Well, that time of year is upon us! The Christmas holidays are here. School (for most of us) is finished for the term and it’s time to relax (for the children anyway!) and enjoy the fun of the festive season.
It’s also a really good opportunity to take a break from all those speech & language therapy programmes and worksheets you’ve been doing. In a way, we are always working on communication as it is an all day, every day thing. To help your child with communication difficulties, you will have made fundamental adjustments to your communicative style that make certain supporting strategies habitual. What I’m saying is, put the worksheets and programmes to one side for a couple of weeks over the Christmas break and let natural communication take over. Do you know what, DON’T FEEL GUILTY about doing so! Everyone needs a break, especially at such a busy time of year. Parents need a break from finding time to do specific communication activities with their children and children need a break from working on their communication. It’s amazing what shifting the focus away from specific communication work for a little while can do. I’ve seen it many times myself at this time of year when children with significant communication impairments absolutely floor everyone with their performances in the Christmas shows at school. I’m not sure if it’s a result of moving the focus away from communication specifically and onto the music, the performance, the occasion or whatever, but you often see the skills you’ve been working on all year put to fantastic use in a real and very moving context. I’ve seen severely communication impaired children interacting with members of the audience on the way into the hall, a profoundly autistic child sing a solo carol as well as many smiles, & lots of happy excitement. It’s certainly a little bit of Christmas magic!
So, have a break, relax and enjoy all those little bits of festive fun. A big thank you to all of my clients and have a very merry Christmas! Enjoy your holidays and I’ll look forward to seeing you in the new year.