Speech language therapy for children, Noala Hub allows you to practice your communication skills anytime, anywhere and get feedback from a speech and language professional. Founder and CEO Emilie Spire talks to MumAbroad Life about why she set up the online platform and why supporting children with communication disorders matters.
“Noala was born with the mission of making speech and language therapy mainstream.
Opening up access for more people to get the help they need.”
I saw the power of speech and language therapy first-hand in my family. My niece, Ambre, suffered from a stroke just before she was born, resulting in communication delays. We were fortunate enough to access an amazing speech and language therapist and I was blown away by the tremendous positive impact that had on her development, and also on our family as a whole.
Communication is what makes us human. It’s vital for every individual, no matter the age, gender or border. Yet 8% of children have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). On average, 2 students in every class of 30 have difficulties speaking clearly, using and understanding language and interacting with others. Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) are unfortunately still underdiagnosed.
The early years are a crucial period for children’s development. This is a period of rapid neurological development. Positively supporting young children’s development can be greatly beneficial. Researchers agree that interaction between adult and child and the environment to support it are crucial.
Early intervention is a key solution to breaking the cycle of disadvantage in the early years of a child’s life. Early identification and intervention is supported both in terms of having the greatest impact but also being the most cost-effective. Given that resolving language difficulties by age five can reduce associated literacy difficulties, the development to test and identify in the early years is encouraging.
Speech and language therapy is still not well known and we believe it’s time to make it mainstream.
Parenting is a stronger predictor of children’s progress than any childcare experience. It reduces the risk of social exclusion and is a key to achieving the best physical, mental health and well-being outcomes for their children. Parents and families increasingly find support and interventions centred on them. Speech and language therapists can empower the parents resulting in an engaging and positive environment for the children.
Noala is here to empower families and speech and language therapists. Our hub includes coaching videos from our clinical director, Sarah Lyons, digital therapy exercises so that you can practice at your own pace and the being able to connect securely with our in-house speech and language therapist Chloe Crudgington who will guide you through this 6-week program.
The 6-week program is aimed at parents of children with developmental language delay. Each week parents will have access to a coaching video from Sarah and a set of digital exercises to practice at their own pace. They can review their progress and gather feedback from our in-house speech and language professionals via our secure messaging platform.
If your child doesn’t smile or interact with others, makes only a few sounds or gestures (7-12 months) or does not put words together to make sentences (1.5-3 years), it might be time to check with a specialist. Typically, three-year-olds can produce clear words and combine them together into short sentences. They can tell simple stories, understand instructions and interpret others’ non-verbal communication. It’s important to remember that every child is different and will develop skills in their own time.
Sarah was one of the first therapists I interviewed when doing user research for our prototype and she immediately aligned with our vision and mission. She has been very supportive, guiding us from a clinical point of view, even before Noala was incorporated. Sarah has extensive paediatric therapeutic experience; working in a range of settings such as mainstream schools, special schools and early years settings.