanced System Scheme for Schools and Settings is a whole system approach to improving outcomes for children across the range of speech, language and communication needs for any setting that supports children. The framework enables a setting to understand existing need and provision for speech, language and communication and develop provision to address the gaps. The framework supports a setting to demonstrate impact of the support for speech, language and communication.
Tiny Happy People
Tiny Happy People BBC website provides a wide range of information, ideas and activities for you to use and signpost parents to use in daily routines to help develop young children's communication skills. The website is for parents of children aged up to 5 years, parents can choose information that is relevant to the age of their child. It includes information about what to expect and when as well as activities and games to play to help speech, language and communication. It includes information, ideas and activities for parents of young children with SEND.
Reduce screen time
Screens can often distract both children and adults from every day interactions and communication. This video from Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust provides key messages for you to share with parents about reducing their and their child's screen time to increase opportunities for playing, talking and interacting together.
Switch off and talk
The average 3-4 year old spends 27.5 hours each week watching TV, using the internet or playing electronic games. Reducing this will be support your child’s communication skills. This webpage and leaflet provides families with information about why this is important.
NHS Services and support for parents
NHS website with details for how to find a GP, Health Visitor and child health clinics in your area
Parent information, advice and resources - Worcestershire
The Worcestershire Speech and Language Therapy service website provides a comprehensive range of resources, advice and You Tube videos to help parents to support their child / young person at home.
Visit the website to find:
- Information about speech, language and communication
- Free resources you can download and use at home
- Links to our You Tube channel where you will find demonstrations of activities you can do at home
- Further information about the local team, where we work and what services we provide
Hear Glue Ear
A free, award-winning app, designed for children experiencing hearing loss due to glue ear.
The Hear Glue Ear app is a valuable tool to help families manage their child’s glue ear at home. Glue ear is one of the most common childhood conditions in children aged 2-6, and the concern is that some young children with persistent or recurrent glue ear might struggle to develop speech, language, listening, and social communication skills.
Cost: Free App
Peep Communication and Language strand - evidence-based parenting programme for parents and children together to attend together. There is a focus on bonding, attachment and the quality of the home learning environment as well as a focus on communication and language. Parents have the opportunity to gain 3 credits towards NOCN Learning Together at home.
Peep Early Literacy Strand - evidence-based parenting programme for parents and children to attend together. There is a focus on bonding, attachment and the quality of the home learning environment as well as a focus on literacy. Parents have the opportunity to gain 3 credits towards NOCN Learning Together at home.
Be face to face at the child's level
Getting down to the pre-school child's level and being face to face with them helps them to listen, concentrate and understand the message. It also helps you to see where their focus is and what they are trying to communicate. This simple video produced by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust shows why this is important.
TCT Universally Speaking 0-5
Universally Speaking is a series of booklets for parents or anyone who works with children and includes a booklet for children aged 0-5. It gives typical communication skills, including attention and listening and understanding; interactions and speech. Use the booklets to find out whether a child is on the right track, what helps them learn to talk and listen and what to do if you have concerns about any of their communication abilities. You can also share this with the families of children you support.
Follow the child's lead
Giving children a chance to play with and explore the objects and toys around them gives you the perfect opportunity to follow their lead, see what they are interested in and talk about it. Talking about what children are interested in shows them that you value what they are doing and helps them to make links with the words and sentences you say. Use this strategy with children you work with and share this information with their families.
The Speech and Language UK Enquiry Service gives parents a chance to discuss questions or concerns about their child’s speech, language and communication development with one of Speech and Language UK’s speech and language therapists. The therapists can give helpful information about children’s talking and communication development as well as tips on improving these skills. They can also offer advice on ages and stages and what can be done to help the child get the right support.
Speech and Language UK's progress checker provides parents with short questions they can answer to see how their child is getting on with their speech, language and communication development.
Using visual support
Parents play a key role in supporting their child's language and communication skills in everyday life. Children learn about the world through their experiences and interests particularly within their play. Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust provide information and opportunities for families learn more about developing their child's speech and language - this video introduces how to use visual support to help communication.
Afasic Parent Helpline
If a parent is worried about their child / young person's speech, language and communication, share this Afasic helpline information so that they can speak to someone who can help by telephone or email.
