Autumn 2007

Articles from the Autumn 2007 Issue

Off we go!

Avril Nicoll interviews Avril Webster and Jeanne Dippenaar

Avril Webster’s son Stephen inspired her books to prepare children with intellectual disabilities for everyday experiences.

Avril Webster’s 9 year old son Stephen has a moderate to severe intellectual disability with significant sensory integration issues. While Avril is passionate about supporting Stephen to take part in family activities, everyday experiences have been a real struggle. With their shared love of books, Avril decided to create a series that would help prepare Stephen for overwhelming situations – going to the hairdresser, a restaurant, the supermarket, the doctor, the dentist and the swimming – and the books have now been published. Support was provided by speech and language therapist Jeanne Dippenaar.

Building pyramids on Planet Zog

Nikki Joyce & Jan Broomfield

Redesign sees a paediatric speech and language therapy service based in local communities and offering equitable provision appropriate to clinical need.

Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust provides speech and language therapy services for children in the Middlesbrough and Redcar Cleveland areas in the North East of England. In the main children accessed the service at one of only three community clinics and non-attendance was an issue. National and local policy changes, emerging evidence and feedback from all parties led to a full restructuring. Nikki Joyce and Jan Broomfield explain the process, the model (children / service / delivery / location), its implementation and the outcomes including improved attendance and satisfaction. The next steps for the service are also considered.

Assessments assessed (3)

Alison Taylor & Karen Shuttleworth; Debbie Hoban; Lorraine Hope, Emma Eaton & Jaclyn Dallas

In-depth reviews of Phoneme Factory Phonology Screener, the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and the Comprehensive Aphasia Test (CAT)

  1. Phoneme Factory Phonology Screener (Alison Taylor and Karen Shuttleworth find this computerised screen can appropriately identify children for referral to speech and language therapy)
  2. Childhood Autism Rating Scale (Debbie Hoban discovers a clinically useful screening tool for autism)
  3. Comprehensive Aphasia Test (Lorraine Hope, Emma Eaton and Jaclyn Dallas welcome this wide-ranging tool)

Ever the twain shall meet…

Trish Morrison & Susanne King

A small pilot project using a controversial oral motor approach with children with severe cerebral palsy

Trish Morrison and Susanne King work in an early intervention service with children with physical disabilities. Parents wanted a focus on speech rather than the total communication approach on offer. Oral motor therapy is controversial but, after attending a seminar, the authors wondered if an intensive course would give them the opportunity to meet parents in the middle. The pilot project with five children with severe cerebral palsy is described and the outcomes and limitations discussed. The authors report they now have a better working relationship with the parents, for example when setting goals.

Trial and tribulation

Margaret Margerison, Adrienne Fenton & Ros Hunter

A portable viscometer proves unsuitable for ensuring drink thickness recommendations for clients with learning disabilities and dysphagia are followed 

Margaret Margerison, Adrienne Fenton and Ros Hunter had ongoing concerns that recommendations on the level of drink thickness modification needed for clients with learning difficulties and dysphagia were not being followed by carers or staff. They trialled a portable viscometer but found it was not suitable for helping carers achieve the correct consistency of drinks. They have now introduced guidelines and increased practical training. 

Awareness is all that you need

Jo Middlemiss

Life coach Jo Middlemiss reflects on the role that attachment plays in our choices.

Going forward has to involve divesting ourselves of the things that hold us back. Life coach Jo Middlemiss reflects on the role that attachment plays in our choices and finds awareness is all that is needed.

How I provide a paediatric dysphagia service (1): “Timely, efficient, integrated and holistic”?

Joanna Manz

A rural specialist assessment and treatment service for children with eating and drinking difficulties reviewed.

Joanna Manz is the only specialist speech and language therapist in the rural area of Angus providing assessment and treatment for children with eating and drinking difficulties. This article describes the service and the outcomes for all cases referred over a two year period. Joanna considers how this measures up to the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists benchmark of a timely, efficient, integrated and holistic service.

How I provide a paediatric dysphagia service (2): Parents at the centre

Rosemary Parker

Twelve years of the Paediatric Combined Feeding Clinic in Torbay

Rosemary Parker charts the evolution of the Paediatric Combined Feeding Clinic in Torbay, Devon over the last 12 years. A changing caseload, communication problems between disciplines and difficulty getting the right advice at the right time from the right professional to families meant a more holistic approach was required. An audit in 2002 led to the introduction of a paediatric videofluoroscopy service and raised awareness among other professionals. Rosemary hopes a recent parental questionnaire will lead to further improvements in service provision.

My top resources – from a newly qualified therapist

Juliet Condon

A newly qualified therapist in an adult learning disability and forensic service

Juliet Condon looks back over her top 10 resources in her first year as a speech and language therapist working with adults with learning disabilities in the Warwickshire area and in the forensic service. Peer support, East Kent Outcomes System and clinical supervision have all proved their worth.