Oscar* – a child from Shoeburyness – was referred to the A Better Start Southend Let’s Talk programme after meeting the team at a Child Health Clinic. His family attended a variety of different A Better Start Southend courses and workshops around Communication and Language, such as the Let’s Talk with your baby course, Talking Tiddlers and Talking Toddlers.

The Let’s Talk team gave continued advice and support to Oscar’s parents, and when the family completed the Talking Toddler course in October 2018, next steps were agreed between the family and a Speech and Language therapist to monitor Oscar’s progress via telephone.

Four months after the family completed the course, the Lets Talk team followed up with Oscar’s parents via telephone where concerns were raised by the parents about his speech sound development. The family were invited to meet with an A Better Start Southend Speech and Language Therapist to discuss the challenges they had been facing. During the meeting, the Therapist suggested visiting Oscar at his nursery, where he was assessed, and feedback was given to his parents and the setting practitioners. Alongside this, the family were invited to attend the Let’s Talk: Super Sounds workshop in May 2019, where they received a recommendation to attend the Talking Toddler course again.

As a result of the intervention by the Lets Talk team, Oscar was well supported in his development, reducing the need for further clinical intervention in the future. After attending the course for the second time, Oscar’s parents gave some extremely positive feedback about the support they had received throughout their journey with their child:

“It has helped us understand how to help Oscar better, given us some tools and behaviours to use at home and helped us not to expect too much from his day to day. There was a period of concern 6-8 months ago that Oscar was not trying to mimic or copy words. He would say words that were not clear and only people close to him would understand. Oscar was not putting 2 words together and was behind his peers.

When asked if the support has made an impact, Oscar’s parents said: “Yes. It’s taught us to give positive re-enforcement for example when Oscar would say ‘nana’ we would say ‘yes it’s a banana’. It’s built his confidence and allowed him to be more adventurous with talking. The groups overall, from our experience, have been lovely. It is nice to have somewhere to go to share our concerns and to stop us comparing him with our friends’ children. It was nice to go and see that other children of similar ages have similar difficulties and we weren’t the only ones. It is nice also because I still keep in contact with some of the mums I met from the Let’s Talk with Your Baby session which provides a good support network and some new friends.”

For more information about the Let’s Talk project, visit https://abetterstartsouthend.co.uk/lets-talk/


*all names have been changed

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