I’ve been working as a Speech and Language Therapist for the last 13 years and I consider myself so lucky to wake up every day (well, most days!) and look forward to the day ahead, working with such wonderful children, families and schools. Before training to become a Speech and Language Therapist, I studied for a degree in Psychology, worked as a Teaching Assistant (at a school for children with Autism) and as an Assistant Speech and Language Therapist.
I enjoy working with all age groups of children, from pre-schoolers to teenagers. I have a particular interest in music therapy and whenever possible I will bring songs, rhymes and music into sessions.
Sessions with children work best when you find out what motivates each child. Children often love Mr Potatoe head superhero set (with 16 individual pieces, this is a great game for helping children to practise a sound/sentence). Wooden stacking robots, pop up pirate and the hanging monkeys game are other favourites.
I also find a whiteboard and a pen are really useful in the sessions as you can draw: a now and next board, or ticks/smiley faces for listening, or word webs (a strategy to help children to learn new words).
Best advice you could give to worried parent of language delayed child
Each child develops at their own pace, but there are things we can do to help children to develop their language skills:
Keep play sessions fun! If you are worried, get in touch with your GP and ask for a referral to see a Speech and Language Therapist or look on www.helpwithtalking.org
Best advice you would give to anyone considering Speech & Language therapy as a career
It’s such a rewarding career where you can make a real difference to people’s lives. The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists www.rcslt.org and ASLTIP the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice give lots of useful advice for people interested in this career. Organise as much work experience as you can before applying for courses.
I was walking a child back to their classroom and I said “shall we take a short cut?” they replied “I’d like a long cut please!” .