Speech Therapy: It’s not all lisps!
WORDS: Lauren Jones, Director and Senior Speech Language Pathologist at SPOT Paediatrics
“Oh, so you work with kids who have lisps, right?”
Inevitably when I tell someone what I do, this is one of the most likely responses. I’m a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) working in the paediatric sector, and I’ve found over the years that most people are generally unsure of the roles SLPs play in the allied health community. Although we are often called “speech therapists” or “speechies” many of us spend a lot of time helping individuals to develop many skills in addition to speech clarity or articulation. So, what do Speech Language Pathologists do?
Speech Language Pathologists in general have very diverse scopes of practice. We have expertise in a variety of settings and are involved in the care and support of individuals from birth right through to end of life. Chances are, you know someone who has been supported by an SLP at some point in their lives!
So why would children need an SLP?
In the paediatric sector alone, the breadth of support provided by SLPs is extensive. Some children may require help in a single area, while others need assistance more globally. SLPs support children with:
- Speech: Supporting children to appropriately produce speech sounds, and helping children to develop fluent speech (e.g. stuttering)
- Language: Supporting early communication/language skills, assisting children to develop their understanding of language (receptive language), and providing support when children have difficulty expressing wants, needs, thoughts, ideas and feelings (expressive language).
- Play: Play is integral to language and social development. SLPs support the development of early play and communication skills.
- Social Skills: Helping children to develop an awareness of themselves and others and supporting them to develop their social communication skills in order to increase meaningful and successful social interactions.
- Literacy: Assisting children who experience challenges with reading, spelling, and reading comprehension.
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Providing support and education around the use of additional tools and systems that may help children to communicate successfully. SLPs provide assessment and implementation of AAC systems for children who find verbal communication difficult, this may include visuals, language boards, picture exchange systems, or high-tech voice output devices.
- Feeding: Supporting families with mealtime challenges. Some professionals may also be highly skilled in working with children who have challenges related to swallowing disorders.
If you’re concerned your child may need some support from an SLP you’re able to get in touch with a professional without the need for a referral. Our community is full of wonderful therapists, and the most important consideration is finding someone that your child is able to build a positive relationship with and who you feel hears your concerns as a parent.
For more information about Speech Language Pathologists:
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‘Wild Wives’ Jessi and Millie Poutama on IVF, pregnancy and pleasure
As parents, we are constantly working towards creating a happy and healthy space for our family. With personal health and wellbeing taking a front seat over the last year, one topic rarely discussed between parents is self-pleasure. We know that when we are feeling like our best selves, we’re also able to give our best to our family and relationships. Self-pleasure plays a huge role in wellbeing, with positive benefits such as stress relief, promoting better sleep, strengthening the connection between your mind and body, and for some, a reduction in menstrual pain.
We caught up with eco-warriors Jessi and Millie Poutama (also known as the ‘Wild Wives’) to discuss all things IVF and pregnancy and how pleasure plays a role amongst all of it. The power couple hope to open up the conversation about pleasure during IVF and pregnancy to encourage more parents to embrace and care for their bodies from all aspects of health and wellness.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Long story short we met at a local pub in 2015 and since that night have been pretty madly in love! Throughout our individual lives, we have always been driven by equality and change for the better and have been involved with some incredible campaigns across topics that really matter to us. These include rallying for climate change, proactively being involved in the conversation around keeping our environment clean and playing a part in marriage equality.
More recently, a huge part of our time has been dedicated to starting a family, which has led us down the IVF journey – a wonderful but incredibly challenging and emotionally draining process. Our goal has always been to share our experiences in the hope of helping others in the same situation. We shared every needle and appointment on our Instagram page and even shared a live pregnancy test. We are now 13 weeks pregnant and still can’t quite believe it!
2. How did the collaboration with Womanizer on the Premium Eco come about?
We believe in empowering our community to embrace their bodies and connect through pleasure. We are massive advocates of sexual liberation and wellness, a natural fit with Womanizer whose mission is to destigmatise masturbation and pleasure. They similarly advocate for an open, shame- free dialogue about sex, so the partnership is a really authentic collaboration as our values really align.
