The most common disabilities in childhood are speech, language and social communication needs (SLCN) and they represent the most prevalent type of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the UK. Children with Speech, language and social communication difficulties (SLCN) can sometimes have no official diagnosis, or they may have been diagnosed with:
- Global developmental delay
- Developmental language disorder (previously known as Specific Language Impairment)
- Learning difficulties and specific learning difficulties including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia.
- Learning Difficulties associated with Down’s Syndrome
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
- Phonological speech disorder
- Development verbal Dyspraxia
- Articulation Disorder
My area of clinical specialism is working with primary and secondary age school children who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). I have specialist knowledge of working in SEND resource bases or units in primary and secondary schools.
My job is to provide therapy to children with Speech, language and social communication difficulties (SLCN), improving all aspects of their communication and learning skills including attention skills, vocabulary, speech articulation and conversation skills. As well as this I can support children with their reading skills, oral presentation skills, and interview skills.
My job also includes assessing these children and witting reports and recommendations about therapy and educational provision. This is a very important part of my job that I am also passionate about, as it’s a way of ensuring that the children I work with are given every chance that they deserve at succeeding in school and making friends.
A huge part of my work involves working directly with parents and teachers advising, training and demonstrating how to support their children at home and in school. I am an ELKLAN tutor and I am qualified to train and accredit adult learners such as teachers and parents with GCSE and A-level equivalent qualifications in speech, language and communication difficulties.
- Does your child find it difficult to get his/ her message across, especially with less familiar people?
- Is your child’s speech unclear or sometimes difficult to understand?
- Does your child communicate better at home than in other settings?
- Have you noticed your child’s talking sounds immature compared to most other children their age?
- Have you noticed there are some aspects of school life that your child has difficulties with?
- Do you feel like your child’s behaviour is often misunderstood by others?
- Do you feel that your child is not reaching their full potential at school or in other areas of their life?
- Does you child find it difficult to make friends, hold conversations or maintain friendships?
- Have you found that your child is really good at some things at school but finds some lessons, topics or tasks more challenging?
- Do you think your child is aware of their difficulties and are you worried that their confidence may be affecting their confidence and self esteem?
- Is there a particular Speech & Language Therapy approach or way of working that you feel may be suitable for your child but you are not currently able to access?
- Does your child have Special Educational Needs (SEN)? Would you like an experienced highly specialist therapist to work alongside your current speech & language therapist to form joint therapy plans, and support your child with approaches that are not readily provided?
- Do you feel you child communication and learning needs could be better supported in school?
- Do you want therapy at home or in other social settings e.g. with grandparents, after school clubs?
- Do you want advice about how your child’s needs could be supported with you at home?
- Do you want to know more about how children’s communication needs can be supported in school, and how the right Speech & Language Therapy provision and support could help your child?
Please get in touch and call me. I’m a friendly ear, happy to listen to your concerns and worries. Where applicable my job is to reassure you that your child’s communication skills are being supported as well as they can be, as well as offering advice and support if it needed.
It may take just one phone call to put your mind at ease, to feel listened to, supported and positive about your child’s communication skills.
The aim of a resource base (also known as a unit) is to provide targeted support which enables children to access the mainstream curriculum whilst being provided with the specialist intervention and teaching that they require. The role of the speech and language therapist is complex but can be broadly categorised by the following: –
- To work across the whole school and with parents to develop a communication friendly environment for the children.
- Work with Resource Base teaching staff in their curriculum and lesson planning to ensure that the children’s speech and language needs are met and targeted throughout the school day and more explicitly in speech & language therapy focused lessons or groups.
- Work directly with the children one to one, in groups or in lessons to develop specific speech and language skills e.g. vocabulary, speech sounds or fluency.
- Asses children’s communication needs, write communication targets for Individual Education Plans, write reports and outcomes for EHCP’s/Annual Reviews, and attend EHCP/Annual Review meetings.
- Train education staff in identifying and supporting children’s speech, language and communication needs and creating a ‘communication friendly’ in lessons and in different contexts throughout the school day.
I have headed up the speech and language therapy services in 4 different schools, both primary schools and secondary schools. This included the Autism Resources Base at Ashcroft Academy Putney, Hillary House ASD unit at Sacred Heart Battersea, and The Moderate Learning Difficulties Resource Base at the Alton School Roehampton.
I have had the privilege to have been directly contracted to work in the same school’s Resource Base provision for 6 years. This has allowed me work continuously with the same children and their families. All the children I worked with have Educational Health Care Plans (EHCP), so I am up to date and knowledgeable of the EHCP process.
I value working as part of a multi professional team. I have worked closely with and collaborated with educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists and drama therapists, ASD and language advisory teachers, Head teachers, SENCo’s, Inclusion managers and specialist SEN teachers.