Dummies fact sheet
Using a dummy can have an effect on your child's communication and development of speech sounds. Get Hackney Talking have provided tips on how to cut down on dummy use as well as lots of other useful information to help parents know what they can do to support their child's communication development.
Children's Centres give help and advice on child and family health and parenting. Use this link to find a Children's Centre close to you.
Talk together in daily routines
This leaflet provides information for you to use and to share with parents and carers about how to use everyday activities and routines to talk about what children can see and what is happening. Children learn from experiences and activities that happen over and over again. This gives adults a chance to use the same words and sentences many times. Linking these to daily routines will help children to make links between the words, sentences and what they mean.
Speech and Language UK Ages and Stages
This is a guide to the typical stages of speech and language development in children. Children develop language at different rates. However, understanding what is typical can help you identify speech and language problems early. This page also provides information about how to support children's development.
Sing songs and rhymes
Singing songs and rhymes together really help children's communication and language skills to grow. Nottinghamshire Language for Life have produced videos for parents and carers that you can see by clicking the playlist on this page. Visit the 'words' page to learn the words to these songs and rhymes
I CAN How to support your child
This information for families provides ideas for them to support their pre-school child and forms part of Speech and Language UK's guide to the typical stages of speech and language development. Young children develop language at different rates and understanding what is typical and what parents and carers can do to support their young children's communication and language helps provide them with a great start.
Sharing books is a great way to help a preschool child's talking. Making books part of your daily routine really helps to develop attention, communication and language skills. Use and share this Nottinghamshire Language for Life information leaflet about book sharing as well as many other top tips leaflets to help families you work with understand how to support speech, language and communication.
Expansions - repeat and add
One way to help young children make longer sentences is to repeat and add a word or 2. Here NHS Tayside's Rhyming Robin and Chatty Charlie share information about how to do this as well as many other top tips for putting words together. Use these strategies in your setting and share with parents so that they can support their young child at home.
Use everyday routines
Use everyday routines as times to introduce language learning opportunities to young children. This leaflet from NHS Ayrshire and Arran gives you ideas for everyday routines that are perfect for learning and includes information about ways to do this. Use these ideas with young children you work with and share with their families.
Labelling and Commenting
Using real word labels and commenting on what young children are interested in helps them to learn new words and understand how sentences work. Here NHS Tayside's Rhyming Robin and Chatty and Charlie share information about how to do this as well as many other top tips for learning words and developing language. Use these strategies in your interactions with young children you support and share with their families.
Greater Manchester 10 Tips for Talking
The Greater Manchester (GM) 10 Tips for Talking are ten key messages to support the development of language and communication skills for babies and young children and can be used by everyone. Each tip is designed to give families and anyone working with children some small suggestions that can make a big difference and help give children the best start. Each message is based on sound research and is delivered by children.
Talking With Your Children
Activities for parents to help nursery children’s speaking and listening Skills. This booklet has been put together to help parents and carers to support their nursery aged children and contains examples of activities to do to support their speaking and listening.
The WellComm Assessment is for use with any child aged 6 months to 6 years and enables practitioners to evaluate children's language skills, draw up a detailed profile and identify children at risk of having difficulty in developing language skills. It identifies those children who need setting-based monitoring and support and those who need referral to specialist support services. The screen is completed through observation, discussion with families and screening by asking children to carry out a variety of tasks ensuring that results obtained and conclusions drawn are more accurate than using one approach alone.
The WellComm Big Book of Ideas has been designed for use following a WellComm assessment of any child aged 6 months to 6 years. It includes general strategies as well as very specific activities to develop and improve children's speech and language skills and can be implemented by any early years practitioner or parent using toys and items that can be found in settings or at home. The activities are used to develop the particular skills highlighted for support in the assessment - this means that the activities delivered are specific and appropriate to the individual child language development stage and can be used in the setting or at home.
Training videos are included in the toolkit.
Small Talk helps parents turn daily activities with their young child into new opportunities to build their language skills. It includes a website featuring simple videos, tips and information to help chat, play and read with their young child every day. The activities include ideas around meal times and other daily routines such as going shopping.
Top Tips for Talking
Parents play a key role in supporting their child's language and communication skills in everyday life. Children learn about the world through their experiences and interests particularly within their play. Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust provide information and opportunities for families learn more about developing their child's speech and language.
