At Developing Minds, we understand that relationships are the key to supporting development. Providing an atmosphere where our clients feel safe and calm will help them overcome their difficulties and maximise their strengths. Rather than working on discreet skills and behaviour, we take a systems-based approach to increase our clients’ underlying processing abilities. When this happens, tangible and lasting results can be truly gained, and quality of life can improve significantly over time and into adulthood. All programs are individualised to each client’s particular profile, personality, learning style and circumstances – and in collaboration with their family and/or support networks. The following outlines some of the programs available to you at Developing Minds Speech Pathology.
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI® Program)
RDI® is a parent coaching program aimed at fostering independence and quality of life for children with Autism and associated conditions. Parents work with a family consultant to help guide their child’s learning, and to fill gaps in development that may have been missed as a consequence of the vulnerabilities present in those with disorders such as Autism. Developed by Dr Steven Gutstein and Dr Rachelle Sheely, RDI® is based on the very latest research in the fields of developmental psychology, neurology and education. It has proven effective with children on the Autism Spectrum (ASD), as well as other children who have yet to benefit from the guiding relationship with their parents or caregivers.
Visualizing and Verbalizing® (V&V) by Lindamood Bell®
This program aims to help children’s core language processing (vocabulary, syntax and grammar) as well as higher level language areas (inference, identifying and solving problems, perspective taking, main idea, synthesising information). Through helping your child develop their ability to picture the details and whole (or gestalt) of what they read, say and hear, children are better able to understand and use language in all aspects of their social and academic life. This is a good strategy to get your child closer to independence, at any age or stage.
Talkies® by Lindamood Bell®
Like the V&V program above, Talkies® can help your child improve their understanding and use of language. This program is made specifically for younger children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
It Takes Two To Talk® (ITTTT) Hanen Program®
This is a program that is delivered to parents to help them support their young child who is a late talker or has language processing difficulties. The program is delivered to parents in small groups, which creates a supportive environment conducive to reciprocal learning. Parents attend group sessions, as well as individual sessions where video recordings are made to help with setting goals for you and your child.
Social Thinking® by Michelle Garcia Winner
Social Thinking® is different to teaching social skills – rather than training a child in discreet behaviour, they are challenged to think about the impact of their behaviour on other people, and how other peoples’ view of them affects their relationships and self-concept. By working on thinking, and not just behaviour, children’s ability to take the perspective of others has a positive impact upon their relationships, as well as their academic functioning, thus improving their overall quality of life.
Cognition and language develop alongside play, and these skills emerge in a predictable pattern. As well as being fun and motivating, play can act as a wonderful teacher to a child. Whether it’s younger children, older children, or even young adults, engaging in imaginative play such as charades or pretending, or challenging strategy games that foster higher level cognitive skills, play is a great way to increase our understanding of how the dynamic world around us works. We can all learn from play across ages and stages!
Seeing Stars® by Lindamood Bell®
While phonics and phonological awareness (ability to process and manipulate the sounds in one’s language) have been the focus of scientific research for the last fifteen years, new research is emerging about the role of symbol imagery (mental representations of letter and word shapes) in reading fluency and spelling. The Seeing Stars® program by Lindamood Bell® focuses on both of these important areas to help your child with decoding words and achieving reading fluency. When your child can understand the written word, they can learn and gain joy from reading.
LiPS® by Lindamood Bell®
For some children, auditory processing may be difficult, affecting their ability to map sounds and words. These children may benefit from the LiPS program by Lindamood Bell, which uses kinaesthetic awareness to help a child feel the sounds in words. Supporting the child with strengths in this type of learning can help them with early literacy skills, and this program is often effective when run alongside or preceding Seeing Stars.
Prompt for Restructuring of Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT)
PROMPT is an approach that assesses and targets a child’s entire speech production system. Through this form of training, children are given tactile prompts to facilitate the movements of their articulators, which significantly improves their speech sound production. Not only does children’s intelligibility improve, but generalisation occurs, which tends to be challenging for children with speech difficulties. PROMPT can also be used with children who have literacy difficulties, helping them feel the sounds and syllables in words.
Effective Professional Communication Programs
An individualised program can be made for busy professionals wishing to sharpen their communication skills in the workplace and create a positive impression to management, colleagues and clients. Depending on your goals, a program can be tailored to work on any of the following areas:
- voice and public speaking
- professional writing for a variety of purposes
- using concise language
- body language
- making an impact with professional presentations and/or writing
Any or all of these areas can be improved on to help you communicate more effectively for work, and demonstrate your personality and professionalism.