Speech and Language Therapy: The Whole Picture

For every therapy session there’s plenty of additional work that goes on behind the scenes. In order to provide quality comprehensive support to families it’s important to stay informed of current evidence and intervention models, to carefully plan therapy session and to communicate effectively with everyone supporting the child. All of these elements are an essential part of the process.

In an attempt to capture these varied aspects, I produced the infographic below. Of course, every case is a little different, in terms of how I prepare and who I liaise with. Regardless, it usually breaks down into something like this:

Is this your experience of Speech and Language Therapy? Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

You know that classic moment, when someone turns to you and says “So, what do you do then?”

Sometimes I’m tempted to answer with something un-work-related, like “I climb trees” or “I read books” or “I sing songs”. (Perhaps working with children helps me appreciate that we are more than the work that we do.) But, of course I know that they really want to know about my vocation, so I reply “I’m a Speech and Language Therapist”.

Often I’m met with a delighted smile: “Oh, that must be fascinating work!” or “That must be so rewarding.” Yes and yes; it absolutely is!

Just occasionally I’m met with a bemused expression: “So, is that like helping people with autism?” (Sidenote: it’s a testament to the success of awareness-raising campaigns that this is now the common response rather than: “Oh, is that like elocution lessons?” which is what I used to be asked ten years ago.) I reply: “Yes and also so much more!”

So, inspired by many conversations and attempts to explain a profession that involves a huge variety of work, I put together this super-quick video rundown of Speech and Language Therapy: what it involves and who it helps.

I wonder: what would you add to this explanation? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. Find out what to expect at a Speech and Language Therapy appointment.

Empty Space: giving children room to grow

Empty Space: giving children room to grow

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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What to expect at an initial appointment

What to expect at an initial appointment - SaLT by the Sea - IOW

So – you’ve decided to seek advice from a Speech and Language Therapist. Perhaps you requested an appointment from your local NHS service, or contacted an independent therapist. Regardless of how you access SaLT support, you can always expect the following. Read more →