News About Multi-Sensory World

Frustration about Speech Delays and How to make Therapy Fun

By Clare Meaney
on May 04, 2016

I hear from a lot of parents who have children with Sensory issues that their children have speech delays. Communication is such a big thing for anyone living an independent life and reduces frustration being able to express what we think, what we want and what we need.
I always find babies babbling a crazy thing as my son never really did this he was pretty quiet apart from when he was crying he didn’t make the baby noises. He was always behind with speech and we decided to learn Makaton to help with the process.
Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.
Its lovely hearing about  Makaton Groups now in our local area Wirral, Hands Up with the lovely Steph, we were so lucky when my son was small that a group called Sundowns let us join in even though it is for children with Down’s Syndrome and we will always be grateful for the help they gave us at that time.
We have had a few group sessions of speech therapy over our time but funding for speech therapy as most know is a postcode lottery. Over the years his speech has got better and better but he is still very conscious about it and has had bullying in the past because of it. Kids can be cruel.
Since Home Educating I asked what would he really like to learn his answer……. ‘Learn how to speak properly so I don’t sound stupid’……. Heartbroken hearing those words I went on a momma mission (like those who know me happens quite a bit) I began researching we did the sounds test and worked out the 2 sounds we wanted to work on over this year.
Since October wow have we come on! We do blow football, we make fires that need lots of blowing to ignite them more(and of course has little boys interested) we do tongue exercises in the mirror, we use bendy straws lots, we use chews(a lot for sensory issues also) Confidence is building and we can fit it in far more than schools ever could.
Straws are a big thing in our house and the silly straws makes it all a bit fun. I think the key is to have fun with it. If my son thought he was doing speech therapy each day he probably wouldn’t do it as really it sounds boring and has been for him in the past but being silly with momma around the house with musical instruments singing lalalalala, babababa, thththth, mmmmm. So I think what I want you to realise from this blog is there is so much you can do at home whilst waiting for appointments, whilst making memories and having fun as a family.

Homeschooling and everyone thinking I’ve gone crazy (crazier)

By Clare Meaney
on January 09, 2016


One of my favourite quotes- you can’t knock a square peg into a round hole even if you force it.


Well its official we are now a homeschooling family and pretty excited about our journey. So a bit about us life was hard work every Sunday afternoon the meltdowns would start by Monday we had my little guy throwing up and completely beside himself with anxiety, at times he was so violent driving along and I could tell he didn’t want to behave like that but he just really couldn’t calm himself down. Holidays were always far easier but took a lot of organising. So I sat in a meeting being told he shows no obvious signs of anxiety so obviously living in the toilets, toe walking out of shoes in 3 weeks and biting through chews at a crazy rate were all ok.


I decided in this completely stressful moment there has got to be more to life than this for my special little boy and for myself and my family as it has a knock on effect for everyone as I sat there crying which everybody who knows me, I don’t cry often I decided to have a think about my options I am so lucky having an amazingly supportive family who supported my idea to Homeschool.


Some people’s reactions to me homeschooling have been funny, you can’t run a business, homeschool a child and be a single mum it’s not possible. Believe me I’m not saying it’s easy by far but it is possible the majority of stress has been lifted from our home and instead of using all my energy fighting with an education system that doesn’t help my child out I decided to use that energy to get organised and start living, learning and having some fun together.


I’m not saying everything is plane sailing now we homeschool. Christmas day I thought would be this magical, amazing time as he was so much calmer, boy was I wrong haha but you live and learn and pick yourself up again. Some days I don’t sleep until really late trying to stay organised and keep everything ticking over whilst trying to still remember to do the washing and not be off in the land of Pinterest/google and finding what fun stuff we can do now :-) But like I said we are lucky having amazing family helping out with piano, computer programming, spelling, trips out and holidays and everything in between.


We don’t have an issue with the education side of things at home as he is such a clever boy and being 1 to 1 he is flying though work at an amazing rate and wants to help now with cooking tea and is excited learning important life skills that schools aren’t teaching children in the current curriculum. We get to do his sensory diet integrated into lessons, spellings and reading with water beads, timetables whilst doing exercises and lots of work on motor skills and lots of speech and language exercises that I have researched for him. We can also use his Senseez cushion, calming music and fidget toys without a big deal being made about them.


Homeschooling really has been a blessing to us but it isn’t for everyone as it really does take a big commitment of time and it’s very full on but the reward for us is a boy who is starting to cope with life in a supportive environment. Our next challenge now we’ve taken time to get calmer is to join some homeschooling groups and evening activities as we have now got small meets with others going well and want to slowly expand his social interactions in a positive way and build on his growing confidence.


So as my favourite quote says it is so important to not knock off the corners of our lovely square pegs otherwise life would be so boring.

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