New product helps children and adults with speech and language difficulties

Alison O’Carroll receiving her supplies of Activate Speech materials from Rine Duenker. Also included is Christian Duenker.

Alison O’Carroll receiving her supplies of Activate Speech materials from Rine Duenker. Also included is Christian Duenker.

A new product launched by a County Galway company aims to help children and adults with speech and language difficulties.

Activate Speech, a business set up by Headford based couple Rine Duenker, a speech and language therapist and her husband Christian, provides newly designed speech and language cards which may be used by children or adults with problems in this area.

Language is all around us, yet parents face difficulties when their children do not speak at the right age or have trouble putting sentences together. It can now be very worrying for parents when they do not know what to do and do not realise that they can help their child. Teachers, pre-school teachers and therapists who work with these children are constantly striving to come up with new materials which will help each child to better focus on the target word or sentence being taught.

Simple, bright and colourful, the new range consists of four different packs of cards - Vocabulary, Sentences, Prepositions, and Put Things Together. Each of the packs has been designed and printed in Co Galway targeting the common themes focused on in therapy. Packs contain 32 A6 size cards and are supplied with clear concise instructions to achieve the best possible outcome for the user. They can be used in the home, clinic, school or pre-school.

The ‘Vocabulary’ pack can be used for very young children to teach them their first words. Parents and pre-school teachers can use the cards to improve the child’s naming skills and to play games while also taking turns at naming the pictures. The cards in the pack can also be used with older children to teach them, for example, word association, objection function and location, how to follow and give clues, rhyming games or identifying phonics in the word.

Children with language problems can find it difficult to understand and use sentences with the correct grammar, explains Ms Duenker. “The ‘Sentence’ pack focuses on this. Children with language delay or disorder often find it hard to remember to say ‘she is …..’ for the female gender in particular. Accordingly, this pack includes cards depicting both female and the male gender so parents can teach their child how to notice the difference. They can learn to formulate sentences correctly, gradually increasing in length as they improve their skill.”

The ‘Preposition’ pack helps the child understand and say the words in a sentence which tell us where, for example an object is placed.

The fourth pack which she has developed features the idea of “Putting Things Together”. This explains why certain pairs match and others do not. Such skills as logical thinking, matching, naming, discussing and explaining are some of the skills taught with these cards, according to the speech and language therapist who is currently working on a further range of materials which she hopes to have available next year.

Alison O’Carroll, a senior speech and language therapist who works primarily with young children, says the new Activate Speech range of materials is “up there with the best” she has been able to source throughout her career.

“The simplicity of the design of each of the photocards together with the colour and quality were the main features which attracted me to the range.”

The Activate Speech range of Speech and Language materials can be sourced at www.activatespeech.ie

For more details contact Liam Carroll at (087 ) 6488684 or Rine Duenker at (085 ) 8447769.

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