Why did you want to become a Speech and Language Therapist?
As a child, I struggled with speaking, and still do today with fluency and word finding, so I am acutely aware of the impact communication difficulties can have on people.
When I started out, Speech and Language Therapy was an exciting, up-and-coming profession with new, ground-breaking ideas. I wanted to be a part of that. I still see the profession through those eyes. I love my work because there is always something new to learn, always something more that we can be doing. I get joy from seeing children achieve things that they thought they could never do.
What kind of experience do you have?
2020 was my 35th anniversary of working as a Speech and Language Therapist!
During this time, I have been fortunate to have worked in so many different areas, including both the NHS and in the private sector. I have worked in everywhere you can think of – clinics, hospitals, homes, mainstream and special schools, and with all ages and types of difficulties. I have also had the privilege of serving the profession by sitting on the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ (RCSLT) Professional Development and Standards Board and serving as first Vice-Chair, and subsequently Chair, of the Association for Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP).
All through my career, I have believed in an holistic approach to therapy and The Talking House is the culmination of everything that I have learned about communication. I wanted to use my years of experience to deliver family-focused, research-led best practice. The Talking House started from my garden office in 2010 and has now grown to have a team of some of the best Speech and Language Therapists in the region working from our outstanding offices on the Grange Park estate in Wetherby, near Leeds.
What are you particularly passionate about?
I am passionate about helping people have better conversations. This is the inspiration behind my current postgraduate research project (PhD), which explores how children with High Functioning Autism go about having conversations with adults.
I have a special interest in Autism and social communication, including developing therapy and carrying out diagnostic assessments. Having worked at a School for the Deaf, I also have a keen interest and specialist knowledge in Hearing Impairment.
What inspires me most about my work is that I have the privilege to work with and support a new generation of leading Speech and Language Therapists. I know that our company is here to stay and is in good hands.
What are your hobbies and interesting facts about you?
I don’t have much spare time between studying and working, but when I am not doing either of those, you will find me on my yoga mat or out walking our very lively rescue beagle, Claude, and there will always be a cup of tea close by!