The development of communication is an amazing process. Every parent longs to hear their child talking. However, it does not signal the start of communication.

‘Not Just Talking:help your child communicate – from day one’ takes you on a journey discovering in detail the many elements of non-verbal communication that will enable your child to make and keep friends, enjoy school and participate fully in family life.

This is a new book for parents about helping their children communicate effectively before school.

In response to demand I have significantly revised and expanded ‘Not Just Talking:help your baby communicate – from day one’. This new book covers the development of the non-verbal communication skills your child needs, from birth right up to the day your child goes to school.

An essential practical guide for parents to help you make sure your child is equipped with good communication skills for the rest of his or her life.

What you will find:

  1. 1.An expanded and extended practical guide for parents

  2. 2.How children develop non-verbal skills from the moment of birth

  3. 3.How these skills continue to develop for the rest of their lives

  4. 4.How you can stimulate and support your child’s natural ability to communicate through conversational skill development

  5. 5.Many practical tips to try with your child from day one

  6. 6.‘What can happen?’ information to help you avoid the pitfalls

  7. 7.All the conversational skills your child will need before he or she starts at school

  8. 8.How to respond effectively to children with non-verbal communication difficulties

Not Just Talking:

help your child communicate – from day one


Reviews & Readers Comments for the first book in this series:

‘Not Just Talking:helping your baby communicate – from day one’

1 Reviews

Royal College of Midwives Magazine – January 2010

For full review please click here

The sections on developing a routine, including ‘Tidy-up songs’, will be useful to first-time mothers in increasing their baby’s feeling of security and indeed their own confidence. Content explaining the development of non-verbal understanding; self awareness; early use of non-verbal skills and talking to the baby are also strong parts of the book, and there is an interesting section on communicating through signing.

‘Bulletin’ – Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists – October 2010

The book takes parents through interpreting their baby’s different cries, helping their baby make sense of daily routines, early two-way interaction and early understanding. The book contains a lot of detail and so it is helpful that each section ends with ‘Focus Points’ Rating 4/5

Sue Palmer, education consultant and author of 'Toxic Childhood' – January 2010

As 21st century culture evolves at breakneck speed, it's easy to be distracted from some of the most basic -- and essential -- elements of child-rearing. Non-verbal communication is a hugely important part of children's early learning, and something that can no longer be taken for granted. Not Just Talking, Helping your baby communicate – from day one - is a clear, easy-to-read handbook, absolutely invaluable for parents who want their children to grow up both bright and balanced.

National Literacy Trust – October 2009

Sioban has produced this book to help parents understand the importance of developing communication, specifically non-verbal skills, from the moment their baby is born. The book provides information about how to stimulate and support your child's natural ability to learn these essential skills as well as practical tips.

Martine Horvath, March 2010 issue of Early Years Educator (EYE) magazine.

For full review please see March 2010 issue of EYE magazine.

With only 41, A5 pages to read, key headings, focus points and photo-illustrated text, this is a very accessible read for busy parents. It proves that ‘quality not quantity’ really can be achieved because it packs in a great deal of research-based ideas and activities that parents can make use of, and that their children will benefit from straight away.

Warwick Payne, Hampshire Chronicle – February 2010

Not Just Talking is useful because it breaks down complex issues into bite-size chunks. Rather than a rambling essay on infant language acquisition, this is a quick-reference guide on why ‘junior’ is bawling the house down.

2 Comments from readers

Communication skills are acquired from the moment of birth and the quality of interaction between parents and their babies is a vital factor in child development. This book provides a useful resource – clearly written and containing much useful information to encourage and inspire parents of young children.

Matthew Saxton, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education, London University. Saxton, M. (2010) Child Language: Acquisition and Development. London: Sage

I am inclined to think there are too many self-help books out there; they are confusing, contradictory and full of trendy jargon. However, this one is very different. Not Just Talking takes us back to our roots and, in a society which has forgotten how to listen to its instincts, Sioban encourages new mums to take time to be old-fashioned mums and promises that the reward of being able to communicate with your baby will enrich your relationship. She explains how modern living has crowded out the behaviour patterns we all used to benefit from and gets the message across in a book which is simply-written, well-illustrated and, crucial for time-deprived mothers, brief. My copy, new only two months ago, is now dog-eared as a result of being passed around the office and the school staffroom. Everyone is reading it because it makes perfect sense.

Georgie Bateman, Night Nannies, Hampshire

It was hard to put down once I had started it, a truly valuable tool for my work! I love the clear layout with easy to read chapters, smooth flow between topics and highlighted "focus points". I love the final 2 chapters, summing up the importance of "making sounds, not words” and the reassurance that "there is a huge variation in the age at which children start to talk". Thank you, thank you! I shall recommend this to many colleagues and parents alike. Thank you for putting together a fascinating book in such a clear and enjoyable way. I do hope I shall be able to attend one of your training courses soon.

Jill Oram, Night Nanny, Maternity Nurse, Mother & Grandparent, Hampshire

Simple and easy to read, it is not a long book, and it gets straight to explaining effective focus points and strategies on how to promote your child's non-verbal skills to ensure that your child has these ESSENTIAL skills to help your child communicate effectively in the rest of its life. A must have read, not just for new and expecting parents but for anyone interested in child development and anyone interested in social and behavioural development.

Natalie Adams, SeedSew, Winchester

I had never realised until Sioban told me that sixty to ninety percent of communication is non-verbal. Until we had our first child we had no idea how much potential babies already have for communication. We often consciously try to “engage” with our child through sounds, songs and play thanks to the advice and encouragement in Sioban's book. In the early stages of development we are hoping that it might help our boy to be a happier baby where he might have the inclination to try to communicate his needs and in turn lay the groundwork for his communication skills later in life. We are very grateful for Sioban’s insightful book.

Nao Dickson, mother, Winchester


A special thanks to Cath Smith for the pictures of the signs in my book. Cath has drawn them all and here is the link to her website:      

© Let's Sign BSL sign graphics Cath Smith