Sustainability is also at the heart of everything we do. Quite frankly we didn’t think a product like the Premium Eco existed on the market – one that combined both of these important areas of our life. Naturally we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with them to launch the Premium Eco product.
3. Why is self-pleasure important to you both? How does it benefit your well-being?
Self-pleasure is important because it helps you connect with your own body and helps you to understand what pleasure means and feels like to you. This ultimately helps with communication with your partner/s and letting them know what you prefer and what you don’t.
Pleasure also plays a huge role in your general health and wellness. It can reduce stress, boost your mood and help you sleep better, which are all really important factors in achieving a balanced lifestyle. That’s definitely important to us to ensure we can continue doing the things we love like surfing, road tripping and camping – the things that make us most happy.
4. As women, what were your misconceptions growing up about pleasure and masturbation? And why do you feel these are false?
When we were growing up there wasn’t the accessibility of information that there is now with the internet and being able to question everything. Nowadays teenagers are growing up much more self- aware and with social media, they can find positive references to pleasure and body autonomy that we just didn’t have access to. Despite the wealth of knowledge on the internet sex education at school was, and still is completely lacking when it comes to talking about female pleasure, masturbation and also queer sex and relationships. We were taught from a young age that sex was about procreation and not pleasure…. Its kind of ironic that as an adult I found out that sex was only about pleasure and in order to conceive a child there was actually a lot of science.
5. How have you found self-pleasure during IVF and pregnancy?
As a pregnant woman, there honestly isn’t a lot of information or discussion around pleasure during pregnancy. However, I am well aware that it is so important and something I need to make time for. In general, there is still a lot of stigma around pleasure and this also translates onto pregnant women. We see mums-to-be and mothers criticised for their choices as parents, so it is extremely important for us to encourage others to follow what their body needs to feel good and be healthy. For us, we have been focused on enjoying this time as a couple. Becoming pregnant and knowing that shortly life will never be the same has really made us prioritise spending time together as a couple. Rapidly changing hormones can mean wildly fluctuating libido, so communication becomes very important to let your partner know when you need space or more attention.
6. As you step into parenthood, what sort of message would you wish to pass on to your child about the role of pleasure for both individuals and couples?
We have already talked about using the correct anatomical words for body parts from an early age. I think this starts to reinforce that body parts aren’t shameful and don’t need to be given cute names like “pee-pee” or “flower”. Children can also start exploring their own bodies in a non-sexual way from as young as toddler age, we will teach around this and make sure that it’s not seen as shameful, but it’s done in a way that is considerate to people around them. I read a quote from sex author Melissa Carnagey that said, “When children are free to explore their own bodies, they develop a self- awareness that can keep them safer and more prepared to recognise unsafe touch if it ever occurs,” – which is something I believe is incredibly important to instil in our children.
7. You’re both passionate about the ocean and preserving it – reducing plastic plays a huge role in your day-to-day life. Why is this so important for you? Particularly as you become mums?
Trying to live our lives in a sustainable and eco-friendly way is at the forefront of how we live. It’s important to us because we believe we have a duty to care for the planet for our future children.
8. What excites you most about the Womanizer Premium Eco?
We have talked for soooooo long about the lack of eco-friendly pleasure toys on the market. The Premium Eco combines so many things we love. The fact that its biodegradable, recyclable, is a high- quality and premium product, and has a beautiful design, are all winners. We are thrilled to be able to share that vagina havers can take their pleasure seriously AND be sustainable at the same time!
To learn more about the Womanizer Premium Eco:
To follow Millie and Jessi:
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The Golden Month: Traditional postnatal care for modern mums
In countries all over the world, new mums are cared for and supported in unique ways by family members, friends and their communities. The postpartum period is a time that is recognised as distinct from normal life; a time when the new mum is encouraged to recuperate, rest, and become accustomed to the, at times, overwhelming responsibility of becoming a mother.
By contrast, Aussie mums seem to be becoming more depleted, stressed and isolated. This is something Nadia Parisi and Carla Brion witnessed firsthand within their work in Women’s Health Massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, respectively.
