A LANGUAGE and speech therapist is helping children develop the gift of the gab.
Kate Freeman used lockdown to fulfill a long-held ambition of writing books to entertain and help youngsters, including those struggling with communication.
Kate said: “I’d always felt there was a gap in the market, as there seemed to be nothing available in between pictures of individual words and full-scale storybooks.
“Every child goes through that phase of needing to learn to put words together to make sentences.
“When they’re learning to talk it’s quite a step to move from one word to two, from pointing at things and naming them to putting two words together in a sentence.
“There are now many more children with speech and language difficulties and of course lockdown made things much worse, making it difficult for children to socialise or to have speech and language therapy.”
Kate, who lives in Ashorne, designed the books around common ‘pivot’ words, such as ‘hello’ and ‘down’, keeping one word consistent and pairing it with other different words and phrases.
Kate added: “I found an artist and we really focused on making the stories interesting and exciting, so they’d appeal to any very young child, not just those struggling with language development.
“I’m really pleased at the positive reaction to the books so far, from children and parents.”
Kate who now does a variety of speech and language consultancy work, including with nurseries, libraries and local authorities, has also compiled a guidebook for parents and early years practitioners, explaining how learning to talk works.
The series is illustrated by artist Jenny Edge from Moreton Morrell and is published by Routledge.
Visit www.routledge.com/Words-Together-Supporting-Early-Language-Development-in-Young-Children/Freeman to purchase the book.