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Montreal Families

Workshops geared to raising young kids

A series of interactive and educational workshops — aimed at helping parents support their children’s early development and academic journey — take place online this spring.

Geared to parents and guardians of children up to the age of 9, the workshops are offered by Centre Greene and the Montreal Fluency Centre (MFC). They will be given by Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant Samar Karam, who was trained in Lebanon and has more than 10 years of experience.

Starting March 9, 2022, workshops will be held twice a month until the end of May. The six sessions will cover the developmental stages of children up to the age of 9, and offer positive strategies to help raise healthy and happy children and support future learning and success.

Early detection and intervention is important

With a focus on early development and parental intervention, parents will also learn how to spot “red flags” and when to seek help. “Early detection and intervention are key to fostering development and catching potential issues in language development and learning,” said Linda Sullivan, from the Montreal Fluency Centre. Sullivan explained that parents don’t need to have a concern about a language or learning issue in order to attend.

A wide range of topics will be covered. Parents of children in primary school may be interested in Parents’ Place in Assisting Their Children in School Learning and how to help their child be a happy and fulfilled student and understand the different stages of the child’s evolution. In I Learn to Speak, parents can learn about strategies, attitudes and behaviours that foster communication in children up to the age of 3, and get information on language and communication games. Other topics cover bilingualism; difficulties in reading and writing and how to offer daily support, toddler development and the five senses, and the role of fairy tales, songs and screens in child development.


Additional support available to parents

The 90-minute workshops will be presented in English but participants can ask questions in either English or French. A handout will be provided electronically with tips and reminders. Parents who would like additional support or who have questions about assessments or treatment of suspected language and learning issues can connect with the Montreal Fluency Centre for individual follow-ups.

Should parents want more in-depth support, the fluency centre offers a Parent Training Program by a speech-language pathologist who specializes in language skills. It also has online and in-person assessment​ and treatment for the following:

  • Speech and articulation difficulties
  • Early language stimulation (emerging language therapy) and parent training
  • Pragmatic and social language (preschoolers and early school-age)
  • Emergent literacy, reading and written language disorders
  • Preschool language therapy
  • School-age language therapy
  • Stuttering

Heather Hodges, head of programs and special events at Centre Greene, said the workshops will give parents strategies to help in navigating their child’s journey through learning.Early intervention is key and the goal is to offer parents information and support in identifying if their children will need extra support, sometimes before even entering the school system,” Hodges said. “By the end of each workshop, parents and guardians should have a basis of tools to identify issues, and information about steps they can take.”

The not-for-profit community organization Centre Greene has obtained funding and is offering the workshops for free to parents/guardians of Centre Greene and those referred by partnering organizations. Fill out the quick online form and Register Here. Make sure to specify that you heard of the workshops through Montreal Families. Educators who wish to attend as professional development can register for $35 a workshop. 

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