Autumn 2010

Articles from the Autumn 2010 Issue

Any questions?

Nicola Harvey & Belinda Robbins

Training education staff to use more indirect interaction techniques

Having observed school staff using a high level of questioning with children in a primary language unit setting, Nicola Harvey and Belinda Robbins agreed a plan with the teacher in charge to develop staff’s use of indirect interaction techniques. Using the principles and resources of Parent Child Interaction (Kelman & Schnieder, 1994), they initially worked with two teaching assistants on techniques such as commenting to develop children’s play and expressive language. The impact on the children was such that Nicola and Belinda were invited to deliver group training to all staff, and continue to support them in a variety of ways to ensure the use of indirect interaction techniques continues.

In Brief:

Implications beyond nutritional intake – Christina H. Smith, Chris Donlan, Michael Clarke and Penny Edwards develop a functional assessment of chewing.

Here’s one I made earlier

Alison Roberts with ‘Menu game’, a low cost, flexible and fun therapy suggestion for groups.

Out in Eden

Maggie Wallis, with Sandra Hewitt and Kari-Ann Johnston

Access and inclusion for people with aphasia at a community arts centre

Maggie Wallis urges us to notice and make good use of ‘happy accidents’ that can take therapy beyond the clinic room and therefore be more relevant and interesting to clients. In this case, staff at a new theatre were looking for ways for it to become more of a community venue, while Maggie had two clients – one with aphasia and one with dysarthria – who were keen to live positively with their communication difficulties. This started a journey which included an integrated drama group, feedback from a service user group, communication accessibility training for theatre staff, filming an educational DVD and making greater use of low tech communication aids and ‘real drama’ techniques. Sandra Hewitt provides more information on the training, and front of house manager Kari-Ann Johnston gives Eden Court Theatre’s perspective.

Toy story

Cynthia Pelman

Scaffolding opportunities for bilingual children to use English 

Children who speak languages other than English and who are new to a school setting often go through a ‘silent period’, where they absorb the unfamiliar phonology, vocabulary and syntax and may also be struggling with issues around identity. Cynthia Pelman works in an area where 97 languages are spoken, and is concerned that insufficient weight is given to the emotional consequences of this period of relative isolation if it persists. This article outlines StoryF.R.A.M.E.S (Feelings, Repeating, Adding, Modelling, Extending), a short-term, simple narrative intervention to scaffold the child’s use of whatever English they have and to give them the confidence to do so. Cynthia presents results from a pilot with two children. Among her recommendations, she asks if speech and language therapists sometimes provide too much input and insufficient opportunities for output. 

Journal club: expert opinion

Jennifer Reid

A new series to take the mystery out of critical appraisal starts with expert opinion articles

Jennifer Reid introduces a new series to help readers access the speech and language therapy literature, assess its credibility and decide how to act upon their findings. The content is based on the critical appraisal education format which has evolved in Fife and is delivered through a series of small group journal clubs. In this introduction, Jennifer suggests first asking 1) why was the study done, 2) what type of study was done and 3) was the study design appropriate? She then presents a 10 question appraisal framework for considering articles which are ‘expert opinion’ rather than being based on systematic research. The downloadable version of the framework is available alongside the article.

A complementary view

Sue Roulstone

Boundary issues: Speech and language therapists offering an opinion on complementary therapy

Sue Roulstone provides the third response in our ethics series considering everyday events which need to be on our ethical radar screen: ‘You have fairly strong views on complementary therapy. Perhaps you have derived a lot of personal benefit and you are aware of the impact it could have on certain clients, although they haven’t raised the issue. Or perhaps you are very sceptical but are asked for advice from a client who is keen to try such an approach’. Sue identifies three key questions around scope of practice, evidence and competence to help us reach a conclusion.

How I support TEP closure: An open and shut case?

Morwenna White-Thomson

How speech and language therapists might help to improve the success rate of tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) closure

Surgical voice restoration through tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) has revolutionised quality of life for many people with a laryngectomy. However, in the event of complications, the TEP sometimes has to be closed permanently. Unusually, in 2008, three of Morwenna White’s client’s required TEP closure. This inspired her to investigate the procedures used, the numbers involved and which practices have better outcomes. Through critical appraisal of the literature and a survey of ENT units in Southwest England and South Wales, Morwenna investigates the impact of radiotherapy, nutrition, reflux and surgical method, and considers how increased awareness of this among speech and language therapists might help to improve the success rate of TEP closure.

My Top Resources: Winning Ways

Kim Mears with comment by Jo Middlemiss

Qualities, skills and resources for working outside the NHS

Kim Mears works part-time as a long term support co-ordinator for the Stroke Association. Before that she worked independently as a speech and language therapist, having previously been in the NHS. Kim outlines ten qualities, skills and resources that have helped. Life coach Jo Middlemiss provides a comment.

Conversing with the world

Avril Nicoll interviews Sharynne McLeod

International developments in speech sound disorder assessment and practice

Australian researcher, educator and editor Sharynne McLeod visited Bristol in July 2010, where she led a seminar to update speech and language therapists on international developments in speech sound disorder assessment and practice. Speech & Language Therapy in Practice editor reports on memorable tips and useful resources from the day and an interview which continued the discussion about making sense of the literature, writing for publication and making a difference across the globe.