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The Rising Tide of Speech Therapy: How Busy Books Can Be a Lifeline

The Rising Tide of Speech Therapy: How Busy Books Can Be a Lifeline

Key Benefits busy books

One of the most exciting milestones in our child’s early years is saying their first word. In some cases, this may be delayed or you notice your child is not progressing linguistically like other children their age. This is when your doctor may recommend you seek our speech therapy for your child.

Speech pathologists or speech-language pathologists are experts in communication. They help people of all ages, including children, overcome language barriers, whether this is speaking, reading or writing. Parents can also help with speech therapy progress at home, using tools like Busy Books. This is how Busy Books can be a lifeline in the rising tide of speech therapy.

Quick Stats About Children’s Speech Therapy

Speech, language and communication impairments in children are more common than you may think. Some key statistics about children’s speech therapy include:

  • Around 21% of children of school age in Australia have a speech, language or communication delay or impairment.
  • 1 in 5 children aged 4 years have a speech impairment or language difficulty. 
  • An estimated 16% of Australian children have difficulty learning to read.
  • Language impairment and juvenile offences have been linked, with more than 50% of young offenders experiencing a language impairment.

Top Benefits of Busy Books for Children in Speech Therapy

Exposure to new words and sounds.

While there are Busy Books dedicated to speech development, every activity book can help your child learn new words and sounds. Busy Books focus on different areas of learning, skills and the world around us, so there are endless opportunities to expose your child to new words. The books are also designed to advance with your child’s development, so get harder as their abilities grow. 

The Let’s Talk Together and Talk with Me Busy Books were created by speech pathologist, Emily Mackie to specifically help with language development. These books allow children to learn expressive and receptive language, while working through fun activities, like learning different body parts, writing their function and more. 

Use of words in different contexts and sentences.

The more kids hear and practice words, the more it will stick and the easier it will be for them to say or write those words. Busy Books re-use words in different ways to help children use them in different ways. For example, they’ll have kids match pictures to words, and then have to fill in missing words and then use them in a different activity. 

Literacy also plays a big part in helping children learn to speak or further develop their speaking skills. Books like Starting with Sounds and Now We’re Reading have been designed to align with the science of reading to assist children with these early literacy skills, also helping speech. Created by speech pathologist Mariah Apostolopoulas, each book has 20 activities designed to help children strengthen their language sound skills, learning syllables and putting them together to form words. Like all Busy Books, they are filled with bright, colourful illustrations to help appeal to your child’s playful nature.

Can be used in both therapy and at home.

Busy Books are common tools used in speech therapy. You can align the Busy Books you have at home with the ones used in speech therapy to support the activities your child does during their sessions. The speech pathologist can help you know how to use the words and activities to support your child in their speech therapy journey, and even recommend which books will best help your child in their journey. As Busy Books have been designed to be affordable and easily accessible, it’s an easy way for parents to further their child’s potential progress. 

Many Busy Books have been specifically created by speech pathologists, including the books explored in this article. This helps ensure each book supports a child’s communication journey, but also uses colours, shapes, patterns and engaging illustrations to draw your child’s focus. Each book focuses on different skills and skill levels to help children in every stage of their journey.

Increased focus and interest.

When your child enjoys their therapy work, the more they’ll want to do it. The bright, fun imagery in Busy Books will help your child want to pull out their favourite books and get stuck in, also helping them focus on the tasks at hand. There are even books focusing on specific topics to appeal to your child’s interests, such as the My Little Farm busy book, which has your child explore animals on the farm, match footprints to the animal and more, while enhancing their literacy, numeracy, fine motor skills, problem solving and many other skills.

“I had no doubt that we wouldn’t love this book, I especially loved the imagery used in this one. I found it to be very engaging for both my 2 & 3 year old.

I love the easy step by step instructions, but also the way activities can be adapted and changed along the way to make things more engaging as the children become more skilled.”

Receiving adult support.

Studies have shown children perform better when parents are engaged and responsive. Getting involved in helping your children with their Busy Books will help them feel confident and comfortable, and get the support they need if they are struggling with a particular word. You can also help get more books than if your child completed the activities on their own (while they certainly can with some books). For example, you can encourage your child to repeat words, break up sounds they’re struggling to make, use fun voices to keep their interest or celebrate when they have a win. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if your child needs speech therapy?

Some common reasons children need speech therapy include if they are having difficulty speaking or making sounds, having trouble understanding words, have delayed spelling, reading or writing, are experiencing social delays, are stuttering or they have a voice problem, like hoarseness or breathiness. If you notice a delay in your child’s speech or language development, speaking with your health practitioner can give you the guidance you need.

At what age is speech delay concerning?

Children with a speech delay will generally be diagnosed around 1.5 to 2 years old. This is the age when children will typically show signs of consistent regression or setbacks, so can be assessed for potential delays and how to intervene accordingly. 

How long do most kids need speech therapy?

Kids may need speech therapy for a few weeks, months or even years depending on their needs. They may need multiple sessions a week or less regularly on the guidance of their speech pathologist or medical professional. 

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