Right now more than 1.1 million Australians have difficulty communicating. Speech pathologists at Orange Health Service are encouraging people to “start a conversation about communication”, which is the theme for this year’s Speech Pathology Week from 26 – 30 August, 2013.
Research shows that reading to children is one of the best ways to develop their language and future reading skills. During Speech Pathology Week in Orange, the focus will be on children and reading.
Orange Health Service (OHS) Speech Pathologist Manager Jane deBruyn said the service is seeing increasing numbers of children who have not had exposure to books and some children are starting school not knowing how to hold a book or turn pages.
“For children to be ready to learn to read, they must have had a thousand books read aloud to them,” she said.
“This sounds like a lot, but it is only three books a day in the last year before school, or less than one book a day in the five years before school”.
Ms deBruyn said many parents now use mobile phones and IPADS to entertain their children while they are in waiting rooms, and while children need interaction to learn, ‘screen time’ does not provide this.
“Research states that children do not learn anything from watching TV before the age of three years but children learn from reading with their carers as young as six months of age,” she said.
To encourage more reading, speech pathology staff will be handing out pre-loved books with an information flyer to families attending Orange Health Service during Speech Pathology Week.
“We want to challenge parents to invest time in reading to their children, and when they find themselves waiting, to pull out a book and enjoy reading together,” Ms deBruyn said.
A recent book drive with OHS Community and Allied staff has provided a good supply of quality second-hand children’s books which will be used during the week. The books will also be used to replenish supplies in the community health, dentistry, specialist clinic, paediatric Clinic and medical image waiting rooms at the hospital.
For more information about Speech Pathology Week, visit www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au
For more information please contact Media Manager Vanessa Delaney Ph: 6369 3833 or 0417 511 738