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Speech and language clinic

Helping parents worried about the speech of a child who can’t be understood or has difficulty reading or writing

I try to maximise the experience of success and minimise the sense of failure.

Doctor Aubrey Nunes

What do I offer?

I have been trained as a speech and language therapist and as a linguist. I have long experience treating a wide variety of speech and language conditions, voice disorders, and more

I have found that work with speech and language impairment is helped by the science of speech and language, now known as ‘biolinguistics’. I follow a tradition going back to the 1660s. I am active in research.

I now specialise in the area where I have special training, experience and expertise – problems with the formation of sounds. words and sentences and related aspects of reading and writing, often diagnosed as dyslexia. Or where there is either no speech or language, or the speech is either limited or hard to understand, where the speech is either incomprehensible or unintelligible.

Significantly, I believe, these problems often run in families.

What difference does clinical linguistics make?

For me, the point of clinical linguistics is to work out why the problems that some children have with speech and language take the form they do for children generally and as individuals, and how best to minimise their effects.

From my experience, research, and reading of the literature, I believe that the learner’s task is not about words, but POSSIBLE words. So the clinical task is one of helping children discover how to build words as and when they want and enjoy story-telling and conversation.

While the role of the tongue and the lips in speech is obvious, there is also what is known as the ‘prosody’, as in holly and hello, affecting every word in the language. This is part of how I treat.

Does my child need help?

Children usually say their first word around one, start putting words together between one and a half and two, and are understandable most of the time by most people between three and three and half. By the age of ten, most children can say any word they want to say. But children are individuals. There are many reasons for them not always sticking to the ‘normal’ schedule.

Many children who have problems learning to read and write have have previously had problems learning to talk. Reading and writing clearly seem to be related. 

There are three simple questions:

  • Are you worried?
  • Does your child seem to struggle?
  • Does your child not want to try?

Friends and family can help you decide. If the answer to any of these questions is: Yes, some investigation may be useful.

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