My first experience of speech and language therapy was attending therapy sessions with my eldest son when he was about four. He had difficulty saying ‘th’ at the beginning of words, he used ‘f’ instead, so thief became ‘fief’. Seeing the dramatic improvement he made when he worked with a therapist played an important part in my choice of career.
I had previous training as a nurse and have always been attracted to the caring professions. So, I decided to train as a speech and language therapist. This involved attending a three and a half year, full time university course in order to gain the specialist degree qualification necessary.
Prior to going to university I worked as an assistant speech and language therapist for two years mainly working with pre-school and school aged children. This gave me a huge advantage at university because I had a good practical knowledge base and realistic expectations about caseload management and how therapist’s worked.
Since qualifying I have worked with children and adults across a range of settings including schools, community clinics, acute hospital and residential homes in generalist and specialist roles. I have experience of working in multidisciplinary teams and also played a fundamental role is setting up a team.
Over the years I have incorporated a wide range of skills into my speech and language Therapy practice. Studying and using facilitation and coaching skills has helped me to get my thinking about what I do clear, to really listen to people and enables me to ask better, more precise questions. Having a son with dyslexia has helped me recognise the importance of presenting information (therapy) in the person’s preferred learning style and to use a person’s strengths to teach strategies to support areas of weakness.
I am a registered member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Health and Care Professions Council and the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP).
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