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Speech expert helps young develop

Kim McIvor loved sports as a child.

There wasn't much else going on in rural Hubbards, Nova Scotia.

Her life hasn't changed much since she moved here in 2009.

It isn't unusual for the 37-year-old to be cycling at 5am; she's also proud to have two Ironmans under her belt.

“I see exercise as a way of life and entertainment,” said Ms McIvor.

Despite that, the speech-language pathologist will give a talk to the Learning Disabilities Association of Bermuda tonight, about using apps to develop reading and phonics skills.

“Are children with attention issues attracted to electronic devices, or are electronic devices causing attention problems? I can't say for sure,” she said. “Research is ongoing about that.”

The important thing, Ms McIvor said, was not to park your child in front of a device and walk away.

“If you are watching television with your child, do it together, stick to certain shows and talk about what you're watching,” she said. “If your child has a language disorder and you know what kind of words they have difficulty with, sit with them and point out certain things.

“If they have problems with ‘ING' words say, ‘Oh look, he is jumping, he's running'.”

Both her parents worked in healthcare. She considered becoming a pharmacist like her father but decided to study neuroscience instead.

“I always thought the brain was really cool,” she said.

She decided to go into speech-language pathology after volunteering in the Cognitive-Clinical Neuroscience Unit at Dalhousie University. Researchers there were studying the brains of people with dyslexia and those who had suffered a stroke.

“The lab I was in also studied coma and traumatic brain injury which was very interesting as well,” she said.

“I thought this was very cool research. It also showed that through intervention this could be changed.”

In 2009 she saw an advertisement for a job here, with government's Child Development Programme.

She'd grown up hearing stories about the island.

“My parents lived in Bermuda for a couple years in the 1970s,” she said. “They really enjoyed their time here.”

She joined Apex Allied Health Care in 2015.

“What I love about speech-language pathology is that you can move around in the field and not change your profession.

You can work with adults and children, preschoolers or infants or older children.

“It is not just children who can't pronounce their speech sounds, we also work with children with language delay and adults with stuttering difficulties and voice disorders.

“We work with feeding and swallowing clients and picky eaters.”

•Ms McIvor will speak at 6pm at the Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning. The event is open to the public and free to parents. E-mail info@ldab.org to reserve a spot

Words of wisdom: Kim McIvor will be speaking at 6pm at the Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning tonight (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 23, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated March 23, 2017 at 8:14 am)

Speech expert helps young develop

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