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

Selective mutism

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Helping children who are anxious about talking. With help from Stevie Wonder, Play for Change, and The Woodcraft Folk!

Date posted: Saturday 25th October 2014

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For most of the 1990s I was involved with a brilliant group for children and teenagers called The Woodcraft Folk. Woodcraft is a national organisation that believes in cooperation and helping boys and girls to enjoy the outdoors. Our group used to go hiking and camping as often as possible, and in the early summer we would spend a special weekend at a local campsite, learning about pitching tents, collecting wood, building a fire and cooking outdoors. On Saturday night everyone would meet around the campfire and sing songs and act out sketches that the children had been making up and practicing throughout the day. (more…)

I’m a Believer: or thinking positively about children with selective mutism. With help from The Monkees, Little Richard, Jayne Mansfield and Eva Cassidy

Date posted: Friday 11th October 2013

The Monkees

I remember when The Monkees first went massive in the UK. I was minding my own business in the playground of St. Ursula’s Primary School in Harold Hill.  I was nine. A big girl approached me at random and demanded an answer to the burning question of the day: ‘Which do you like: The Beatles or The Monkees?’  She was ten and I was under pressure. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway had yet to be written, so I was scared. My response was, ‘Why are you asking?’  Years later I attended a course on lecturing and explaining, and learned that this is a useful technique for dealing with questions from the audience that you don’t fully understand, or suspect that the questioner is trying to catch you out. I was 27. (more…)

Evie and her Grandad’s canal barge: shyness, introversion and selective mutism explained

Date posted: Thursday 10th January 2013

Sir Walter Scott, famed Scottish author and poet, apparently didn’t speak a word until he was seven years old. One day the cook served him sausages that were slightly burned. “Take away these offensive charred items immediately!” were the first words that he is supposed to have uttered. When Scott’s astonished parents asked him why he had never spoken before, it is claimed he replied, “Well, no one has ever given me burned sausages!” After that the floodgates were opened, and he went on to write such classics as Ivanhoe, The Lady of the Lake and The Heart of Midlothian.

Canal Barge