Research conducted in schools last year revealed that the coronavirus pandemic, with its lockdowns and restrictions, held back many young children’s speech and language development.
Professionals in Devon who work with families, schools and early years settings were hearing from parents concerned about their children’s language and communication development. So a multiagency team has worked together, with parents, to develop a programme of new speech, language and communication courses and resources for parents and carers of young children, to help them help support their child’s development.
The programme is called ‘The Way We Talk’, and it includes courses and resources available to help parents and carers as well as professionals – those whose jobs see them working with young children and their parents or carers.
But it’s not just about late development of speech and language skills. The coronavirus pandemic impacted on speech and language services, and children and young people of primary and secondary school-age, who were already experiencing speech and language difficulties prior to the pandemic, found access to their support disrupted.
The courses are free, and they’re being provided by a range of professionals. Sessions are available from Devon Education Advisory Services, Early Years, Young Devon and Action for Children. Resources and wider support are also being provided by Public Health Nursing and Children and Family Health Devon.