Nadia and Carla have a passion for caring for women at each stage in life’s journey and have seen the deficit in how women in our country are cared for after childbirth, and how this deeply impacts not only mums, but children, families and communities. Together, they wanted to break the mould by bringing women traditional care and healing in the postpartum period, and thus The Golden Month was born; a women centred business, providing in-home care, to support mothers and families in the early days and weeks after childbirth. Creating an in-home, postpartum service based on traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practices, The Golden Month taps into nature, using all things natural to support new mums.
”You don’t really know the depths that motherhoods takes you, until you have walked that walk” says Nadia, co-founder of The Golden Month “To us, mothers are not just those who birth babies, they are heart centred women, who care for their community. ALL of our staff are women! This is quite unique in the food industry and we love it! Our teams are made up of mothers, nutritionists, Chinese doctors and naturopaths. Our clients say you can literally feel the love we pour into our food and we wholeheartedly believe this is why. From our owners, to our warehouse manager and kitchen staff, we all live and breathe caring for our fellow Mothers – it is our passion”.
And the two Adelaide mama’s behind The Golden Month have both recently expanded their own broods, with the birth of Nadia’s new daughter Leilani, and Carla’s son Iluka.
“We are both so involved in our business, it felt like leaving one baby to birth another which was quite hard” says Nadia “we laugh because I was paying wages only a few hours after Leilani was born and Carla was ordering Chinese herbs only a few hours after Iluka was born! But we had to practice what we preach, after all, we are doing this for future generations also, so we’ve been pretty good at enjoying our own Golden Months. We both got to experience The Golden Package first hand and it wasn’t until then, that we truly understood what a beautiful service we have created”.
And while Nadia and Carla have been expanding their broods, they’ve also been busy expanding the business, with The Golden Month due to launch in Sydney in mid 2021.
“We are absolutely still in shock most days” says Nadia “that a little business cooking from home and caring for a few of our clients post birth has grown to four states across Australia. We are so proud of our SA birthed business!”
5 tips for caring for a new mother
- Always bring food, drop it at the door (you don’t need to meet baby straight away)
- Ask her what SHE needs to get through the day
- Listen, run her a bath, let her know she is doing an AMAZING job
- Be there without judgement (we all have our own journeys into motherhood
- For Mama: warmth and rest is your best friend post birth, stay in bed as often as you can for the first 40 days, stay warm, eat warming foods and don’t ever be ashamed asking for help
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Jess Dover: A model mum
Adelaide model, primary school teacher, influencer, and former House Rules contestant, Jess Dover, is relishing a new role – she’s now also a Mum, after welcoming her gorgeous son, Seb (9 months), into the world!
Wearing so many hats and juggling motherhood is by no means a small feat; we wanted to get to know more about Jess, how her different roles have shaped her over the years and how she’s enjoying the rollercoaster ride of life as a new mum.
You’re a mother, model and also a teacher, tell us about how those roles have moulded you over the years.
I clearly had a strong love and passion for children, hence choosing to study teaching but it’s funny, prior to being a mum I thought “Oh I’m a teacher I love kids, I understand them, I’ll be right…” oh, how wrong I was. In the first few weeks of becoming a mum I kept saying it was like I had just started a new job that I had zero skill set for. Every mum had said that nothing could possibly prepare you for being a mum and they were absolutely correct. The best and hardest job of our lives!
What is the most important lesson motherhood has taught you?
How strong mothers are. Since becoming a mum myself, I have this immense admiration for every mother. We really don’t give ourselves enough credit for how strong we all are!
What are some beauty tips for new mums?
Eye masks and a strong coffee…haha! One thing I’ve really tried to stay consistent with whilst becoming a new mum is my skin care routine (mine is so basic but I make sure I do it each night to wake up feeling hydrated). And nothing can lift your self esteem like a good spray tan or putting some fake tan on your face before bed. *Tip – I put a face moisturiser under my tan so my skin doesn’t dry out overnight. I always wake up feeling nice and glowy when I tan my face!
What are your self-care tips?
