What happens in therapy?
I work through play. I will lay out toys that are good for stimulating language, developing joint attention, and tempting a child into interaction. As I get to know your child, I will be learning about what works for them: what helps to regulate them so that they are emotionally and cognitively ready to learn? What type of language-learner are they? Do they naturally tune into words, or are they attracted by rich musical intonation patterns?
I will share these insights with you as a parent so that you too can help to bring your child into a calm and engaged state. We will learn about dysregulation: tantrums, withdrawal or anxiety signs in your child. You will learn how to ‘magnetise’ your child so that they move quickly into a zone for learning.
Our work together will help your child to tune into speech and language. Attention and listening is like a muscle: we can help to work that muscle so that it is more efficient, and your child can pick up language in everyday situations.
If your child is in school, I can carry out my therapy sessions there. I will bring a range of toys and games that I know children love. We will work on their speech, language and communication targets together, and then I will feed back to a nominated member of the teaching staff, so that they can continue my work until the next session.
We might be working on building a rich vocabulary; we might be building longer sentences. We might be targeting speech sounds so that your child is more easily understood and so that they can learn to read more easily.
Therapy will be fun. Your child will come out of sessions feeling that they have been understood, that they are valued, and that adults know how to support them.
Older children and young people
I will set goals with the young person. They might be seeing me because they stammer, or because they are anxious about talking in social situations. They might be struggling with reading for comprehension or with study skills. They might have subtle social communication needs, that were missed in primary school because they learnt to 'mask' their sensory needs.
We will collaborate, so that the young person knows exactly what they are working towards, and why.
I will choose materials that are relevant and engaging for the young person. If they love art and crafts, we will be creative together. If they are crazy about sport, we will use clips of their favourite sport stars or write match reviews. The young person might benefit from using technology to support their learning. I am a specialist in assistive technology, such as text-to-speech for written work.
I will collaborate with the teaching team around your child. We will make sure that the right reasonable adjustments are made for them in class, and for accessing exams. I will help to define your child’s aspirations for the future.