Noala News

Apr '22 - Bilingualism and Developmental Milestones

Posted on
April 6, 2022
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🔥 Let's talk all things bilingualism and developmental milestones

😎 We discussed bilingualism & multilingualism, the affects of it on speech-language and the role it plays within therapy during our second online Noala Club session. Join us for our next session on April 28th.

🇺🇸 This past month, we explored the CDC developmental milestone changes during our Instagram Live with Erica Lawson, speech-language pathologist based in the San Diego, United States. Find our recap on this interesting exploration on Instagram, in case you missed it, below.

🔆 We interviewed Afasic during the month of March, highlighting the charity's excellent work, meaningful impact and importance in the interview below.

Let's keep building the future of speech and language therapy together!

For Noala Club, we discussed evidence-based research on bilingualism, see the links and takeaway below:



  • Bilingualism does not have a negative impact on a child's development
  • Bilingualism does not cause speech language disorders
  • For assessment, you can use a standardised approach, but recommended to not use the quantitative data

We would love to hear from you! Feel free to share your experience working with children, schools, families and communities with the Noala community on our forum

Join the next Noala Club, 28 April

Meet Erica Lawson, speech-language pathologist, based in the US

Reading, understanding & concerns from the updated CDC milestones

It takes a mind shift to understand that these updated developmental milestones are more about the 50th percent, over the 75th percent child. In the US, a consultative approach was made by ASHA, to understand SLPs opinions and question the CDC to check that these changes are in fact, evidence based. Concerns covering this update, is wondering if SLPs will get children identified at a younger age or will they identify them at a later stage based on the milestones, resulting to missing out on early year intervention.

What piece of advice would you give to a family you are working with?

Trust your instincts, if you feel like something is wrong, ask for a referral - advocate for your children.

What piece of advice would you give to a therapist?

Keep doing what you know, based on the research and continue to use the milestones we have been taught. Keep up to date with research and implement what applies into your practice.

In case you miss our Insta Live, you can rewatch the video here

Noala Updated Features 

🚨 Noala Notifications - When you log into your profile, you can stay up to date with the latest uploads in our notifications pop up tab

🌎 Noala World - Changing the way we do online sessions, our exercises are now interactive for both the therapist and patient

👯‍♀️ Noala team - You can now invite your team members on noala so that you can share your caseload with them

Afasic is a parent led national charity (No. 1045617)

Established in 1968, that provides help and support for children, young people and families affected by speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
Our key objectives are to empower parents to advocate for their child and access the services they need by providing them with information, advice and training; to support and develop the communication, social and life skills of children & young people affected; and to raise awareness of what is often a hidden disability.
Afasic supports those affected and their families through our national helpline service, website resources & publications, training events, and specialist courses for children facing the key educational transition from primary to secondary school.

Primary to Secondary Transition courses last year, and a group of families taking part in a fundraising event for Afasic.

Hello Afasic! 👋  We're genuinely humbled to have this opportunity to chat with you. We're curious about your vision and mission. Let's start with SLCN, can you tell us what is included in SLCN and why it matters? 

Research shows that at least 7% of children and young people are affected by SLCN; an average of 2 per school class. This means that, right now, thousands of children across the country are struggling to understand what’s being said to them or are frustrated at not being able to express themselves. They struggle at school, find it hard to make friends & are often targets for bullies.
“Children are surrounded by language and for those who have difficulties acquiring language, their difficulties pervade most aspects of their everyday lives - interactions with families, attempts to make and keep friends, learning about their world and their education.” Gascoigne (2006).
Without help they will struggle to make the most of their education & are often unable to reach their true potential or take an active role in their community due to their problems with communication. They are at risk of social isolation & economic exclusion.

Furthermore, what support do you offer to parents of children with SLCN? 

Our main areas of support that are freely available to parents are:

  • National parents’ helpline service offering 1:1 support & tailored information / advice
  • Website resources & information
  • Online training programmes for parents
  • Printed publications
  • Contact with other parents facing similar difficulties to share experiences through our social media channels.
  • We also run weeklong primary to secondary transition courses for children with SLCN facing the key educational move to secondary school in the summer.

Over the past 18 months we successfully developed & piloted a new ‘remote’ training programme for parents called ‘DLD Together’ with the charity NAPLIC, which provides online training sessions about Developmental Language Disorder, with continuing support provided by our helpline. This has just won an award for ‘clinical innovation’ from the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists!

From experience, what advice would you give parents of children with SLCN & SLT’s working with children with SLCN?

The key general points that we would raise with parents are as follows:

  • Know your child and learn about / understand their condition.
  • Build on what they can do.
  • Know your legal rights and use them, as appropriate, to ensure your child gets the professional support they need.

We are a charity for parents and families and don’t really give advice to SLT’s, but we do work in collaboration with them and encourage them to spend more time with families, listen to parents, get their views and enable parents to advocate for their child; also to encourage therapists to give parents our contact details so that they can get ongoing peer support to augment what they do.  We also work with the RCSLT on policy matters.

What does your fundraising look like?

As a small charity dealing with a little known condition it is difficult to access sufficient funding to continue providing families with the help they require; which has been exacerbated by the recent health crisis. We receive no Government funding at all.

  • We are keen to build on the success of our new ‘DLD Together’ online courses for parents and expand them to reach many more families. We hope to run 42 courses over the coming year at a cost of £10,500.  
  • It costs an average of £4,760 to organise and run a weeklong ‘Secondary Starter’ transition course for children facing the key move to secondary school.
  • Our national parents’ helpline costs approx. £12,500 a year to operate.
  • The information & resources on our website & social media have become increasingly important over the past couple of years and we need about £15,000 a year to maintain and continue to develop this key source of information for parents.

Our most urgent funding needed at present is our parents’ helpline service as we are still £6,000 short of the funds we need to operate the service for the coming year.

More information about Afasic and SLCN can be found on our website:

  • Afasic helpline – 0300 666 9410 (Monday & Thursday 10.30 – 4.00)
  • Afasic office – 020 7490 9410 (Tuesday – Thursday 9.00 – 5.00)

Emilie Spire
CEO & Founder
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