So most companies who have a website for their (small) business, will usually put up a page about their staff members and write a little about each person. We have a team page too which has a little bit about each of our speech pathologists, but it’s mostly information about their professional history and what speciality areas they have an interest in. It’s all very relevant and important information, but how much do you really get to know the people behind the business? So I thought we’d introduce ourselves so you can get to know us better. This can also help your kids in knowing a little more about the person they’re going to see when they first come to Kids Chatter as you can show a photo to them or share some common interests that we may have. Particularly for those kids who may be a little shy when meeting new people or are just curious about the new person they’re going to see.
As the founder and director of Kids Chatter Speech Pathology, I thought I would start with myself – Monique Speakman. And yes, as many people often ask, that is truly my surname. My wonderful husband Marc gave me his name when we got married 8 years ago and with a name like that, it was just meant to be!
Outside of Kids Chatter, I’m a mum to 3 wonderful kids. My oldest is 8 year old Lucas and my 6 year old twin daughters are Scarlett and Alyssa. Lucas is in Grade 1 this year and loves going to school. It’s been an eye opener as both a parent and a speech pathologist to see how kids actually settle into school when they start Prep and continue their journey as a school kid. I volunteer at my son’s school every week so I get to see how classrooms actually run day to day and how the teachers do a wonderful job to try and cater for 20+ students with varying abilities and learning styles.
My twins are in kindy this year and they are super excited about joining their brother in school next year when they start Prep. Throughout this year, I’ll be working with them to ensure they are ready for school and give them all the skills they need to know to give them the best foundation to starting Prep.
We are currently working on their lisp with speech therapy exercises as both my girls have had one since they started to talk. Unfortunately, this habit is so ingrained now, they are not going to grow out of this on their own, so I need to help them to correct it. Even though they have never sucked their thumb, rarely used a dummy and have a mother who is a speech pathologist, they still ended up with a lisp. It just goes to show that sometimes children have speech errors without any specific cause, and there was nothing I could’ve done to prevent it. I can however, fix it!
Scarlett also used to have a stutter about 12 months ago, which started to worry me quite a bit. So I got onto it straight away and we managed to get rid of the stutter all together after only a few weeks. She had a little relapse with her stutter when we moved house as it was such a big change in routine, but we quickly managed to get it under control again and now you couldn’t even tell she ever had a stutter. For a while though, I must say I got quite worried myself thinking her stutter was only getting worse. This time I got first hand experience as a parent to know what it was like to see your own child struggle so much to get their words out and seeing her get so frustrated by it. It was just heart wrenching to see. I have treated many kids with stutters in my clinic before and had heard the worries from parents, but until you’ve actually gone through it yourself, it’s not quite the same in understanding what it’s truly like.
Kids Chatter has been a growing dream of mine since I started it in 2013. It’s been an amazing journey to start something from scratch and have it grow into the amazing clinic that it is today. There are many more big plans ahead in the future and the kids and parents we meet make coming to work every day a joy! It is truly a passion of mine to be able to help kids develop confidence and see them achieve new skills to help them thrive. For those people who have already been part of the Kids Chatter journey, thank you for your support and amazing feedback. For those families who we have yet to meet, I look forward to having you on board and to see your child flourish.
See you in our next blog!
Don’t forget to check out the Therapies pages for loads of information about the areas we can help your child with. There you’ll find information about what the signs are to look out for and why those skills are important.
BA, MSpPathSt, CPSP, MSPA
Speech Language Pathologist
Monique Speakman is a Paediatric Speech Pathologist in Brisbane with over 10 years experience, mother of a son and twin daughters, business owner and blogger. She aims to educate parents about child development and communication through the Kids Chatter Speech Pathology Blog and Facebook Page and to provide information and tips on anything to do with Speech Pathology.