Social Thinking: 5 Life Lessons

Five life lessons

I had the pleasure of attending a Social Thinking conference on the subject of social emotional learning and the role that Speech and Language Therapists can play in this. Over the course of two days Michelle Garcia Winner, Speech-Language Pathologist, shared a variety of practical tools, real-life examples and relevant research to inform how we support children with this important aspect of wellbeing and community participation.

In this short video I share with you five of the key life lessons I took away from the Social Thinking conference.

5 Life Lessons from a Social Thinking Conference

ASLTIP Conference 2018

Notepad open with notes from ASLTIP Annual Conference 2018

I invariably make a scruffy entrance to a conference. As I choose to travel by bike rather than Tube I have to deal with helmet hair and a quick outfit change in the loo before collecting my delegate’s name badge.

Saturday’s annual conference for Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice was no exception: I arrived at the central London venue feeling refreshed from my ride and ready to make the most of a day filled with professional development and colleague conversations. With a new venue, new nominees for the Board and a large number of non-members (aka prospective members!) I approached this year’s conference with interest.

It was tough to choose which talks to attend, particularly with such a variety of interesting topics. So I appreciated the tweets of others across the day, serving as a sneak peek in to the variety of presentations going on. (You can check out the conversation on Twitter using #ASLTIP18). There were some interesting themes that cropped up across the day, including service development, use of digital technology and campaigning for those who need our support.

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Empty Space: giving children room to grow

Child with sandals standing on deck

Last week I left our little town by the sea to attend London’s Nursery World conference. I had the privilege of listening to the Director and Atelierista of Reflections Nursery; a beautiful setting inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early education, with no small dash of Danish forest school action.

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The Importance of Accountability in my Work

The Importance of Accountability in my Work

I recently spoke at the ASLTIP annual conference on a local group project to review the quality of our record keeping. All Speech and Language Therapists are expected to be proactive in developing their knowledge, skills and clinical processes such as record keeping. As a local group we worked together to set up a shared audit, to confidentially review each other’s notes and discuss opportunities for improvement. We all found it a useful process, which dispelled the potentially intimidating connotations of the word ‘audit’. We were able to share our successes, talk through potential pitfalls and learn from each other.

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Therapy Ideas Conference

2015 Therapy Ideas Conference

When Rhiannan first mentioned her conference plans to me in the spring, I was instantly enthused by her idea. To spend time thinking about the people we work with, to build real, motivating practice in to everyday life, was exactly why I entered in to independent practice: to take a more considered and bespoke approach to therapy. This isn’t a desire found solely within the independent world. It was inspiring to meet therapists from a wide range of backgrounds and clinical fields, all aiming to reinvigorate our practice and make our therapy useful and meaningful to the people we support.

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Talking Communication: A Radio Interview

Talking Communication: A Radio Interview

I had the pleasure of visiting Vectis Radio to talk about Speech and Language Therapy and the role we all play in supporting speech, language and communication needs.

The interview is on SoundCloud below, it’s only 13 minutes.

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