Communication delays in children: supportive advice and guidance for parents

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With good communication important to so many aspects of a life, parenting a child who finds this tricky can be a real challenge. Mum of one Jenna Farmer, whose son has a speech delay, discusses the rise in children who have speech and communication issues, and how families can best support them to help them thrive

Communication delays in children: supportive advice and guidance for parents

Whether it’s the first time you hear ‘mama’, or perhaps a shrill ‘NO!’, the memories made when your child begins to talk can be really exciting. But, for some parents, these milestones can take much longer to happen. If you’re concerned about your child’s speech and communication development, then you might have already spent some time on Google. But what does it actually mean, and how can you get the right support for your child? As a mum to a three-year-old who is speech delayed, I chat to the experts about the rise in children who need some help communicating.

What is speech and communication delay?

Speech and communication delay is a broad term that covers a range of different causes for why your child’s speech and communication skills may be late to emerge.

The term ‘delay’ can sound scary, but it’s really just a way for you to understand if your child needs a helping hand. What’s ‘normal’ can really vary, but there are a few key things to look out for which may help you figure out if your child might need support.

Speech therapist Joanne Jones explains: “In general, we advise reaching out to access support if you have an 18-month-old who isn’t babbling, or isn’t trying to get their message across; a two-year-old who isn’t putting words together; or a three-year-old who isn’t yet able to have a two-way conversation or tell you about their day.” If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, having a chat with your health visitor could be a good idea.

Why might a child experience speech and communication delays?

This current generation of school and nursery starters have experienced part of their lives in lockdown, and recent Ofsted reports have found the Covid pandemic could definitely impact key communication skills, with half of four-year-olds not ready for school. In fact, a survey from Kindred2 revealed that 91% of teachers say at least one child in their class does not have basic language skills.

It’s reassuring to hear I’m not the only one experiencing this as a parent. But why has it had such an impact?

“There’s definitely more children having difficulties right now – schools and nurseries that I attend have said they would previously have one or two children in their class with significant communication delays, and now it’s more like five or six. This definitely is partly due to lockdown, but from talking to parents, they were finding it very difficult to access early support during this time too,” says Joanne Jones, who runs The Can-Do Bootcamp, a support group for parents who are often waiting to access NHS therapy.

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Friday Faves

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Hi hi, and hello from San Diego! We’re off on a little adventure – I’ll be sharing pics and and videos over on IG – and I’m really looking to vacation and family fun. I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!


It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love hearing about your faves too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments below.

Friday Faves

Liv’s bday celebration!

We spent the whole weekend celebrating our new 11-year old. I still can’t even believe it.

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20 ‘and/but’ statements to immediately halt negative thought spirals

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'And/but' statements are designed to help you reframe your feelings, and take an objective, practical approach to problems. Here, we’re sharing 20 examples

20 ‘and/but’ statements to immediately halt negative thought spirals

Two things can be true at once. It sounds like a basic concept, but it’s something that can often go out the window during times of stress and self-deprecation. For example, have you ever made a mistake and spiralled into a negative thought cycle before, ultimately, concluding that you’re a bad and undeserving person? If so, ‘and/but’ statements could be the tool that you’re looking for.

These statements are designed to help you recognise that we are not our negative thoughts, we are not our mistakes or our shortcomings. We are complex people, with perfectly reasonable needs, reactions, and emotions. To create them, you simply make a statement that sums up the problem and then add ‘and’ or ‘but’ to qualify it with a second that puts it into perspective or offers some reassurance. They can also function as affirmations, reminding you of a truth, belief, or value you have.

Once you’ve got your head around how to formulate them, you’ll likely want to start creating ‘and/but’ statements that are unique to your own situation, and your specific needs. But, here, we’ve gathered together examples for a range of scenarios, each designed to ground you during moments of heightened emotions.

Workplace

‘I am a valued member of the team, and I do not need to take on every project.’
‘I made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean I’m bad at my job.’
‘I am dedicated to my job, and I also need to rest.’
‘I get nervous before meetings, but I’m still in control.’
‘I am capable and knowledgeable, and sometimes I need support.’

Parenting

‘I enjoy being with my family, and sometimes I need a break.’
‘I sometimes feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but I can ask for help.’
‘I feel others judge me, but I can set boundaries if I need to.’
‘I feel guilty when I can’t balance everything, but I’m trying my best.’
‘I am a capable and confident parent, and sometimes I need support from others.’

