Language & autism (4)
Language & gender (4)
Selective mutism (3)
Developing children's communication (8)
Children's emotions (5)
Children and introversion (2)
High sensitivity (2)
Language & maths (3)
Improving adult communication (3)
Children and ICT (2)
Children & sleep (2)
Improving storytime & assembly (2)
Building vocabulary (3)

Bad Breath!
Understanding mood swings
The silent phase of EAL
Overcoming stage fright
Food poverty/language poverty
Children and trains
Speech sounds
Nelson Mandela tribute
Combating low self-esteem
Children and colour
Men and childcare
Non-verbal communication
Language and autism
'Small talk'
Children's behaviour
Music and feelings
Spelling problems
Describing children accurately
Sharing books with children
Singing and language


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Are scientists ‘unemotional’ or ‘on the spectrum’? Or why we love doctors who are in touch with their feelings. With help from The Piano Guys, Shirley & Co, Queen and George Michael!

Date posted: Tuesday 5th May 2015

When my daughter was two and a half she had a sudden raise in temperature. She went blue, then grey and we couldn’t get her to breathe. It was terrifying. I put my finger in her mouth and she nearly bit it off. That’s when I realized she was having a febrile convulsion and that her tongue was blocking her airway. We tipped her upside down, laid her on her front and she started breathing again. We rushed to the downstairs neighbours and bundled her into their car and rushed our floppy little daughter to hospital. (more…)

Bronies, Trekkies, Cosplay, AGSM, Furries and Otherkin. Just a bit of fun or another reality? With help from Arthur of the Britons, Lulu, Ylvis and Mud!!

Date posted: Friday 24th April 2015

Arthur Daily
3Arthur Daley

It was 1978 and I was a student speech therapist at the Central School of Speech and Drama, North London. It was not uncommon to see actors on the drama course walking around the building or local street dressed and acting in role, (I’ll never forget the time we were sitting an exam and looked up to see a student leaping across the rooftop with a cutlass between his teeth.) So it didn’t strike me in the least bit odd to see a man dressed as an ancient Briton riding his horse up the Finchley Road. I just assumed it was a local method actor limbering up for a part in Arthur of the Britons. (more…)

“Do you want to look at my jugs?” Or possibly an adventure in Asperger Syndrome? With help from Mungo Jerry and The Grateful Dead!

Date posted: Tuesday 14th April 2015

 1  2

I’ll never forget the first time I went to Jessica’s house. We were 16 and her parents weren’t at home. Jessica – “Don’t call me ‘Jessie’, I don’t like the sound of it” – and I first met at the local church ‘encounter group’ for teens. We hit it off immediately, and the next day she phoned me up and invited me round for a cup of tea and to inspect her jugs. That was certainly an offer I wasn’t going to refuse, but I was a little startled when I was immediately ushered into her bedroom. “What about my tea?” (It was a hot Summer’s day and I had dashed over on my bike.) “Oh, you can have that when we’ve finished” Jessica replied, without batting, or even fluttering, an eyelid. (more…)

Becoming a Sitzpinkler. Or doing my bit to create a fairer world on International Women’s Day. With help from Bob Marley and James!

Date posted: Wednesday 8th April 2015

Question: Are you a Sitzpinkler? If you are a ‘bloke’ (and I use the word advisedly) then the answer is probably ‘No way!’ or ‘Of course not!’ or ‘I stand, therefore I am!’ If you are a woman, then the answer will almost certainly be ‘Yes’. (Unless you regularly use a Shewee.)

The SheWee


Do babies need mothers? In memory of Professor Hazel Dewart. With help from Bob Marley, Bobby McFerrin and Playing for Change

Date posted: Friday 27th March 2015

When I was nine years old I told a lie, in the hope that I would be allowed to take a day off school. My lie was so successful that I was off school for a month. Unfortunately the first week of that month was spent in hospital having an operation, and the following three weeks recovering from septicaemia. Looking back on it, I think I was what would now be described as ‘troubled’. But in those days (1966) I was variously described by teachers as ‘naughty’, ‘downright disobedient’, or ‘a bit of a pickle’, depending on how sympathetic they were. I was an avid reader of The Beano and The Dandy, and Dennis the Menace, Roger the Dodger, Minnie the Minx and The Bash Street Kids were my main role models. So lying to my teachers and parents, to avoid trouble and going to school, had become second nature. I have recently read Roddy Doyle’s brilliant Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and can totally identify with little 10-year old Paddy. (more…)

Je t’aime. Moi non plus? Exploring shyness and selective mutism, with help from Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg and Helen Keen!

