Tell us about your career so far - I began my SLT career late in life, in 2004 as an SLT assistant working with adults with learning difficulties whilst also completing my degree. I now work as a children’s therapist, providing support to children and young people from preschool up to 19 years of age with a variety of communication needs.
What is your favourite client group/ type of speech & language difficulty to work with and why ? I particularly enjoy working with C&YP with the most complex communication needs who benefit from AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). It’s so fulfilling to see the impact on someone’s functional communication skills and their lives generally.
Favourite resource - for assessment this would have to be my inset puzzle! There are so many things you can use this for eg language skills including naming, descriptions, categories, and narrative; memory and understanding; speech sounds; and problem solving. I also love aided-language displays and am always amazed how quickly these can get a child engaged and communicating during fun tasks.
Best advice you could give to worried parent of language delayed child - the best thing you can do for your child is YOU - spending time with your child, following their lead, labelling the things they play with works wonders for language development!
Best advice you would give to anyone considering speech & Language therapy as a career - go for it and grasp every opportunity to get experience working with a range of people and disabilities to widen your knowledge and skills which can be applied in everyday practice
Biggest challenge in the job - having to prioritise one child over another. For parents, their child will always be the most important. However in terms of the child’s communication needs, these may not be such a priority for a school with high numbers of children needing SLT support. This can often be difficult for parents to understand and accept.