Dyslexia and Expressive language

29th January 20201

Todays post is all about raising awareness for Children’s Mental Health week starting on Monday. Have a look at this link for details:

https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/

The theme is ‘Express yourself’

“Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good.”

All areas the dyslexic brain can excel in. However, for all children (especially through these difficult circumstances) spending a week focussing on whatever makes them feel good and allowing time for expression of feelings is a good thing!

Have a look at the resources and activities available for schools and parents within the above website, or create your own ideas.

When you hear the term express yourself you may immediately think of speech and expressing yourself vocally. This week challenge yourself/ your child to express themselves through other mediums, maybe even some they haven’t tried before. Pick up that camera, paint brush, guitar and try to show how you are feeling without words. Whether it’s happy, sad or confused, challenge yourself and others.

I love photography so will spend next week with my camera trying to capture not only the scene but challenge myself to include emotion.

RobinStyle photos

I would love to see your Creative Emotional Expression next week!

Language

Have you heard of the terms ‘receptive’ and ‘expressive’ language? Put simply receptive is understanding what is being said/written to you (I think of a ‘receiver’).Expressive language is how we communicate with others. Receptive language skills normally are acquired first then expressive starts with babbling, naming objects through to verbal fluency etc.

https://clarityupstate.org/speech/milestones/

See the above link for language milestones for children ages 1 to 7 years old.

We all experience, from time to time, that feeling when you can not remember a word. You know you know it, its somewhere in your brain but for that moment you just can’t grasp it! That “Just wait, it’s on the tip of my tongue” type moment?

Word finding difficulties can be quite common place for some children/adults with a specific language impairment such as dyslexia. Every individual and dyslexic is different so for some they excel in verbal communication and for others these may cause a problem.

The extent of vocabulary is different to word finding/retrieval difficulties. It is to do with words the person already knows and has used before but can not remember it at certain times.

Have a look at the above link for possible activities that maybe helpful, the activities are for children.

Playing games as a family may help in developing automaticity verbally, games such as:

  • Taboo
  • Boggle
  • Catch phrase
  • Pictionary
  • Charades

For children who may excel at verbal communication rather than written or art, try expressing yourself through a song or poem or even discussions/debate on topics that mean something to you such as no homework, global warming, animal cruelty or how you feel society supports teenage mental health issues. It’s up to you and what you feel passionate about?

Children’s Mental Health is an important issue. I support and welcome the initiative of Children’s Mental Health Week, it provides crucial time for children to recognise how they are feeling and hopefully raise awareness that more government support is needed in this area.

This is a recent article on the effect of Covid and children’s mental health:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jan/28/childrens-mental-health-services-in-england-unable-to-meet-demand

Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner, calls for an NHS-funded counsellor to be installed in every school as quickly as possible.

In the meantime enjoy some time next week being creative and acknowledge and accept how you feel. Sometimes its good to accept the only thing that is going to make you feel any better is to go out, find a big open space and have a good scream!

so express those feeling not internalise them and have some fun doing so.

I would love to hear about your activities during Children’s Mental Health Week, as usual comment below or email me directly as per my contact page.

Stay safe.

2 thoughts on “Dyslexia and Expressive language

  1. Thanks for this weeks post! Our youngest son has dyslexia as well as expressive and receptive issues. With lots of support at home and at school his behaviour is markedly improved. He’s less angry and frustrated and interestingly he is more expressive with his emotions in a positive way, definitely more affectionate and tactile which has always been an issue for him. His outlet for how he expresses himself is now through his football, which has helped with how he follows verbal instructions and has lead to him channeling his competitive nature in a positive way. It’s great because he always used to find group activities a challenge due to his language difficulties .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for you comment, definitely a success story. Highlighting the huge benefits of home and school support. It is good to channel the energy of frustration into positive physical group activity. I actually find the ‘football language’ a challenge so he’s a star in my eyes!

      Liked by 1 person

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