Jemma Roets qualified as a Speech-language therapist and Audiologist at the University of Pretoria in 2007. She later completed her Masters degree in Early Childhood Intervention, specialising in severe disabilities, in 2013, at the University of Pretoria. Jemma worked in Gauteng Health District Services from 2008-2012, where she was appointed as the Chief Speech-language therapist and Audiologist in 2009. She started a private practice at the beginning of 2013. The practice currently includes children with communication disorders at schools, mainly from the ages of 0-6 years old, however older children are also treated.
A personal area of interest is the care-taking environment. The care-taking environment is the ultimate determinant of the child’s developmental outcomes (Shonkoff & Meisels, 2000). In an environment of superior care a child’s innate potential is allowed to evolve (UNICEF, 2007). Without these factors both children with disabilities, as well as normal developing children, may not be afforded the opportunity to reach their full potential.
3 Components of parenting that are essential for a child’s cognitive development are: cognitive stimulation, caregiver sensitivity and responsiveness to the child, as well as the caregiver’s affect or mood. (Walker, Wachs, Gardner, Lozoff, Wasserman, Pollitt and Carter, 2007). The stimulation from caregivers ensures that the child develops self-confidence, positive affect, task orientation and social behaviour.
Field of Expertise
Speech-language therapy and Audiology are fields concerned with the assessment and intervention of children and adults with various communication disorders. These may include, but are not restricted to, language delays, articulation errors and phonological processes, fluency disorders, hearing loss, reading difficulties, auditory processing difficulties, as well as delays in the development of social skills (eg. Children on the autism spectrum), feeding problems and neurological problems affecting speech and/or language.
According to Asha (1989) any delay or disability related to a child’s communication abilities is likely to affect their development in terms of personal, social, academic and vocational achievement. Futhermore, early communication skills have been shown to be the greatest predictor of later intelligence and school performance (Rossetti, 2001). According to Doyle, Harmon, Heckman and Tremblay (2010) early intervention aims at minimizing the effects of inequalities in early life, in order to prevent attenuating problems for later life.
Children learn through play because play is an opportunity to “explore, experiment and problem solve” (Klass, 1999. p. 158). It is therefore essential to make use of a play setting in order to provide stimulation in the different areas of your child’s development.
Speech-language and hearing milestones
Contact a Professional
Jemma is available for consulation and if you would like to make an appointment please email her on [email protected]
A health professional in your area can be located by visiting www.hpcsa.co.za and clicking on “Find a professional.”
- ASHA 1989. Communication based services for infants, toddlers and their families. ASHA, May, pp. 32-34.
- Doyle, O., Harmon, C.P., Heckman, J.J., Tremblay, R.E. (2010). Investing in early human development: timing and economic efficiency. Economics and Human Biology, 7, 1-6.
- Klass, C.S. (1999). Play, learning and development. In C.S. Klass. The child care provider. (pp. 157-182).
- Baltimore: Brookes
- Rossetti LM 2001. Communication intervention: Birth to three. Canada: Singular.
- Shonkoff, J.P., & Meisels, S.J. (2000). Foreword and Preface. In J.P. Shonkoff, & S.J. Meisels (Eds.). Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention (2nd, pp. xi-xviii). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- UNICEF (2007). Young lives: statitistical data on the status of children ages 0-4 in South Africa. Retrieved March 4, 2008 from: http://www.unicef.org/southafrica/SAF_resources_younglives.pdf
- Walker S.P., Wachs, T.D., Gardner, J.M., Lozoff, B., Wasserman, G.A., Pollitt, E. (2007). Child development: risk factors for adverse outcomes in developing countries. Lancet, 369(9556):145–157