every_color_img.pngEvery Word Counts

We believe strongly that research-based assessment and intervention can have a significant impact on a child's chances to succeed in areas of social, emotional and educational well being. However, we cannot ignore the

autism_color_img.pngAutism first

In response to the growing need for Autism services in mainstream schools in London, Words First Ltd is proud to offer schools access to our Autism Outreach and Consultancy Service as from September 2015...

Untitled-11.pngKids First Centre

With all the cuts to the NHS services recently, we felt there was no better time to open a multidisciplinary centre of children. On 27th February 2017 we open the Kids First Therapy Centre in Croydon, where we hope to support as many children as possible reach their full potential...

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dyslexia_img.pngDyslexia

Mary Thompson (Words First Speech and Language Therapist) is a qualified dyslexia specialist and runs our dyslexia service from the Kids First Centre...

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Every Word Counts

We believe strongly that research-based assessment and intervention can have a significant impact on a child’s chances to succeed in areas of social, emotional and educational well being. However, we cannot ignore the powerful research on PREVENTION. At Words First, we understand that the most significant contributor to a child’s life is his / her caregivers. Our unique programme that aims to PREVENT language and literacy difficulties before they manifest in Reception and Year 1, is called the Every Words Counts initiative. Please feel free to learn more about EWC here.

The EWC initiative is a low cost, evidence based approach aimed at harnessing parent’s most natural tool – language. It is founded on the ‘power of words’ – the power of words to create chances for children to make the most of their lives and the power or words to change lives. Although there is a wealth of research that supports our belief, we experience the power of words every day in our schools. Children who have a large vocabulary, whether they have literacy difficulties or not, are more likely to do well at school than their peers with limited vocabulary.

The seminal work of Hart and Risely (1995), highlighted the gap in children’s early experience of words. By the age of 3, children from welfare families had heard 30 million words LESS than children from professional families. Regardless of income, however, this is a significant difference. The progression of these children was remarkable as children who had heard more words, were more likely to do well at school and get good jobs. A study called ‘Bucking the Trend’ demonstrated how children who escape poverty are more likely to have larger vocabularies than their peers.

At Words First, we noticed that some children came into Reception and Year 1 with limited language experience. This means they start their education ‘on the back foot’ – behind their peers, already struggling to cope. This limited exposure to words and language seems to impact each child’s reading and language circuit in different ways, but all seem to have difficulty keeping up with the pace of mainstream lessons. The bad news is, that many of these children, continue to struggle and without the right support, they battle to achieve academic expectations and in some cases they become despondent, disruptive and disengaged from education.

This led us at Words First, to think hard about the problem we were seeing in Reception, Year 1 and Primary. The research tells us that the problem can and should be addressed BEFORE a child gets into education. Therefore, PARENTS / caregivers are in fact the most powerful predictor of a child’s success in school. Our response to this has been to set up the EVERY WORD COUNTS initiative which aims to harness the power of talk to improve the chances of all children. This low cost initiative will be offered to early years settings, children’s centres, antenatal groups, social services and many more where we will work WITH parents to make them understand how powerful they are.

‘There is nothing as powerful as parents who know how powerful they are!”

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Autism first

In response to the growing need for Autism services in mainstream schools in London, Words First Ltd is proud to offer schools access to our Autism Outreach and Consultancy Service as from September 2015. We offer schools flexible packages from one-off audits to blocks of weekly support to boost the capacity of the school to manage the needs of children on the Autism Spectrum.

Please contact Amanda Davis (Director) for more details about how we can tailor our approach to your needs. However, below you will find a brief overview of some of the models that we can offer schools:

  • Assessments and observations of individual children in mainstream primary and secondary schools
  • Feedback and support regarding classroom / environmental adaptations that will enhance the child’s ability to participate and reach targets
  • Audit of communication strategies used at Universal Level to improve access for children on the Autism Spectrum
  • Training and on-going support to encourage use of Universal Strategies
  • Training and on-going support to set up and monitor effective TA-led intervention sessions, where appropriate
  • Parent workshops

Once a school joins our Autism Service, you will have on-going email access to support from our team. Therefore, you will never feel ill-equipped to manage the needs of your students with ASD and you will be able to buy-in additional hours to top up the needs of the school.

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Kids First Centre

Kids First Croydon is our way of widening access for families seeking support for speech, language, literacy and communication difficulties. We offer specialist assessments for Speech and Language Therapy, literacy as well as Occupational Therapy at our Centre, at your home or at your child’s school. You may also access Play Therapy and Counselling at Kids First Croydon so we hope that you will find most of the support you need under one roof. Keeping true to our ethos, we have kept the costs at the lowest end of our professional boundaries but you can be assured of the highest standards!

We run monthly Autism Diagnostic clinics in collaboration with our Clinical Psychologist Kate Baldry, Autism Specialist Hayley Best and our OT team.

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Dyslexia

Mary Thompson (Words First Speech and Language Therapist) is a qualified dyslexia specialist and runs our dyslexia service from the Kids First Centre. Parents can access assessments, intervention and advice / support while schools can buy in assessments with reports, training and advice.