Sabrina Kirby is a 25 year-old mum from Milton ward. She first heard about the Let’s Talk project after being approached by the project’s Speech and Language Therapy team at the child health clinic for her son Theo, who is now 19 months-old. The highly popular project gives the opportunity to improve children’s speech and language development.

After completing the Let’s Talk With Your Baby course for 6-9 month old babies, Sabrina and Theo did the Talking Tiddlers (12-18 month olds) course and are now on the waiting list for Talking Toddlers (18-24 months). The weekly 5 or 6 week-long courses are run in Children’s Centres in the Better Start Southend areas.

Sabrina explains: “Before I started the Let’s Talk With Your Baby course I was really excited as it was the first type of baby group I had attended. The courses have been brilliant for me and Theo, really good. It is an education for parents because when you have your first child, you can pick up so many ideas for their development. I wish it was more than once a week!

 “I’ve learnt lots of tips for us with Theo, social interactions and ideas for what we can do at home. Things like using the animals to make noises to go along with the animals in a book or learning about not asking too many questions but commenting instead, there have been storytelling ideas and using the 10 second rule, [giving a child 10 seconds to process what is being said and time to allow them to answer, as it takes a young child longer to process language than an adult] which has really helped and really worked.

“It is very important to help with Theo’s development, and getting him to meet different children. I wanted to find new ideas, and with coming to the group I could explore these and take them home. I learnt new ideas as well as things I had done already at home. We especially enjoyed Let’s Make a Noise using the tunnel and singing [rhymes, such as The Grand Old Duke of York, with the actions and playing instruments].

“The location is brilliant for me personally, as it’s just over the road and the times were great too, as they fitted right round my work. If I hadn’t been approached about the course, I don’t know if I would have known about it or gone, but I am really happy I did.

“In terms of the staff who run the courses, they are really, really lovely and welcoming. They make you feel so comfortable.”

So what were the parts Sabrina enjoyed the most? “All of it really! It’s all fun every week. It’s always something different and I would definitely recommend the course to others!”

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