GUEST BLOG POST by Heidi Keeling, Specialist speech and language therapist - Ideas to keep the kids entertained through the holidays!
Guest Blog post written by Heidi Keeling Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
Heidi has been working with our families for about 2.5 years. She is our trusted S&L therapist, and we are really proud to have such a great relationship someone that demonstrates a very high quality of work. Heidi is exceptionally honest, skilled and dedicated to the cause. She has also supported in tribunals. Today, Heidi gives us some tips on how to entertain your sprogs this summer!
If you one of the many families who are in the process of applying for an Education Health Care Assessment, reviewing or disputing your EHC Plan, the thought of six weeks of services working on reduced timetables can make you worry. Not just about delays to your process but also, when and how your child’s communication needs can be addressed.
The EHC process seems all encompassing when you are in it but while the system is on the ‘slow go’ there are things you can do to help your child’s communication develop.
We all know an easy solution to entertaining our kids (screen time) but often it isolates rather than helps the child socialise and therefore does nothing for supporting your child’s communication.
If you wonder what else you can do to entertain your child, develop their communication and ease any worries about ‘lost time’, here are a few suggestions to help you along the way.
Timetabling your days: it helps predict what happens, you can forewarn of new activities and you can get a sense of how varied your days are (to avoid boredom or your child getting stuck in their holiday routine). Remember, timetables do not have to always be neatly laminated and with velcro. Buy a cheap white board and draw/ write the key events, who is looking after them on the day or what’s for dinner, who’s due to visit etc.
Take photos of days out even if you only manage to go to your local shop. These photos help develop your child’s vocabulary, talking about what has happened (narrative skills) and give them a sense of history (their history!). Take turns to say something you can see on the pictures or ask them if they remember what happened next.
Limit your child’s time on screen with regular breaks. If they are impossible to get off and you can’t get them to join your world, join theirs! By watching your children play their games, you may be able to talk along, ask questions or learn something new. Remember showing an interest in others is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other.
Family Youtube fun. And finally: if you are struggling to get your child interested in what you are doing here’s a game that can bring the family together… Take turns to share Youtube clip. The point is that each person gets to share something they enjoy and for other’s to join in with watching it. Set a rule of not watching more than 2 minutes of something at a time to ensure the flow of taking turns. Again, it is a great opportunity to talk about something of interest to each other, develop vocabulary and more importantly socialise!
We hope you enjoyed Heidi’s ideas and if you do try any of them out we’d love to hear about it over on the facebook page.
Happy holiday wishes from the Bright Futures team!