Autumn 2004

Articles from the Autumn 2004 issue

JABADAO – Making a song and dance about communication.

Munro, S. (2004)

Susan Munro discovers that the JABADAO framework can provide lasting opportunities for progress by people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Searching for a therapeutic approach which not only focused on the needs of her clients with profound and multiple learning disabilities but also provided a forum for training staff to carry out appropriate activities outwith speech and language therapy sessions, Susan Munro discovered the JABADAO framework. Already well-known to many physiotherapists, the approach uses music and colourful props as a catalyst for encouraging interaction, promoting movement and supporting relationships. Susan set up a small research group to investigate the specific communication benefits of JABADAO for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. The biggest lesson for the staff was to learn how to respond rather than direct. The most common developments were in the areas of turn taking, imitation, initiation, choice-making and engagement with peers. Having enjoyed the sessions and reported a realisation of the abilities and potential of the participants, day centre staff continue to run the groups. 

A midsummer night’s conversation.

Nicoll, A. with Park, K. & Gouda, N. (2004)

How interactive storytelling works for people with complex support needs.

Editor Avril Nicoll meets Keith Park, interactive storytelling guru and advisory teacher for SENSE, and speech and language therapist Nevin Gouda at the Globe Theatre in London. where they take people with the highest support needs to the stage to re-enact Shakespeare plays in several community languages as well as English. The conversation covers the richly multisensory nature of the experience, the advantages for staff training, the benefits of using Shakespearean works, inclusion, having a laugh, ‘call and response’ strategies, and how to go about developing your own interactive storytelling. 

A bump start.

Bemrose, S. & Lynch, L. (2004)

Recognising that disadvantaged groups need support to lay the foundations of communication, a Sure Start speech and language therapist and midwife join forces with a cartoonist to develop an antenatal pack.

During a pregnancy, parents can be very receptive to new information about their baby’s development. At the same time, disadvantaged and vulnerable people do not have equal access to information and may need support to lay the foundations of communication.  Sure Start speech and language therapist Sasha Bemrose and midwife Lynn Lynch explain why they joined forces with a cartoonist to develop an antenatal pack with minimal written text, ‘Your Bump and Beyond’. Examples of its contents are included along with an evaluation. 

No borderline – just a pathway.

Barnes, C. (2004)

A regional special interest group in deafness has developed a care pathway to improve equity of service for clients.

Speech and language therapists in a special interest group in deafness (South Wales and the West) created three care pathways: assessment, intervention (preschool) and intervention (school aged), to prompt clinicians to make appropriate decisions about clinical management that are client needs led and transparent. Copies of the pathways and accompanying information on levels of service are included along with case examples to show how the pathways work in practice. The pathway is being audited to see if it is meeting its goals and leading to an equitable service across health service boundaries. 

You can’t learn to swim on dry land.

Duck, A. & Weeks, S. (2004)

A speech and language therapist and teacher on their holistic approach to developing functional communication and community living skills.

Speech and language therapist Amy Duck and senior teacher Sarah Weeks challenge the effectiveness of the national curriculum and the current transition process at preparing children with special educational needs to move on from school into their adult lives. They argue that students with learning and communication difficulties do not learn ‘life skills’ incidentally as others do and that, even when they are taught, it is in isolation without addressing the wider barriers to their learning. The authors describe their intervention programme that teaches social competence, social-emotional development and life skills across all curriculum areas in a very explicit and repetitive way. Case examples are included to demonstrate effectiveness along with information about methodology. 

Winning Ways series (4): Compass set to true north.

Middlemiss, J. (2004)

Life coach Jo Middlemiss suggests we chart a course based on values.

Kevin is a speech and language therapist who is happy with his life. Life coach Jo Middlemiss suggests this is because he is clear about his values. If you experience confusion and indecision, frustration and agitation, and if you don’t know what is driving you, Jo explains why charting a course based on your values can help. 

How I look for solutions.

(1) – Can we design better placements?

Newton, A. & Frost, J. (2004)

Alison Newton and Jo Frost coordinate student placements across trusts.

The authors coordinate student placements across a community and an acute trust. They describe and evaluate a different model of placement. Their experience suggests that success depends more on the skills, aptitude and learning ability of the individual student and on good communication and organisation than on the placement design per se. 

 (2) – How reliable is our team?

Dyer, J. (2004)

Jill Dyer on improving team reliability in videofluoroscopy.

Speech and language therapists score poorly on inter-rater reliability tests of videofluoroscopy interpretation, which is a cause for concern amongst any dysphagia team. Jill Dyer reviews the literature on videofluoroscopy inter-rater reliability and recommends action from the RoyalCollege of Speech & Language Therapists to address education and training issues. She also lists the 11 standards for videofluoroscopy interpretation that the North Durham dysphagia team strives to maintain. 

(3) – What more can we do?

Crawford, H. (2004)

Hannah Crawford on compliance with recommendations.

Mr Rennie, a 73 year old man with moderate learning disabilities and mild dysphagia still receives all his food at a day centre pureed together, in spite of speech and language therapy staff recommending a soft mashed diet with drinks thickened to a custard consistency. The National Patient Safety Agency and a limited number of research studies recognise the problem with compliance and suggest reasons for it. Hannah Crawford and colleagues in County Durham describe the 6 actions they are considering as a result. 

My Top Resources – staying organised.

Comins, J. (2004)

Jayne Comins offers ten tips for getting – and staying – organised.

Speech and language therapist and psychotherapist Jayne Comins is also trained as an occupational and organisational psychologist. She finds a clear desk helps her to think clearly, and likes to know that she can quickly put her hands on information when she needs it. Here she offers ten tips for getting – and staying – organised.