Spring 2010

Articles from the Spring 2010 issue

EKOS – a SMART solution

Margaret Metcalfe

The special features of the East Kent Outcome System for Community Stroke Teams

In 2000 Margaret Metcalfe’s Community Stroke Teams were asked to find a suitable goal setting system that would give quantifiable information on outcomes to managers. The East Kent Outcome System fitted the bill, as it works in a person-focused way across a variety of timescales with different complexities of clinical need. Margaret traces the evolution of the system in her teams and the many benefits it offers in terms of improved collaboration, flexibility, focus on the client, reflective practice and identification of areas for improvement. She is frustrated that this widely respected system is not written up in the peer reviewed literature.

Here’s one I made earlier

Alison Roberts with low cost, flexible and fun therapy suggestions for groups, this time with a dating theme: Snakes and Ladders, and Plenty more fish in the sea.

Talking Matters

Yvonne Macleman

Using Talking Mats in a CAMHS team with a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome

Yvonne Macleman is one of a small but growing number of speech and language therapists who have made the transition from traditional to emerging areas of practice. She explains the similarities and differences and how she has adjusted to working in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Yvonne then presents the story of using Talking Mats with Greg, a 17 year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He had been referred for an urgent CAMHS assessment. The Talking Mats format was acceptable to Greg, who found it difficult to express his thoughts and feelings. It enabled an accurate diagnosis and Greg’s involvement in decisions about treatment.

Good journey?

Clifford Hughes, introduced by Jo Middlemiss

The everyday challenges following a laryngectomy, and the joy of rediscovering your voice

Through his life Clifford Hughes had been a singer, teacher and minister, so it was a particularly hard blow when he needed a laryngectomy in 2001. He describes suffering the natural human reactions to bereavement, and the physiological and social problems that come with being a neck breather with a valve to maintain. He has taken his frustration with environments which reduce his opportunity to participate in conversation and used his experiences to advocate for people with a communication disability.  As this includes speaking at conferences and lobbying Parliament, he has found his voice again. 

Adductor spasmodic dysphonia: a case for speech and language therapy

Sue Addlestone with her client Matt

An approach that takes into account physical factors and emotional needs of people with adductor spasmodic dysphonia offers alternative to Botox

Adductor spasmodic dysphonia is a dystonia of the larynx which leads to abnormal patterns of phonation. Whether its cause is neurological and / or emotional remains the subject of debate. In the Spring 09 issue of Speech & Language Therapy in Practice, Kendrea Focht and Paula Leslie found sufficient evidence in favour of Botox to conclude that it should be offered to clients with adductor spasmodic dysphonia. Sue Addlestone presents a robust case, supported by the literature and with the help of her client Matt, for speech and language therapy that combines direct voice work with psychological therapy. Matt received six sessions of therapy over a period of three months with two review phone calls before he was discharged as feeling “back in control” of his voice and life.

In Brief:

(1) Win Ashmore, a specialist in dysfluency, reminds us of the powerful effect our choice of words can have on the therapy process.

(2) Sian Owens makes a plea for information to be truly accessible.

(3) Sheina Stockton defends the place of direct therapy.

This House Believes in cognitive therapy

Vanetta John & Paula Leslie

Evidence based debate: untangling the case for cognitive therapy with people with dementia

This is the fifth in our series of articles set out like a debate, with the Proposition required to prove its case and the Opposition aiming to show why the Proposition is wrong. The Proposition case is that people with dementia can derive benefit from cognitive programs. A global cognitive stimulation approach can improve cognitive function and quality of life and reduce behavioural disturbance. The Opposition argues that the terminology is too confused for any meaningful conclusion to be drawn from the research. The authors reach the cautious conclusion that the benefits of case by case evaluated cognitive therapy outweigh the drawbacks.

Brought to (Face)book

Jois Stansfield & Frances McAleer

Boundary issues: The ethics of social networking for the profession

The first response in our ethics series considering everyday events which need to be on our ethical radar screen. You are a member of Facebook. It is obviously open to you to search for clients or their parents on this social networking site, and to look at any information they have chosen to make publicly available. But are there implications about what you do with this if, for example, it makes it clear they are unhappy with the service they are receiving? 

How I make the most of early years (1): Everyday talk

Cynthia Pelman

Resources in the Every Child a Talker programme for therapists working with the universal child in collaboration with early years practitioners

Cynthia Pelman is employed as an Early Language Consultant as part of the Every Child a Talker programme to support early years staff in England to develop children’s speaking and listening skills. The programme resources are valuable because they are couched in ‘education-speak’, suitable for groups and classes, and based on activities which are already happening in classrooms. Cynthia looks in particular at the opportunities of water play, sand play and creating a camp. Evaluation and audit is also an integral part.

How I make the most of early years (2): Listen with Lucy

Sharon Garforth

Listen with Lucy training for early years practitioners impacts on attention and listening skills in children under four 

‘Listen with Lucy’ is an attention and listening in the early years programme developed by Sharon Garforth following concerns expressed by teachers about the level of children’s skills on school entry. Sustainability was important, so the group content is intended as an alternative to the time early years staff already allocate to traditional story, rhyme time or circle time. Lucy is a puppet. Sharon includes examples and evaluations from the programme’s development and analyses what makes staff enthusiastic about adopting it. The programme is now available in book form, intended both as a tool for people supporting children to develop their listening and attention skills and for people training early years practitioners. 

My Top Resources – early years groups

Cynthia Pelman

Favourite resources for working with groups of children in the early years

Cynthia Pelman explains how she uses three Lawrence Educational publications flexibly and creatively with groups of children in the early years.