Downloads Centre – Speech and Communication Resources
Welcome to a very useful part of our website – the Downloads Centre – Speech and Communication Resources. Within this section you will be able to either view, or download, a comprehensive range of resources and information to facilitate support programmes put in place by your speech and language therapist / pathologist. Speech therapists pathologists, are welcome to download the free resources for use in your clinic or classroom, or to distribute to clients, but please leave the website address on any copies.(please see our Copyright Requirements / Terms and Conditions regarding the use of these downloads in a professional capacity). It is our intention to populate this section with a range of handy resources in one central location. Most of the resources have been designed to be printer friendly. We are continually putting new downloads and programs in this section so keep checking back to see the latest additions.
The Downloads Section is divided into several sections – click on the links below to access your area of interest:
Watching your child’s communication development is an exciting time for most parents. Most children develop speech, language and social skills naturally during the first few years of life. As parents it is important to remember that these first few years are vital and there is a lot you can do to help develop these skills and put in place many crucial building blocks for the future. This section contains lots of ideas and activities to help you develop your child’s speech, language and communication.
The development of a child’s communication skills can vary enormously from child to child. Some children will develop certain skills quicker than others, and there are often differences between girls and boys. The information in this section is just a general guideline and many experts vary considerably on what they believe to be the normal stages of development. To try and make this information easier to read we have created a made-up child called Bill. Bill was lucky, he had a childhood free of any illness or accidents and he had pro-active parents who played with him and gave him lots of quality 1:1 attention.
Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain and can affect anyone, regardless of social status or intelligence. This section provides information, strategies, and guidance on different options that you can use everyday to help to facilitate the understanding, social skills and communication of individuals on the autistic spectrum.
We will continue to add to this section over the coming months.
Child Language Difficulties:
Many children present with language difficulties. The language difficulty can be expressive (the language they use when they talk) or receptive (their understanding of language). Some children have difficulties with both. This can have very serious effects on the wellbeing of the child if they are unable to express themselves or unable to understand what is going on around them. Approximately three quarters of children with identified emotional and behavioural difficulties have significant language deficits. This section contains information and resources relating expressive, receptive, and specific language impairment.
Children’s Speech Difficulties:
This section contains information about, and strategies to, facilitate speech difficulties. Topics include Selective Mutism, Adult and Child Voice difficulties, and Dysarthria. Over the coming months we will adding further information sheets including Cleft Palate, Phonological Speech difficulties, Dyspraxia, and Stuttering.
Children with Special Needs:
Many children have difficulties with communication or learning because of disease, injury or a disorder or syndrome. Some children just have delayed learning skills for no apparent reason. However, no matter what the nature of the disorder, it is likely that there are ways to facilitate children to communicate. Even children with profound difficulties have the potential to increase their level of communication, allowing them to initiate, respond and make choices. This section contains information and resources relating to Genetic Syndromes such as Down’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, AD(H)D, and educational issues.
Difficulty reading, writing and spelling is a problem encountered by many children, and speech and language delay is often the first sign that your child might have reading difficulties. Literacy difficulties can be caused by a number of factors and consequently there are a number of different programs to help with reading. When assessing reading difficulties we must differentiate between “slow readers”, who are in line with their general cognitive development, and those with specific reading difficulties (Dyslexia).
Dysfluency (Stammering, Stuttering and Cluttering):
Dysfluency can produce anxiety, tension, stress, embarrassment, and a feeling of “loss of control” during speech. The emotional state of the stammerer is often the most serious effect of the disorder. When the dysfluency remains unresolved through to adulthood it can cause individuals to be very embarrassed and self aware and effect their career progression and relationships. Many adult stammerers claim that the disorder has affected their lives making them avoid many social situations and affecting their confidence. This section will include information relating to both child and adult dysfluency.
This section provides an overview of hearing impairment with downloads about the hearing process, causes of hearing impairment, hearing assessment, hearing aids and cochlear implants, and strategies and programs to facilitate speech, language, and communication.
Adult Speech Difficulties:
Adult speech difficulties can occur for a number of reasons. Accident, injury, disease and illness can all have effects on our speech system. Some people have had articulatory difficulties since childhood and they are only now becoming a problem because they might be affecting an individual’s social or work life. Some adults have dysarthria. Many adults suffer from Voice problems for many different reasons. This section contains information and resources related to these types of speech problems.
Adults with Learning Difficulties (also described as special needs / intellectual impairment):
Many adults suffer from learning difficulties or have special needs. Alongside learning difficulties there are often difficulties with communication which can be speech and language based, or difficulties with social language and behaviour. However, no matter what your level of communication difficulty, it is likely that you can find ways to improve it. Even for adults with profound difficulties there are ways (often using a total communication approach) that can increase an individual’s level of communication, allowing them to respond and make choices. This section will include information on Total Communication, assistive communication, language strategies, and communication and behaviour.
Progressive Neurological Diseases:
Progressive diseases and disorders of the brain can have a huge impact on communication skills. There are a number of diseases or disorders that can affect the brain and communication. These can include, tumours, dementia, or a progressive neurological disease such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis. Although we cannot usually halt the development of some of these diseases, there are many things we can do to improve and facilitate speech and communication.
Traumatic Brain Injury:
A brain injury and head injury can cause damage to the brain that may contribute to both short term and long term difficulties with communication and cognitive functioning. An injury of this kind can occur both from the impact of an external force or an internal event such as a stroke, tumour or disease. There are many simple, functional strategies that can be introduced that will facilitate your memory, planning, attention, and reading skills.
Stroke / CVA:
A stroke or cerebro-vascular accident (CVA) can be a very debilitating event in an individual’s life. Some individuals make a complete recovery, others only have minor difficulties and their communication is unaffected. However, for some their speech and language can be severely affected. This section provides information about the effects of a stroke and some strategies to facilitate communication. Over the coming months we will add further information about functional ways to improve communication and cognitive skills.
Assistive Communication / AAC:
Assistive technology is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices with a focus on facilitating communication. Modern new electronic machines (hi-tech) have become the way for many individuals to communicate. With advances in computer technology, new hi-tech devices are becoming smaller and cleverer. However, assistive devices do not have to be expensive or electronic, they can be lo-tech (picture cards for instance), and often the simpler lo-tech option is a better, more functional option depending on the client and their disability. Whatever assistive device is used, the end goal is to facilitate communication and independence. This section will be devoted to providing information relating to hi and lo-tech devices, strategies to enhance communication, The Total Communication approach, and trialling and assessing the best assistive communication options for an individual.