Why did you want to become a Speech and Language Therapist?
As a teenager I became friends with someone who has High Functioning Autism and I was therefore incredibly aware of the difficulties she faced at school and in social groups. I began to research Speech and Language Therapy and knew this was something I wanted to do in order to make a difference to other people’s lives. I have family members who require SLT support with language difficulties and dyspraxia and my experiences of their real lives alongside my clinical knowledge and expertise means that my aims to support individuals and their families as a whole are always at the centre of my practise. Whilst it is very important to develop specific skills, it is equally as important to make this as functional and meaningful as possible to the individual’s daily life and experiences.
What kind of experience do you have?
Having initially worked for the NHS, I have been at The Talking House since 2014.
I have worked in Hull, Doncaster and Leeds supporting children and young adults across clinic and home settings and within both mainstream and special educational needs provisions.
Currently, I am based in Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres, supporting children and young people between the ages of 3 and 19 with Autism, complex needs and learning difficulties, for four days a week. I work one day a week in the clinic setting supporting children and young adults with a wide range of speech, language and communication difficulties.
What are you particularly passionate about?
I specialise in the area of Autism and complex needs and work with individuals from the age of 2-19 across settings. My main goal is to support individuals to establish autonomous communication. I aim to explore a range of communication methods that best suit the individual and their families in order to support effective and successful interactions. Specific areas of training to support with this include low-tech forms of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) such as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) and Makaton.
Communication is key and whether an individual is at the stage of early interaction, are strengthening their language skills or are working on the subtleties of social skills we have a part to play in making this easier, enjoyable and successful. Families and individuals have changing goals dependent on their current circumstances and I aim to work with them on this to ensure we are doing the best to support their daily lives at each step of their journey.
What are your hobbies and interesting facts about you?
I love exploring the world and have been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places. My family and friends are the most important thing to me and I always try to treat other people how I would want them to be treated.