How I work
Since 1994 I’ve been working with children, adults, parents and carers to improve speech, language and communication. What makes my professional practice unique is that I have experience of therapy from the perspectives of being both therapist and parent.
As a therapist I understand the need for practical, holistic therapy. As a parent I’m aware of the frustrations of trying to get enough input for your child. I know how hard it is because I have one child with dyslexia and another who had difficulties with speech sounds when he was young.
Principles that guide my professional practice
Learning to talk is a huge step in a child’s development. Yes, other forms of communication are important too, but talking and understanding language is a fundamental skill. Many children learn to talk and communicate without any difficulties, but some just need that little bit of extra help. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their communicative potential.
Individually designed programmes are the most effective way to improve a child’s speech and language skills. Providing they are accompanied by three other things:
- A clear structure. Therapy needs to be focussed on improving awareness, recognition of the target (whether that is a sound, a language concept or a social skill), production of the target and practice to generalise the target to all situations.
- Committed parents/carers. Parents and carers who have a positive attitude towards therapy, and to continuing the work between sessions, usually find that their child makes progress very quickly.
- Quality input and consistent approach. ‘Little and often’ high quality input, that is consistent, is most beneficial to your child.
People learn in different ways and at different speeds. Some learn best through hearing information, others by seeing it, while others prefer a hands-on, have- a- go approach. I ensure all learning styles are taken into account by using multi-sensory therapy sessions that include verbal language, pictures, writing and real objects.
Focus on goals, small steps and progress. There is nothing quite like achievement to make you feel good and want to do even better. By keeping the goal in mind, focussing on their success and taking small achievable steps your child will make steady progress towards becoming a more confident communicator. It is like building good foundations. Clear speech sounds allow others to understand them more easily. Improved listening and attention skills in their learning environments help them to understand and use language more effectively. And understanding social situations (others emotions, turn taking and body language) enables them to make friends, keep friends and learn how to interact appropriately with other children and adults.
Therapy must be fun, exciting, focused and achievable. Your child can expect their experience to be: fun, exciting and achievable. I use a positive approach that is friendly, flexible and interactive. As a parent/carer you can expect to see well-structured therapy plans and sessions, which are specific to your child’s needs.
Actively involve and listen to parents and carers. After all you spend the most time with your child. And you want someone who recognises that you want the best for your child. I encourage you to participate in your child’s ‘therapy homework’ by keeping it jargon free, simple and fun for you all.
Next, see how it all comes together by learning about the services I offer. Click here to find out.