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About Speech & Language Therapy
What is Speech & Language Therapy (SALT)?
Speech and language therapy provides assessment, therapy and support for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing. Take a look at the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists Factsheet below to find out more about what SALT is and who can benefit from SALT support.
Ashleigh is a Specialist SALT with experience as an NHS therapist within Special Schools. Ashleigh specialises working with children and young people who have complex needs as well as those who require access to Alternative & Augmentative Communication (AAC) support. Ashleigh is qualified to work with both children and adults presenting with developmental and or acquired communication difficulties. Additionally Ashleigh has a Specialist Level post graduate qualification enabling her to assess and support children & adults living with dysphagia (eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties).
- Ashleigh is a passionate advocate for people living with communication and/or other disabilities; Ashleigh understands the challenges such people face and is driven to support them.
- Ashleigh understands that for generalised progress to be made, a functional, lifestyle approach is necessary; communication happens all day everyday not just in the therapy session! Ashleigh will work with you to establish goals and a functional therapy plan that fits into your daily life. Additionally Ashleigh can offer you on-going support to implement this plan.
- Ashleigh believes in the Social model of disability. The social model of disability is a way of viewing the world. The model is based on the idea that a persons impairment alone is not the primary disabling factor but that people are disabled by barriers in society. Barriers can be physical, like buildings not having accessible toilets. Or they can be caused by people’s attitudes to difference, like assuming disabled people can’t do certain things. Ashleigh starts from a place of assuming competence in her clients and supports the breaking down of limiting barriers through creative problem solving.
- Relationships are the key! Ashleigh aims to build positive relationships with clients and key people to facilitate team working towards agreed goals. With great relationships and team work in place, Ashleigh hopes that clients will feel supported, confident & empowered to achieve great outcomes.
- Integration of therapy and successful outcomes for communication and wellbeing arise from holistic working; whereby Ashleigh gains a comprehensive and holistic understanding of a person as a whole, including their personality, abilities, challenges, lifestyle, experiences and the people around them
- Ashleigh is motivated by a challenge; she is able to find creative and innovative ways of working to support clients whilst staying in line with the most up to date evidence based techniques and research findings.
- Having fun has a positive effect on motivation levels, determining what we learn and how much of that learning we retain. Learning requires repetition and dedication; so it has to be enjoyable for us to keep going! We know this is true for adults and we know that play is essential for children’s development (social and emotional development, life-skills, understanding language, expressing their thoughts and feelings, processing their experiences, and managing their emotions). Whether you are a child engaged in play or an adult in need of some motivation, play builds brain pathways and enjoyment is at the heart of our engagement.
Communication & SLCN
Let’s start with some terminology!
Speech: The individual sounds made which form words.
Language: Understanding words, using words, understanding grammar, knowing how to combine words to create sentences and beyond.
Communication: Ability to understand, interact and connect with others; effectively getting a message across to someone.
Pragmatics: Social language skills; what we say and how we say it.
When a person has difficulties in 1 or more of these areas the umbrella term most commonly used to describe them is SLCN – it stands for Speech, Language and Communication Needs.
How do these skills develop? The Communication Tree
All children develop at their own rate and achieve milestones at different ages. There is, however, a recognised pattern of development, and for further age-related information about speech, language and communication development, please see the link below:
For more information about what communication involves check out this handout from Afasic.org.uk explaining the Elklan Communication Chain.