Relationships

‘I love spending time with my partner, and I love time alone.’
‘We don’t always have to agree, but we always respect each other.’
‘My relationship uplifts me, but I’m still my own person.’
‘I feel frustrated by their actions, and we can come to a resolution.’
‘I am devoted to my relationship, and I make time to pursue my interests.’

Emotions

‘I experience strong feelings, but I am in control.’
‘I feel negative emotions, and that’s OK and normal.’
‘I feel overwhelmed, but I can take a step back if I need to.’
‘My emotions are real and valid, but they won’t last forever.’
‘Sometimes things go wrong, and I am working on myself.’


Interested in working with a counsellor? Connect with a professional using the Read more

Cinnamon Apple Cobbler

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Sweet and juicy, loaded with fresh apples, and just the right hint of spices, this apple cobbler is a fall and winter dessert favorite that we enjoy throughout the entire year.

apple cobbler with ice cream in oval dishes

Easy Apple Cobbler

Cinnamon, sugar, and apples, warm fragrant and bubbling from the oven is one of the most nostalgic aromas for me. I have yet to find a candle that mimics this scent perfectly. So I will just keep making baked apple recipes on repeat to keep the kitchen smelling amazing and feeling cozy.

It is entirely up to you whether or not you choose to peel the apples for this cobbler. I’ve enjoyed it both ways and the peels don’t bother me a bit. I’m all for saving time and effort in the kitchen whenever possible, so I choose not to peel the apples most of the time.

You’ll start this recipe by slicing the apples thin and drizzling some lemon juice over them. Sprinkling them generously with cinnamon sugar and nutmeg.

Stir to coat all of the apples with the spices and then transfer them to a greased baking dish. It’s okay if the dish appears to be very full initially. The apples will shrink down a good bit during the baking process.

cinnamon spice apples in white square baking dish

To make the cobbler topping, I use a cheese-grater to “grate” the cold butter. That is my favorite hassle-free way to cut in the butter. It takes just a moment and I think it’s simpler than the more traditional methods.

If you choose not to use the grater, simply cut the cold butter into small pieces and then blend it into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender or your fingertips.

Toss the grated butter in the flour mixture. Stir with a fork to mix throughout. Stir in the boiling water, just until combined, leaving plenty of little lumps of butter.

Health and fitness books women should read in 2023

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Sharing some of my top health and fitness book recommendations for women in 2023! Please chime in with your faves and top suggestions in the comments section.

Hellooooo friends! Hope your morning is off to a lovely start. I’m getting in a quick Sculpt Society workout and then heading into the day’s to-dos.

When I set my big reading goal a couple of years ago (at least 3 books per month: 1 fiction, 1 nonfiction, and 1 related to health/wellness in some way), it expanded my book horizons and I enjoyed some very powerful reads.

In today’s post, I wanted to share some of my current favorite health and wellness books, and I would love to hear about ones that you’ve loved and would recommend to others, too.

Health and fitness books women should read in 2022

Eat Smarter

Shawn Stevenson is my #1 favorite podcast host, so I was obviously excited to read this one. It also far surpassed my expectations. As you can probably guess, I’ve read a lot of “diet” and health books in my life. Some have been cringeworthy to the max, while others have inspired me to make positive changes in my personal routine and share new knowledge with clients. This is one of those books! I love that he goes into the science and the WHY behind his recommendations, and shares tips and strategies for fueling for longevity and optimal health. I also appreciate the fact that many times he mentions that diets shouldn’t be one size fits all. It’s up to you to experiment with different strategies and find the methods that resonate best with your unique body.

With his funny one-liners and conversational way of explaining some intense science-y stuff, Shawn shares optimal foods and how they impact our sleep, hormones, longevity, and fat loss. The book also includes a 30-day sample meal plan and recipes. I only wish that the book had more recipes!

The Cancer Revolution

I picked up a copy of The Cancer Revolution because I follow Dr. Connealy on Instagram and LOVE her account. She shares so much valuable info, and I think it’s fascinating to be able to follow someone who treats cancer frequently, and successfully. She uses a blend of alternative and traditional therapies, including IV vitamin infusions, oxygen therapy, red light, detox strategies, and sauna, in addition to low-dose chemotherapy. I wanted to read this book because I’m all about empowering myself with extra tools and information, and found so many valuable resources in this book for preventing cancer, treating cancer, potentially helpful

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