Spring 2007

Articles from the Spring 2007 Issue

Broadening the mind

Yuill, K. (2007)

A travel scholarship benefits a community service for people with aphasia.

Karen Yuill explains the application process for a travel scholarship to develop her community service for people with aphasia and gives a brief resume of her team’s development to date. The scholarship enabled her to meet with a similar community service in Northern Ireland and with the charity Speechmatters as well as attend the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists conference ‘Realising the vision’. Karen has returned with ideas about extending accessible information, user involvement and support for carers and focusing on quality of life measures.

Increasing the scope

Doidge, L. & Carpenter, D. (2007)

Speech and language therapists set up a nasendoscopy clinic for clients with voice problems.

The potential of nasendoscopy as a visual feedback tool in therapy sessions for voice, velopharyngeal dysfunction and dysphagia is gradually being recognised. Lindsay Doidge and Daphne Carpenter work with clients with voice problems. Although encouraged by ENT colleagues and pioneering speech and language therapists, they were initially reluctant to introduce nasendoscopy due to its perceived invasiveness. However, with training and support, they now run a fortnightly clinic. The response of clients is discussed. Lindsay and Daphne are now helping other speech and language therapists to develop the required skills.

Assessments assessed (1)

Hunter, A.; Wreford-Bush, K.; Forbes, A.; Cropper, C.; Tweedie, L. (2007)

Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale; New Jay’s Observational Assessment of Dysphagia (paediatric; ALD; adult versions); CELF-Preschool 2UK reviewed.

In-depth reviews:

  1. Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale (Alison Hunter finds it useful and quick)
  2. New Jay’s Observational Assessment of Dysphagia – Paediatric Version (Kerry Wreford-Bush finds it focuses the assessment, decision-making and information-sharing process)
  3. New Jay’s Observational Assessment of Dysphagia – Adult Learning Disability Version (Antoinette Forbes welcomes its clarity, detail and flexibility)
  4. New Jay’s Observational Assessment of Dysphagia – Adult Version (Thorough, but not Claire Cropper’s first choice)
  5. CELF-Preschool 2UK (The revisions in this second edition have enhanced its appeal to clinicians according to Louise Tweedie).

Life coaching: the missing link?

Williamson, C. (2007)

A speech and language retrains as a life coach, and finds this new dimension has brought particular benefits to people who stammer.

Catherine Williamson has been a speech and language therapist for over 11 years, specialising in working with people who stammer. She found herself repeatedly frustrated that therapy techniques would only work up to a certain point. Revamping her own life, she re-trained as a life coach and found this provided the missing link in her effectiveness. Catherine explains what life coaching is, explores similarities and differences between it and speech and language therapy, and includes an illustrative case example.

What Kate Did at Work

Balzer, K. (2007)

A strategic approach to training nursing home staff in supporting people with acquired communication and / or swallowing difficulties. 

About half of Kate Balzer’s clients are adults with acquired communication and / or swallowing difficulties living in nursing homes and so training of nurses and health care assistants is a service priority. Kate looks back over the changing national and professional context for such an approach and the way her service has responded over the years and sets out the strategic approach adopted by the team in 2005. This includes producing resources to support nursing home staff, developing training methods to suit different learning styles and working in partnership with other agencies to provide the training.

Targeting bullying

de la Bedoyere, C. (2007)

Are children with communication disability targeted disproportionately by school bullies? Does school setting or age make a difference?

Finding the evidence on communication disability and bullying limited, Catherine de la Bedoyere carried out preliminary work in one local authority area, looking at children’s interpretations of events rather than official figures. The raw data so far tends to support previous indications that children with communication disability may experience more bullying than typically developing children and that those in a language unit may be at an increased risk. Catherine suggests further work is needed to clarify if initial trends are correct and to enable a practical response.

Are you being served?

Middlemiss, J. (2007)

Life coach Jo Middlemiss encourages us to move on from decisions that are no longer of benefit.

While decisions and choices made long ago can serve us well through life, they can also keep us stuck in a rut. Life coach Jo Middlemiss encourages us to start 2007 with a greater degree of awareness so we can move on from decisions that are no longer of benefit.

How I provide social communication groups (1): Structure, strengths and strategies

Baker, J. & Rogers, G. (2007)

The structure, ethos and example activities from four social communication groups aimed at children of different ages with high level autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

Children and young people with high level autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are challenged by situations demanding social communication skills. Jane Baker adds to her Winter 2005 article ‘Asperations 4 U’ with this detailed discussion of the South Devon Asperger’s Group social communication groups. The Own Agenda group is for children from 3½-5 years, two communication skills groups run for 5-8 years (discussed by Gill Rogers) and 9-11+ years, with a secondary school aged group for those from 11+-19 years. The structure and ethos of each group is presented along with example activities.

How I provide social communication groups (2): A WICKED course

Roberts, A. (2007)

The WICKED (‘Workplace Interactions and Communication Keyskills for Everyday, and for Dating’) pilot course for young people with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Young people with Asperger’s Syndrome need particular support to cope with job seeking and the workplace. Alison Roberts presents the pilot of a collaborative approach called WICKED (‘Workplace Interactions and Communication Keyskills for Everyday, and for Dating’) for students at Ruskin Mill College, which is founded on the ethos of ‘learning by doing’. The course was developed in conjunction with the College careers tutor and two retired careers guidance staff. Thirteen of the approaches used are listed and results discussed.

My Top Resources – AAC and singing

Graebe, S. (2007)

Supporting learners, particularly those using AAC, to develop communication through song.

Shan Graebe worked for many years at a special school supporting learners who have multiple needs, especially those using AAC. Her top resources combine this expertise with her love of researching, singing and performing traditional English songs, as she uses song to help develop early interaction and more complex communication skills.