Afasic My Child Isn't Talking and I'm Worried
Children develop and learn to talk at different rates – some more slowly or quickly than others. However, there are key milestones parents can look out for and it can help them to know how talking develops, what happens and when. Here Afasic provides information for you to share with parents on: identifying who can help; first steps to getting help and support; gathering information and keeping a record and questions to ask professionals.
NLT Tips for talking leaflets
The National Literacy Trust provides a wide range of parent-friendly downloadable leaflets outlining tips for talking, why talking to your child matters and the benefits for their development. The ideas include information for talking in daily routines and information for dads; and activities to support communication when out and about.
Family Information Service
Your local Family Information Service (FIS) provides a range of information on all services available to parents, including parents of disabled children.
Watch, wait, listen and respond
Watching, waiting, listening and responding is a powerful way that we can help children develop early communication skills. Waiting for children to take their turn or share what they are interested in can be difficult when we are busy getting on with life. However it is key to giving them opportunities to develop communication and language skills. This leaflet and video from the Speech and Language Therapy Service in Greater Glasgow and Clyde outlines why and how to wait and respond. It forms part of a wider series of useful information for parents, carers and professionals.
Slowing down when talking and singing helps young children to tune into the rhythm and the words adults around them are using. Slowing down also gives young children time to think about what they would like to say or do. This is one of a series of videos from Speech and Language Therapists from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust outlining strategies to support speech, language and communication development.
Stoke Speaks Out - Out and About activity packs
Being out and about is a great opportunity for language learning! Download these free printable activity packs for ideas to support your child's speech and language and occupy their busy little minds while you're out and about.
Signs and Symbols
Widgit provides symbols that can be used to support communication making information, documents and resources to be more accessible and inclusive. The symbols can be used for a variety of purposes such as creating communication books to share information; visual timetables to support understanding of structure and routine; task boards to support independent learning; pictures to develop vocabulary and to support children learning English as an additional language.
This website has information to support your understanding of how to use symbols including training resources, events and links to a network of organisations around the UK who offer advice and support.
There is also information for parents and carers to help them understand how they can use symbols to support their child.
BBC Something Special
Something Special uses songs, rhymes and visual humour with Makaton sign language to help practitioners and parents learn how to support communication with signing in a fun and exciting way.
Clickety Books are fun books and resources to share with children to encourage development and will help children who may have difficulty with certain speech sounds. They have been developed by speech and language therapists to support the speech and language development of all children as well as those who need a little extra help. They include Early Sound Play resources that are built around stories - these stories are filled with particular target sounds, alliteration, rhythm and rhyme to develop early phonological awareness. The story books can also be used to develop vocabulary, sentence and narrative skills boosting children's literacy skills. Puppets are also available to help with the interactive book-sharing experience!
Learning more than one language
Many children grow up learning more than one language. This information leaflet from NHS Forth Valley provides you with useful information and top tips about what you and families can do to help young children on their way to being bilingual.
Speech Link Parent Portal
The Speech Link Parent Portal offers advice, information and activities for you to share with families so that they know how to develop their children’s understanding, talking and listening. It includes information about speech, language and communication, how these skills develop, activities and top tips videos.
Speech and Language Chatter Matters
This series of videos for parents and carers outlines how speech, language and communication skills develop; what families can do to support their baby; how these skills develop over time; children with speech and language needs and how to access information and support.
Speech and Language UK Learning to Talk, Talking to Learn
This series of videos for practitioners helps you to understand your role in supporting speech, language and communication development. The videos cover: the importance of communication; early years observations; how children learn to talk and activities that help. It includes built in exercises to support and reinforce your learning.
NLT Bilingual quick tips
The National Literacy Trust has produced a series of bilingual quick tips for parents and practitioners to help children develop good talking and listening skills. There are lots of different languages. Copies can be downloaded and shared with families.
- Say hello to your new baby
- Dummies and talking
- Talk to your baby and child in your own language
- Making the most of television
- Talking with your baby
- Sharing songs and rhymes
- Playing with your baby
Tiny Happy People activities
Tiny Happy People BBC website provides a wide range of information, ideas and activities for you to share with parents to use in daily routines to help develop their young child's communication skills. It includes activities and games to play to help speech, language and communication.