Queenstown Lakes District Libraries are hosting free sessions with local Speech Language Therapists, Susan Helmore and Nicole Wilkinson. The Queenstown, Frankton and Wanaka libraries have all had their first session and parents are keen!
As a parent, I’ve been there. We are worried that our children might not meet the right developmental stages at the right time. At least, this is how it was for me when my first child was born. I knew when he should be smiling, watching, grabbing, reaching out, rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking, at least according to the experts. I wrote each milestone in his little baby book. Poor kid.
The best part about speaking with these therapists, is that they will be able to put your mind at ease. If your child doesn’t start talking at the time that Dr. Spock said they would, it’s okay. Most children develop and hit all the targets – when they are ready to. The therapists are here to give you tips on how to encourage and support your child. As well, they will be able to determine if a child is just going at their own pace, or might need a bit of help along the way.
Especially interesting is that during our first sessions, we saw a lot of bilingual families! And a lot of sighs of relief. For bilingual families, you want to know if your pre-verbal child is developing their communication skills as they should. Will the two languages get mixed up in their heads? I am assuming these might be valid fears, but I wouldn't worry. Personally, I’m jealous of bilingual families. The studies that I have read say that children that grow up bilingual have a distinct advantage when it comes to learning languages and this advantage stays with them as they grow. But as a bilingual family, how do you know? The speech therapists are here to allay your fears.
Wanaka has their next session on Monday, 16th November. Frankton has their next session on Tuesday, 17th November. Queenstown has three more sessions, on November 12, 19 and 26th, all Thursdays. All sessions are drop in and free- please pop by!