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Talkable Speech Pathology

Did you know that 1 in 5 toddlers will be late to talk? A child’s vocabulary, and the language learning environment that is provided in the first three years of life, are strong predictors of their later success at school. Even though we know that helping children in the first three years of life is the most effective time to combat language delay, this critical period for intervention can be missed as children often wait on long waiting lists to receive public speech pathology services. Many parents simply cannot afford to access private speech pathology.

The Solution

Project Talkable is all about helping parents, grandparents and early childhood educators in the City of Melville raise Talkable toddlers. And just what is a Talkable toddler? One that is exposed to loving, engaging and rich communication opportunities every day in the early years of their life. These babies and toddlers will have the best chance to learn how to engage and communicate with others, develop reading skills and later succeed at school.

Our project is a partnership between local child care centres, Talkable speech pathology and students from Murdoch University School of Engineering and Information Technology. The project will provide FREE education and support to parents, grandparents and early childhood educators through a group program and mobile app that provides expert advice and guides participants through how to implement a rich language learning environment at home.

The program will consist of:

- 3x 2hour group workshops (at weeks 1, 5 and 10 of the program)

- Weekly video tutorials provided via a mobile application

- Weekly online support via group chat sessions

Project Talkable will run three times over a two year period with a capacity of 20 participants per group. This will help us reach a total of 60 families and early childhood educators.

Who is this program for?

- Parents who are expecting a child or have a child under the age of 3 years.

- Grandparents who care for a child under the age of 3 years.

- Early childhood educators who work with young children 0 to 3 years.

Doing things differently

Traditional speech therapy services are provided 1:1 or in small groups requiring families to visit a clinical setting. This project aims to bring innovation into this area of healthcare through the use of mobile technology. This use of technology will enable parents to learn at their own pace and easily share language learning strategies with other family members. In addition, this method of service delivery is extremely low cost to provide.

Implementation of this project would allow for the evaluation of its effectiveness to potentially lobby for this program to be rolled out to other areas in Western Australia.

About Talkable

Talkable is a social enterprise aiming to help all parents raise Talkable toddlers. It receives funding through grants, sponsorship and some fee-for-service programs. This model allows Talkable to offer support and expert advice to parents at low or no cost. To date, Talkable has collaborated with many childcare centres and early parenting services in Perth, training both parents and educators in the best ways to foster early language learning.

To learn more about Talkable visit www.talkable.org.au