Updated: Feb 10, 2020
Stories are important - they provide important information, make sense of who we are and change how people relate to us. Stories resonate with others. When you trust others and share your story with them you share your history, your feelings, events that have shaped your life and connect with other people and their experiences and feelings.
Let me share with you my story:
I decided to be a Speech & Language Therapist when I was just 16. Speech and Language Therapy embraced everything that I valued - people, communicating, being heard and understood, achieving your potential whatever that may be. I believed we are born to interact with each other, whether verbally or non-verbally. It seemed essential for success at school and at work as well as for a healthy, happy social life and family life. Those beliefs still hold true.
My experience as a parent has underlined to me the importance of chatter throughout the day - news from school or the childminder; conversations over dinner or whilst shopping; shared family stories & jokes; talking about the number of sleeps to an important event; talking about a worry or bad dream. It really emphasised how shared communication helps you be part of your child’s life even when they are at daycare or at school. I am passionate about enabling successful communication in all families.
One of my two children experienced almost all the characteristics of specific speech and language disorder - now known as Developmental Language Disorder. So I understand your frustrations if your children do not share their stories with you, if you feel as though you do not know what is going on at school, if the words come out are wrong and (s)he doesn't say what (s)he wants to; if home feels a little too quiet and un-involving; if you feel drained and at a loss how to help. I also get that you are juggling the needs of others and that home and family life may feel chaotic and demanding, that talking, listening, understanding and responding may not feel very do-able much of the time.
My own experience looked a bit like this - my fabulous son took his time talking, words came slowly and incorrectly, they were hard to say and it wasn't easy to speak fluently, his teacher didn't always understand him and equally he often didn't 'get' the lessons; my wonderful daughter was advanced in everything language based, and dominated talking time at home feeling annoyed when she had to wait for him to have his turn. My son didn't really like school and didn't understand all that was expected of him; others didn’t always understand him or thought they did but actually misunderstood; he got really really tired out and began to avoid things like parties that others took as pleasurable; we had to work incredibly hard to just keep up and sometimes to not keep up and feel the pain of being behind others and told to try harder. Regularly we had to go back to school to pick up what had been left behind or to ask about homework that he couldn't remember or hadn't understood. Times like this can feel a tough as the parent, especially when others don't understand, it can be a lonely journey.
That’s why I offer parent support sessions. These small groups run in my home and are a time for you to come and meet a few others who are living a similar experience to you. It’s a time in a caring environment to talk with others, share your story, find support, ideas and friendship. The groups are small, so that each person is given time and space.
Would you like to find out more? If so, please do get in touch. It would be really great to hear from you.