Self care for me is pretty simple – lots of water (I feel pretty foggy unless I drink 2-3L of water a day) and regular exercise; whether that’s a KX Pilates class or a morning walk along the beach. And nothing at all can top hanging out with my best friends having a laugh, it always makes me feel better if I’m feeling flat.
What is one thing that you want Seb to know about life.
That he is loved and he will always be loved.
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REBECCA MORSE: “My eldest has just turned 18”
Rebecca Morse is co-host of SAFM’s breakfast show, Bec, Cosi & Lehmo. She has a degree in Journalism and started her media career at the ABC, where she was named SA Journalist of the Year in 2005. Rebecca is actively involved in community and charity work, as a proud Ambassador for Kickstart for Kids, the Animal Welfare League, the Premier’s Reading Challenge, Uniting Care Pancake Day and the Port Adelaide Football Club, She is married with three daughters, Grace, Milla and Frankie and an adopted dalmatian named Henley.
A milestone for her primarily of course, but I’m claiming one also. Raising a child into an adult despite the fact I felt like a child myself when she was born.
In preparation for the 18th extravaganza we’ve been persuaded into hosting at home despite the most strident of protests from me, I’ve been going through old albums to make a photo wall thus re-living some memories long buried in the almost two decades which have passed since her arrival.
I was 25 when I fell pregnant. I had just started a new job with the ABC in Brisbane and was ambitious. Parenthood was not on the horizon for my twenties. In hindsight I should have been as focussed on taking the pill at the same time every day as I was on my career progression, but then we wouldn’t have our Grace!
My first meeting with my new boss was to tell her I wished to return to Adelaide. I needed my mother around if I was to be a mother myself.
No matter what your age or maturity your first child is a huge shock.
And 18 years ago there were no Mummy bloggers or parenting Instagram accounts to help manage expectations (in truth maybe that was a good thing, Grace’s nursery was certainly not Pinterest worthy. All primary colours! No neutrals!)
I had a copy of Kaz Cooke’s Up the Duff and What to Expect When You are Expecting and blind, youthful optimism.
I remember that feeling when your baby is lying next to you, wrapped up in that pink and blue striped blanket that hospitals have had since the dawn of time and your eyes meet through the clear plastic of that cot on wheels. Where the hell did you come from and am I really responsible for you?
And of course there’s love, overwhelming love, mixed in with the blind fear and trepidation.
The midwives no doubt questioned my preparedness for parenthood when I squealed and giggled as I attempted to mop up that black, sticky meconium poo.
Not to mention trying to get a Bonds wonder suit on for the first time. Sorry Grace.
I was lucky enough to be able to take a year of maternity leave, but I returned to work full-time. I had no working mum role models to advise me otherwise and so the village kicked in. A combination of childcare and family pitching in. Grace’s great-grandparents even had her one day a week, taking her to feed the ducks and teaching her nursery rhymes.
Grace was the first grandchild and niece on both sides of the family. As a result she led a life of worship for several years until the rest of the fam started breeding.
On one memorable Easter egg hunt she was followed around the garden by a throng of family members, photographing each triumphant discovery. Christmas was the same.
Her bubble burst when her two siblings and a bunch of cousins finally joined her and divided the family’s attention.
I’m proud of how she’s growing up.
She’s mature and much more responsible than I was at her age. She’s a leader at school, studies hard and has a strong sense of social justice.
We can sing the entire Taylor Swift back catalogue together and she tries to teach me the harmonies without success.
Don’t get me wrong, she has some serious teenage ‘tude. Her current trick is to call me babe or girl in a condescending tone when I’m worked up about something, which is a lot of the time. It is not well-received.
In parenting my husband is the good cop and I am the bad cop.
I want her to be humble and grateful for the opportunities she has and never to be entitled. So I am always drumming into her how lucky/spoilt she is. She LOVES it.
The sleepless nights are back.
I’m not waking to breastfeed or soothe night terrors or pick up a dropped toy, I’m waking to check the clock to see if she’s home safely from town yet.
We’ve still got her two sisters to follow, and they’re not even teenagers yet.
