My philosophy…Why I do what I do!!!

I want to share with you about what influences my perspective on the work that I do……I am a Speech Pathologist. I feel very passionately that working with parents is key to building and growing strong kids. I know that some children will need individual plans and support but I challenge that there are some children who we can support by building their families abilities to understand what their needs are and to have tools, tips and resources to support them and that this will have significant impact on their child’s communication development.

I have been working as a Speech Pathologist since 1996. Over this time my passion has always been early language development. I remember fainting in an adult learning placement at uni and that was that. I had always loved kids and that sealed my resolve to always work with kids. My experiences have been varied within that: education, early development in a community setting and early development in a hospital setting. Even a little stint at private therapy. By far though my longest role has been in a population health model and at first this challenged my “how I do what I do”. As my role was being challenged: rather than seeing children one on one (or small groups) I was now working with the people who supported the kids – parents, carers, daycare workers, teachers. Over this time research in our profession also started shining a light on what we thought we knew in terms of who is likely to end up with language learning problems in the long term. It was not necessarily what we thought it was.

Also, over this time I became a mother, and a mad searcher for information that supported me to support them. Especially in the field of food and nutrition due to allergies. So as I learnt theory, I also learnt a valuable lesson about motivation and actually getting things done. I learnt that knowledge by itself does not change anything, motivation although critically important needed knowledge to focus it. It was not until I gave myself permission to use ‘baby steps’ that I started to see actual change in what I did.

I feel like I might finally have it, the knowledge to support and help others who are travelling a journey of discovery about how to support their children when they might be concerned or even just simply interested in language and literacy development.  So with my professional expertise of working with populations and in early language and literacy development and my personal experiences of the benefits of knowledge only when combined with a dose of motivation and permission and grace to move in baby steps, do I feel ready to launch Small Connections.

My vision is to create a place where families can learn from me and from each other. Learn actionable, baby steps that are based on evidence. We can build our community to problem solve, to reflect and to take ownership of the role we play in supporting our child’s development.

In November 2017 I will be launching, Small Connections Foundation Program for Parents (P4P). If you are interested in learning more about our program then I invite you to visit here.

It will run over two weeks and we will have plenty of opportunity to learn from each other. This course will be built on the back of my professional knowledge combined with families concerns and questions.

My wish is to bring together my passion for learning, my passion for early communication and my drive to support parents and carers to support their kids.

Kind regards

Bonny xx

Communication – Through the eyes of a Speech Pathologist.

Speech Pathologists look at communication as a series of different skill sets.

So when we are considering where kid’s strengths are we are looking at what they understand, the words they use, the sounds that they use, the non-verbal skills they have and their understanding of the social constructs of communicating with others.

I think of communication skills as building blocks. Our oral communication skills are the building blocks to literacy. I have also over the years thought of communication much like a healthy tree.

You need strong roots – these are our hearing and our attachment and connections to primary care givers.

From there the trunk can form thick and strong – what we understand, the words we know and use, the sounds that we have.

Then the big branches form and these are our complex sentences and storytelling skills. Understanding the social dynamics in a conversation.

Then the thick luscious canopy of the tree is the world of opportunity that good, strong communication skills can offer our kids. Strong reading skills, feeling confident at school, doing well at school, making friends, opportunities in the future. These all come from healthy, strong roots.

Clearly life is not as simple but at the core of it that is what communication can offer.

Communication development in a young child follows a typical pattern.

With crying being our babies primary means of getting their message across.

Kids are understanding long before they are expressing themselves with words.

I recall when my eldest was very young and not yet talking. He was in a farm dam (muddy body of water for those not familiar with dams) and my Dad was putting mud in his hands. When he got words a few months later he was telling me about the time that Pa put mud in his hands at the dam and expressing his disgust with the mud! I was gob-smacked, even though I know how it all works but to see it in action was awe-inspiring. Here was this small toddler, memories being laid down, understanding being laid down and then when the words came he could talk about it.

So I find myself super passionate to support parents to understand that what they do matters, but it is not hard and nor is it rocket science. But supporting our kids to be capable communicators is a really important part of what we do as parents!

In the words of Paul Kelly: “From little things big things grow”.
Yours in Small Connections
Bonny

Communication is the essence of human life.

I love this phrase and from what I can see it can be credited to Dr Janice Light.

There is such truth to it. Connection to others is known to bring happiness.

So it is no wonder that parents can get worried if they are just not sure if what they see their own children doing is a cause for concern or not.

I love being a Speech Pathologist.

I love connecting with others.

My wish for Small Connections is that I can provide valuable and timely information to parents and carers.

In doing so I can connect with them.

Winner..winner in my opinion.

Yours in Small Connections

Bonny

 

 

 

Hello

Dear Connectors,
This is my first post on Small Connections. My first time at putting something that has been in my head for a long time out there into the Universe for people to know about.
I am a Speech Pathologist. This is a site that will grow to support parents and families who are wanting to learn more and know more, or those who are just interested.
I have spent the last 15 years raising my four children and being a Speech Pathologist in a population health model. That means I have spent the last 15 years supporting communities and not working in a traditional model as a Speech Pathologist. So not really any one on one therapy sessions which is the norm for our profession. My role has been to train those who spend time with children.
I feel very passionately that with timely information parents can make informed decisions that will be able to either support their ability as consumers of speech pathologists, increase their knowledge base or simply build their confidence.
My business is called Small Connections. This is because I believe that it is in the small moments that the magic happens.
My role here is to support families to support their kids. Maybe even to support families to support themselves. I think nothing can be boxed easily, everything is linked. How we feel, what we eat, how we react to situations and how we connect with our kids. I hope that this site will grow into a place where you can find information and link to the services that you need in that moment.
My primary purpose is to support you to understand and support your children’s language development. I believe that with the right support most families can support themselves to grow and learn. There are some conditions and speech and language difficulties that need direct one to one or small group intervention. This site may support those families to become informed consumers of speech pathology services but I cannot support your kids. My skills are in supporting you.
I believe that looking through the strengths of families and the strengths of your kids I can offer some ideas and support that may be able to have a large impact.

It is lovely to meet you.
I look forward to connecting with you.
Regards
Bonny