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Speech and language therapy awareness month gets under way

Ealing Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Services has an exciting line-up of events planned for the borough’s first ever SLT awareness month.

The team, which works in partnership with Ealing Council, has created a month-long schedule of activities aimed at raising awareness around the ways local families with children aged under 5 can access support.

Recent research has shown a steep rise in the number of British children who need help with speech and language issues. It is now estimated that 1.9 million children are behind with talking and/or understanding of words – the highest figure ever recorded.

The awareness month will be officially running from Monday 18 September to Wednesday 18 October and will offer special workshops, fun events, and an exciting musical extravaganza – all designed to get people talking about speech and language therapy.

Workshops for parents

If you want to know how you can help your child’s speech and language develop or what services are out there, check out one of the team’s workshops, which take place in person and online. Among others, courses include:

  • Thursday 21 September, 7-8.30pm – How can I help my child’s speech and language development?
  • Thursday 12 October, 10.30am-12pm – How to support children with selective mutism or shy, quiet, or anxious talkers
  • Tuesday 17 October, 10am-12pm – An introduction to the SLT service: What it is and how can we help you?

Makaton flash mob

A highlight of the awareness month will be a special flashmob event in Ealing Broadway Centre, where a large group of children and adults will use Makaton sign language to perform Queen’s hit ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre.

The team will gather in Time Square outside Primark/Waterstones at 12.30pm on Wednesday 27 September. If you’d like to join in on the day, please sign up by emailing wlm-tr.sltuniversalservices@nhs.net.

What else is taking place?

The borough’s children’s centres are going to be supporting the awareness month by running themed stay-and-play sessions over the 4 weeks.

Meanwhile, there will also be a number of early start playful parenting taster sessions at 3 of the local children’s centres and an SLT advice drop in at the West London Islamic Centre.

Also, a family fun day will take place on Saturday 30 September in Haven Woods, near Conolly Road in Hanwell W7 3JW, which offers children and families the freedom, space, and time to be amongst nature. Book your place now by emailing sam.haven.woods@gmail.com

“Vitally important for children”

Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal is Ealing Council’s cabinet member for a fairer start. She said: “Speech and language therapy is vitally important for some children, and the earlier they engage with professionals, the more likely it is that they can quickly work to a positive outcome.

“The number of children and young people who struggle with speech and language has gone up steeply in recent years. Although we are lucky to have a great team in Ealing, there is much more that could be done with the right resources. We are calling upon the government to do much more to support these children by providing the funding they deserve.”

Find out more

Please check out the team’s online brochure for all the dates, times, and locations.

For more information about the awareness month events and activities, or if you have general questions about SLT, please call 07512 716 478 (lines are open Monday to Friday from 1pm to 4pm).

You can also follow the Ealing SLT team on Facebook and YouTube or check out their online web page here.

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