Help Kids Talk team host event

The Help Kids Talk team recently hosted a shared learning event in partnership with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

Left to right: David Burns (CEO of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Mabel Scullion (Early Intervention Lisburn Manager), Counsellor Uel Mackin, Adrian Bird (Director of Resurgam Trust), Ruth Sedgewick (Head of RCSLT NI Office), Courtney Adair, Sarah Ratcliffe (Help Kids Talk Co-ordinator), Professor Nicola Doherty, Lee Creighton and Yvette Wilkinson (Lagan Valley Vineyard Church)

The event showcased the partnership approach used in Lisburn to tackle the issue of 32% of primary one pupil’s starting school with a mild to severe speech, language, and communication delay, with 74% being boys from disadvantaged areas of Lisburn.

The Chief Executive of LCCC Mr David Burns said: “Early intervention and prevention measures are vital to give all children the best start in life.

“We want all of our children in Lisburn and Castlereagh to have the same chance in life and we can only achieve this if we do it together. Help Kids Talk is a great example of how we can achieve this.”

Professor Nicola Doherty, Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist gave an overview of the growing body of evidence that caregiving affects the structure and functioning of a baby’s brain, and therefore the person they will be throughout their life.

The development of every baby’s brain crucially depends on their social and emotional experiences and above all the baby’s attachment relationship to their primary caregiver (mum, dad, carer).

Findings emerging from the fast-moving field of research into infant brain development (neuroscience) show that stress is likely to impact on a baby’s ability to learn and build relationships, now and in the future. Laura Knott, speech and language therapist demonstrated the implications for children who are missed early in life and how this can increase the risk that they will disengage from education, be involved in the youth justice system, and are more likely to suffer from mental health issues.

Courtney Adair and Councillor Uel Mackin gave inspiring speeches on their personal experience of living with a stammer.

Both gave great advice to see someone with a stammer as an individual as no one solution fits all.

If you are interested in hearing more about the Help Kids Talk project, want to get involved, or wish to watch the recording of this event contact Sarah Ratcliffe, Help Kids Talk co-ordinator at [email protected]