Name and Job title
Speech and Language Therapist
How long have you been with Soundswell
Tell us about your career so far
I’ve worked as a SaLT for 18 years. I started working in Sandwell for the NHS in a mixed post with adults and children, and I stayed with that organisation for 11 years. A mixture of work opportunities and on-the-job experience led me to eventually working in a Child Development centre with pre-school children for 6 years.
I now work as an independent therapist working with children in nurseries, schools and people’s homes. The flexibility works perfectly for me with two young children.
What is your favourite client group/ type of speech & language difficulty to work with and why
I continue to enjoy working with preschool children and I particularly love working with parents and empowering them to make a difference in their children’s lives.
However, I really enjoy my contracts with Soundswell in schools as it has allowed me to work with a variety of children and difficulties again which keeps me on my toes and makes my job very interesting. I enjoy the variety. Being part of this team allows the opportunity for clinical support when needed too and I have found myself receiving advice from Soundswell colleagues (& giving it too at times) - which is an added bonus of the job.
This varies for me depending on client group. I love showing parents they don’t need anything ‘special’ to effect change in their children’s language skills at home- just everyday household objects and routines work wonders.
However, I am a real fan of using apps on my iPad with primary aged children as I find they usually engage with these well and see them as a ‘treat’. Splingo’s Language Universe and Articulation station are two of my favourites. The children can play games and be working on their language or speech skills without really realising its work at all!!
Best advice you could give to worried parent of language delayed child
You are the best gift your child could have. Follow the advice you are given by your SaLT - you may feel some of it seems obvious and too simple - but if you’re consistent and persistent in following the advice given - you will see a difference!! It really works.
Advice to anyone considering speech & Language therapy as a career
Get some work experience - there’s nothing as valuable as first hand experience of seeing SaLT at work. And be prepared to work hard - the degree course is not easy - but it’s such a rewarding career. It’s worth it!
Funny anecdote if you have one ( anonymised of course)
Working with a child who had word-finding difficulties and couldn’t remember the names of things. He came up with some really funny responses - eg once he couldn’t remember the word for ‘trousers’ and so described them as “leg sleeves”.
Biggest challenge in the job
Time constraints and prioritising cases. It’s particularly tough and frustrating coming across children with severe difficulties in schools where NHS services have decided they ‘don’t meet criteria’ (due to their own budget constraints) and the children have been left with no support. SaLT resources can be really stretched and waiting lists can be long. That’s where independent services - like Soundswell - really are hugely beneficial in stepping into the gap and can make a massive difference.