I am a Specialist Speech & Language Therapist. I have worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and/or autism since qualifying as an SLT in 2012. I currently work with the Community Learning Disabilities Team. I work with service users with a wide range of swallowing and communication needs some of whom are non-verbal and/or present with behaviours of concern.
A large part of my current role involves working with and training staff teams and carers to support the person with a learning disability. I am passionate about supporting others to better understand how to maximise someone’s communication through the use of Total Communication strategies. I have a particular interest in the areas of social skills; challenging behaviour and dementia.
In 2020 I became a Qualified Makaton Tutor. Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order. With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. As well as its value for many as a means of expression I feel the real strength of Makaton is how it supports understanding. For those who find the spoken word alone difficult to interpret using a sign provides another way for them to interpret the message (multi-modal approach).
I have used and promoted the use of Makaton throughout my time working as an SLT and have seen the value it has in supporting someone’s understanding and providing an alternative way for them to express themselves. I deliver Makaton workshops to parents, carer, teachers and other professionals so that they are able to use Makaton with the children and adults they support.
Qualifications: BSc Honours in Speech & Language Sciences. Member of HCPC and RCSLT. Makaton Tutor.