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Speech and Language Skills to Help Children Thrive in Pre-Kindergarten

Welcome to Ask A Speechie!

I am a Speech Pathologist who graduated with a Masters in 2004. I have worked in the School sector, Disability Sector and private practise over the last 12 years.

This is my first Blog and I look forward to providing more information to you about child development in terms of language, literacy, comprehension and speech.

My young child has started pre-kindergarten this year. I am terrified (still). However, I realised it is more about my fear for her not coping and the fact that I am losing control that scares me. As a mother, I have looked after her from birth. I decided against day care, as I wanted to spend time with her at home. I do not honestly know if this was the right decision or not.

My child has excellent language skills; she is clear in getting her message across the majority of the time (apart from a few age appropriate speech errors) and she is outgoing and loves playing with other children.

There are still things that concern me such as her being nice to others ALL the time and sharing that have made me think that maybe day care and interacting more with other children would have helped with these skills.

However, all we can do is our best. As my child starts this school year I make a promise to listen to her, to keep in close contact with teachers, to encourage friendships and play dates and to help her enjoy her first year at school (even if it’s only a few hours a week).

This also got me thinking about what speech and language skills would help a child as a three year old thrive in school. As a speech pathologist, I would say the following:-

  • Being able to communicate wants and needs
  • Understanding how to listen and follow rules (this is a tough one)
  • Having an understanding of how to play with others in a constructive manner.
  • Having a good vocabulary.
  • Knowing about books, knowing how to read a book and knowing what is required when it comes to book reading behaviours.
  • Knowing how to ask questions and request things in a correct manner.

As a parent, these speech and language skills are important and we can help by

  • Encouraging our children to talk – providing them with words and helping to build vocabulary.
  • Encouraging our children to say hello to other children and play with friend’s children with supervision.
  • Reading to our children on a daily basis and talking about what is happening in the books.
  • Having routines such as what they need to do when they get up in the morning or go to bed at night.
  • Asking questions, answering questions, demonstrating that if they ask for something they are more likely to get it.

So far, we have survived the first few weeks, but I will keep you updated. In the meantime, please feel free to comment your own feelings and concerns for the school year to come and if you have any topic requests for blogs, I will be happy to add them to the list.

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