Welcome 2017!

Happy New Year to all of my clients and their families, and my online supporters! We are officially open for business for 2017 from tomorrow morning! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break. Can you believe it is 2017 already? It has arrived in the blink of an eye. Before we know it, Term 1 will begin and we will be well in to the 2017 school year.

The beginning of the year is a good time to have your child assessed if you are concerned about their speech or language difficulties. As they settle in to a new classroom with a new teacher, they will have the extra support of their speech and language therapist to help with these adjustments and liaise with their teacher about how your child can best be supported throughout the remainder of the year.

Remember to contact us here at Canterbury Speech and Language Therapy if you have any queries at all regarding speech and language, or if you would like to make an appointment. You can find our contact details on the "contact" tab at the top of our website.

Enjoy the sunshine and I look forward to working with you during 2017! :)

Early detection of speech and language impairments is so important

Are other people having trouble understanding your child? Is your child having trouble understanding you? Are there some speech sounds that you have noticed they can't produce properly? All of these things can be a sign that there is something going on with your child's speech and language development. If these difficulties are left untreated it can cause trouble at school academically - with reading, writing and learning; or socially - with making friends and understanding emotions. It is so important to have your child assessed by a speech and language therapist as soon as you notice these difficulties - the sooner your child gets support, the better the outcomes will be!

Have a look at this article by ASHA (the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) - http://www.asha.org/content.aspx?id=8589942698 In this article you will find some red flags for communication development. 

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine (it is starting to feel more like summer now!) and don't delay to contact a speech and language therapist if you are worried about your child's development.

The most rewarding job!

The clinic has been up and running for about four months now, and it is at a wonderful stage where appointments are beginning to fill up and I am starting to discharge clients who have had some great successes! In the last two weeks I have fare-welled a few clients, who are ready to move on from speech therapy as clear and confident communicators. It is always sad to see clients leave, as I have a soft-spot for each and every one of them, but it is oh-so rewarding to see them make progress and to celebrate their successes with them. I have been absolutely spoiled by my clients with flowers, chocolates, and cuddles - see the gorgeous bunch of flowers in the picture below!

Flowers.JPG

Running a business can be hard at times, but it is the weeks like last week that make me remember that I can help people reach their goals, and I am in the best and most rewarding job in the world! Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe, and sunny weekend :)

It's that time of the year!

It's that time of the year - that's right, winter! There is frost around, ice on your windscreen in the mornings, and sickness sweeping through schools and workplaces. This time of year it is important to protect not only ourselves from cold and flu, but also others around us. If you or your child are unwell, have a week off school/work and speech therapy to rest and recover, and to ensure it doesn't get passed around others. We want you guys to be feeling great and motivated for your sessions here!

Over at stuff.co.nz they have put up a great article with some advice for telling the difference between a sore throat and something worse. This can be a really important knowledge to have, as a sore throat can be "just a sore throat", but it could also indicate an infection that could lead to some serious health complications. Head to this link to have a read http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/82046055/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-a-sore-throat-and-something-worse

In other clinic news, we have some great new assessments and resources on board that we have been collecting up over the last wee while! We are so excited to use them with our clients over the next few weeks :) That's all from me for now - keep warm and enjoy these beautiful winter days!

Do you look after your voice?

The end of term two is approaching quickly as we welcome July tomorrow. Where has the year gone?! I came across an interesting article this week on the ASHA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association) website, that really made me think. So many people don't realise that speech therapists work with voice! We often work alongside ear, nose and throat specialists to diagnose and treat problems with voice. People who rely on their voice for their job (e.g. teachers, singers, actors, presenters, telemarketers, retail assistants...the list goes on) often don't realise that voice mis-use or over-use can cause voice disorders.

Image taken from http://neatoday.org/2016/06/23/overcoming-teacher-voice-problems/ on the 30/06/2016

Image taken from http://neatoday.org/2016/06/23/overcoming-teacher-voice-problems/ on the 30/06/2016

 

What is a voice disorder? It is a medical condition that arises in the larynx (or voice box) in which vocal quality, pitch, or loudness are affected. Here are some tips for looking after your voice:

  • Take regular voice breaks - not always easy in a busy classroom or job! Try your best to rest your voice when you can, even if it means having lunch on your own to avoid talking for half an hour
  • Amplify your voice if possible and reduce background noise - amplifying your voice is a great way to avoid shouting. Shouting for extended periods of time can take a real toll on our vocal folds, so minimising shouting is important
  • Keep your throat and vocal folds hydrated! Keep a drink bottle with you and take regular sips. Moistening your vocal folds acts like cushioning for them when you speak

It is so important to look after your voice! Here is the article if you would like to have a read http://neatoday.org/2016/06/23/overcoming-teacher-voice-problems/

If you feel that you would like more information on this topic, contact us to arrange a workshop at your school or workplace!

Working with individuals with dyslexia

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who got involved in our Facebook giveaways! It has been great to see so many people interested in what we have to offer here at Canterbury Speech and Language Therapy, and in the Halswell area. Congratulations to all of our winners (I have met some of you here in clinic for your free speech and language screens), I really hope you enjoy your meal or beauty vouchers and find your screens to be beneficial :)

Since we opened 3 months ago, we have noticed that a large chunk of those clients and families showing interest in speech and language therapy have had a diagnosis of dyslexia. It is something that affects many people in more ways than most of us will ever understand, and a lot of people aren't aware that speech and language therapy can be really beneficial for these individuals!