Happy 18th Gracie. Thanks for helping me muddle through motherhood.
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al.ive body baby: for little ones
Design experts and TV personalities Alisa and Lysandra Fraser have welcomed a new addition to their al.ive body hair and body care range – and it’s for the soft and sensitive skin of the smalls in our lives.
Like its grown-up counterpart, the naturally-derived al.ive body baby range harnesses the power of essential oils and native botanical extracts, is free from added chemicals and gentle on skin. Born from a desire to create products that mums could trust and feel good about, al.ive body baby ticks all the boxes for your bubs skin, and will look beautiful in your bathroom to boot!
We chat with Alisa and Lysandra about creating the ali.ve body range, their success in business and following their passions, as well as what’s next for them in 2021 and beyond.
You are both incredibly accomplished business women. What are your tips for other mothers wanting to start their own business or side hustle?
For the two of us, nothing can be achieved without pure passion. Whatever the goal is – helping others, creating a legacy, expressing yourself – be single-minded with your dream and relentless in achieving it is key. We had such a clear vision of the brand that we didn’t waver from, so it helps to put time and patience into planning. Of course, there are sacrifices and unavoidable disappointments, but as long as you can learn from them, you’re always moving forward. Having a handful of baby-sitters help too!
What does a day look like for you guys as working mothers?
Like most mums, it’s an artful juggling act and often chaotic but if it ends with a glass of wine or a movie with the kids we’re happy. Typically, we both train before work followed by the school drop off, but back in the office any given day is different. We could be shooting as brand ambassadors, working on new product development for al.ive body, designing for our interior business Alisa + Lysandra, shooting for our Design Duo series or launching a new product line, like al.ive body baby.
How did you get interested in producing a line of body products in the first place?
Design is a profession, but personal care with positive environmental impact is our passion.
The al.ive body range was also born out of necessity. During our interior projects, we regularly struggled to find bathroom and kitchen styling products that offered purity of ingredients and looked beautiful. The market was saturated with brands that placed major emphasis on either aesthetic or formula, but rarely both. So after 18 months of intense iteration and exploration, the range is aimed for people just like us – people who value high-end design, natural ingredients and care for the environment.
There’s more the love than the packaging, the bottles are 100% recyclable too, and we’ll be introducing refill pouches soon. Plus, for every purchase made, we fund the planting of an Australian tree through our partner One Tree Planted – so far there’s been over 50,000…and counting. Our plan is to fund an al.ive body forest and we’re well and truly on our way.
The products are made with essential oils and naturally derived. Why are natural products important to you as mothers?
We want our children to be healthy inside and out, so the whole range is vegan, free from synthetic fragrance, dyes and palm oil, SLS/SLES, parabens, silicones and harsh detergents. Instead, they use the power of botanical ingredients. By choosing natural ingredients, we’re enhancing positive impact on skin and reducing negative impact on our planet.
What were the key factors for you in developing a range that was good for babies and littlies, but also appealed to the parents?
As most parents will know, bath time can be a nightmare if you’re not organised, so it was crucial we included design features that worked in favour for mum or dad who are strapped for time and don’t have enough limbs. For example, the pump-top lids and no-slip tray for our Wash & Lotion Duo are perfect for one-hand pumps next to the bath, and the no-mess flip caps for the Nursing and Nappy Balm.
Our ingredient selection was also really important that it was gentle and nourishing for young skin. We chose Jojoba oil for restorative abilities, while having a calming and soothing effect due to its close similarity to that of skins own oil (sebum). Calendula extract is rich in antioxidants that protect skin cells from damage that can cause dullness, dryness or irritation. Sweet almond oil helps restore moisture in skin’s uppermost layers which keep it smooth, hydrated and healthy looking.
What’s next for you two?
A very robust calendar which includes a mix of design-related projects including two series of Design Duo, which is our mini series documenting our design and build projects. On the al.ive body front, to say we’re excited about new product developments is an understatement, including expanding the baby range. Stay tuned!
The al.ive body baby range includes baby hair & body wash, baby body lotion, baby nursing balm and nappy cream.
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