Date posted: Tuesday 24th February 2015

Mick Jagger and Francoise Hardy
Dylan & Hardy

It’s 1969. In the streets of Paris, the tear gas has finally cleared and the cobblestones, recently used for hurling at the police, have all been se-set. Woodstock has been and gone and The Rolling Stones have just left Altamont, while the Vietnam War drags on. I’m just about to enter teenage and am languishing in a boys’ boarding school, run by an all-male religious order. Like all pre-teens, me and my friends are starting to ask serious questions; such as ‘Why do we need to learn French?’ This wasn’t a challenge to the authority of our teachers and mentors. At least it didn’t start that way. I blame our geography teacher for giving us mixed messages about learning ‘Modern Foreign languages’. ‘Take a look at this,’ he proclaimed one day, while pointing at a map of the world. ‘Do you see those pink bits? That’s The British Commonwealth. And if you go there you’ll never need to speak the local language.’ (more…)

Superheroes? A tale of ‘Superhero play’, the world (and a lot of plastic tables and chairs) turned upside down, and some ‘boring’ darts champions. With help from The Jean Genie and 50,000 drunk Australian men in fancy dress!

Date posted: Monday 12th January 2015

This is the shortest post I have ever written! But I have just seen possibly the most bizarre displays of adult male behaviour since I was at an airport in France, when a group of 20 English men, each dressed as Pluto the dog, arrived at customs and were astonished that French Customs officers insisted on searching all their luggage and, would you Adam and Eve it, demanded to know the reason for their visit to France.


Is this the real life, or just fancy dress? Australian ‘Superheroes’ and Oompa Loompas slug it out. (And can you see Wally in amongst the Santas, Ninja Turtles and men in dodgy Hawaiian shirts?) (more…)

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!! (And lots of great wishes for you and yours for 2015!!!!

Date posted: Wednesday 24th December 2014

With help from Morrissey, Play for Change and John Lewis!!!

John Lewis


Play for change

Lots of love from Michael!!!!!

Heroes in Kep Gardens, Cambodia: with help from Bowie, Play For Change and Musicians in Angkor Wat!

Date posted: Saturday 20th December 2014

Have you ever been in a class with young children and suddenly a fly enters the room? All hell breaks loose as the children shout, ‘Miss, there’s a fly in the room!’ You just have to tut and roll your eyes in response and say, ‘It won’t hurt you. Haven’t you seen a fly before? Just ignore it and it will go away…’ (more…)

Apocalypse Tomorrow? Understanding ‘vulnerable’ children, with help from Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Bowie & Annie Lennox, Squeeze and a Thai massage In Chiang Mai!

Date posted: Friday 28th November 2014


The Festival of Loy Krathong

I’m sitting in my hotel room in Chiang Mai, Thailand and feeling very sorry for myself. I’m not looking for sympathy but, so they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. I know what you’re thinking: some guys have all the luck. It’s November, it’s 35 degrees outside, he’s in Thailand. So why is he feeling blue? Actually I’m feeling black and blue. It all started 3 days ago when I set off on a long haul flight to Thailand via Shanghai. I know there’s no peace for the wicked, but I now accept that there’s no sleep for Little Mikey Jones on long haul flights, and for at least two days afterwards, while my physical self and my mental self come to terms with the time change. I’m not out here to have fun: I’m leading a two-day training course about how to support children who I describe as ‘vulnerable’, with practical ways to promote conversation, their confidence about talking and learning in busy settings. I’d tried everything I could to get at least a few winks before I landed. The director’s cut of Godfather 3 wasn’t on offer, or even Barry Lyndon, so in desperation I tried listening to Harvest. But 90 minutes of Neil Young’s turgid wailing failed to induce even the vaguest hint of drowsiness. (more…)