Teaching f vs th | Elizabeth Gunner

The ‘th’ sound is one that speech therapists are asked about all the time; children saying fank you rather than thank you or calling thumbs, fumbs.  ‘th’ is one of the last sounds to develop in English and it is still within normal limits for a 6 year old to say fumbs.  This can be a little tricky when they are expected to read it correctly at 5! It is also often a part of the local accent. I know many grown ups who don’t use the th sound.

We are often asked about this sound by teachers.  In this case we need to do a little unpicking and find out exactly what the concerns are.  Is the…

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Teaching the function of an object | Elizabeth Gunner

Object function – that is a real speech therapy term!  What I mean is linking a verb to an object e.g. what do we cut with? – scissors, what do we sleep on? – a bed.  So we are linking a function or verb to an item.  This is an important step in language development in younger children.

I often go and see a younger child where the parents are concerned that the child isn’t say much yet.  You will often find that they can name items (nouns), but aren’t yet using verbs. You can read more about encouraging verbs here.  Once a child understands and can use a range of verbs, linking these…

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Top 10 useful tools for a speech therapist. | Elizabeth Gunner

What tools do you really need when you are working as a speech and language therapist? We have written before about resources, games and assessment, but what are the other go-to things we use day in and day out?  These are the bits you find out about along the way, and that I find myself having to explain to my accountant!

Laminator.  A good quality laminator.  I hate to think how many hours I have spent feeding sheets through one!  I have been very lucky and still have my first lamintor that my in laws bought me when I qualified.  It has a few battle scars and has survived 2 house moves!…

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How to use nerf guns in speech therapy! | Elizabeth Gunner

Love them or hate them, a number of young boys (and girls) LOVE nerf guns.  I know my young man does!  I understand that some families don’t allow toy guns or nerf guns and if so this post won’t be for you.  However, if you have some foam/dart/nerf guns, here are some ideas about using them in therapy.  All of these ideas would also work well with water guns in the garden in the summer.

I found this idea when trying to get my son to practise his times tables.  We would stick up sticky notes with the answers on around the room, I would call out a sum and he had to shoot the answer.  It made…

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Tips for setting up in independent practise | Elizabeth Gunner

Both Helen and I started our careers in the NHS before moving to independent practise.  It was after finishing my maternity leave, that I started to work independently as well.  Although being in charge of the money aspect was always a little worrying, the flexibility that it offers a working parent is great.  You can read more about the pros and cons here.

So if you are thinking about starting some independent work in addition to another job or are thinking about taking the plunge and doing it full time, here are some of the important points to think about.
ASLTIP – Both Helen and I…

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Making therapy fun! | Elizabeth Gunner

Nobody wants to keep doing something they know they struggle with.  Children are no different.  Therapy and practise can take a while and we really need to keep the child motivated.  It is important to keep sessions positive and fun.

So when you are planning your sessions or thinking about how to help a child, remember to make sure it is fun!  Before you start there are a few things you can do to get ready.

Set up your environment to make it as easy as possible for your child.
Switch off the TV, radio or music.  These things are highly engaging. Your child is unlikely to be able to…

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Supporting children with unclear speech training | Elizabeth Gunner

Helen and I have been very busy creating our first online training course and it is very nearly finished!  We are really pleased with it.  From our work with nursery/ school staff and parents we know there are many people out there who are looking for training, especially to help children with unclear speech.  We decided to make the course online so it can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

So, let us tell you a little more about it.

Will “Supporting children with unclear speech” help my child?

The course aims to help children who are:-
Aged 3 years or older
Have difficulty with saying…

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