Check out this link - http://geon.github.io/programming/2016/03/03/dsxyliea - for a taste of how someone with dyslexia may experience reading. Difficult to focus isn't it?

So how can speech therapy help someone with dyslexia? Well a central issue for those with dyslexia is trouble recognizing phonemes (the sound that the letter makes). When someone has trouble identifying speech sounds, it becomes hard to make the connection between the sound and it's letter symbol - which is a crucial part of reading and spelling! The meaning of the written word is often lost, therefore comprehension can suffer. A speech therapist will help to build a child's literacy by working on their phonological awareness, or awareness of phonemes. In practice, this will include treatment for the following things:

  • Oral language comprehension and use (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics)
  • Building awareness of phonemes
  • Articulation and the production of speech sounds
  • Fundamental letter/sound knowledge
  • Word finding difficulties
  • Short-term memory

Children with dyslexia can learn to read well, and may even excel in the classroom, but they will need help to do so! For more information head to http://vocalsaints.co.nz/dyslexia/ or contact us here at Canterbury Speech and Language Therapy

Welcome winter!

The third day of winter is here, which means we have come to the end of "Better Hearing and Speech Month" and our fourth and final giveaway is under way. This time for our giveaway we have a voucher for a free speech and language screen, and a $50 voucher for White House Black in Halswell up for grabs! Head over to our Facebook page to enter.

Today over on Facebook I came across the following post by the "Amber Emily" page and it resonated with me:

"Today I felt moved to post this.. "I'm a Speech Therapist." "So you teach people how to talk?"..makes my skin crawl..Sit back for a moment and let me tell you what a Speech-Language Pathologist pours their heart into day after day... We help a former minister, whose brain can no longer send the correct signals to produce basic sentences, answer the simplest of questions so she can participate in social activities with other residents.. We help a child on the autism spectrum with their social skills, in the hopes that the bullying will stop and they will make one friend before the end of the school year.. We rehab someone's swallowing muscles so they can have a sip of McAlister's ice tea, because it is their absolute favorite.. We give hope to the parents who have finally accepted their child is delayed, after the doctor repeatedly tells them he is just a late talker.. We teach someone with new cochlear implants how to communicate without sign language after a lifetime of deafness being all they know.. We ease a stuttering child's anxiety when they are preparing to stand up in front of their class to give a book report.. We show someone how to apply a passy-muir valve to their tracheostomy so they can use their voice to tell their family "I love you.".. We have the difficult conversation with a family to tell them that grandma's cognitive impairments make her unsafe to go back to her home alone.. We help a child pronounce certain sounds correctly, after years of others reinforcing the wrong way, when they reach an age where their impairment is no longer considered cute.. We help a young, intelligent woman who has had a massive stroke learn to use a speech-generating device so that she can return to her vibrant and capable self.. We teach memory strategies to someone with dementia so she can remember the names of her grandchildren.. and we think about these people when we're falling asleep at night and we pray for them and we spend time off the clock and our own money on things that we think may help them even the slightest.. and we constantly put up with being misunderstood and overlooked. So if you know a Speech Therapist, tell them thank you and give them a hug, because I promise you, after spending their days pouring their hearts into others, they need someone to replenish theirs."

Anyway, all the best for the beginning of winter, don't forget to enter our giveaway, and give us a call on 03 595 0050 if you would like to make a booking/query :)

May news from the clinic

Well we are officially over half-way through Better Hearing and Speech Month! We have loved promoting it here at Canterbury Speech and Language Therapy. We have been running giveaways over on our Facebook page - check these out if you haven't already! We've successfully given away some free speech and language screens, a voucher for Verge Cafe in the Longhurst Health building, and a voucher for the Old Vicarage. It's been great working with other businesses in the Halswell community to organise these giveaways. This week, over on Facebook, we are giving away a voucher for a free facial at Max Beauty Therapy in Longhurst! What an amazing prize - a great way to relax and pamper yourself. Along with the facial voucher, we are giving away a voucher for a free speech and language screen.

Make sure you head over and enter, you don't want to miss out on this awesome prize! In other news from the clinic - we have now been open for 8 weeks!! The time has flown by, and it has been so exciting setting up the clinic and watching it grow. New Zealand has also had some amazing news that teacher aides will receive more funding = more support for our children who need it :) That's all for this post - enjoy the rest of your week and hit the "contact" tab above if you would like to make an appointment.

Check out our Facebook giveaway! Number one of four...

Canterbury Speech and Language Therapy hope that Term 2 has started well for everybody! We have been working on lots of exciting things over the holidays - appointments are filling up, we've been acquiring new resources, and organizing giveaways...

Here at Longhurst Health we are so lucky to have some other great businesses around us in the Longhurst subdivision. It is ever-expanding and I am so excited to see what else pops up as development continues. To celebrate May being "Better Hearing and Speech Month", we are teaming up with some of the awesome businesses in our area and doing four exciting giveaways over on our Facebook page! The first one is for a free speech and language screen assessment, and a voucher for Verge Cafe which is in the Longhurst Health building - a good opportunity to treat your Mum to a coffee, cake, or Thai meal as a late Mother's day gift!

Keep your eye on our Facebook page over the remainder of the month, we still have three more giveaways to go! The next one is very exciting, and I can't wait to reveal who we have teamed up with...