Speech Therapy for People with Learning Difficulties & Autism

Support for clients with learning difficulties:

Collaborative assessments for clients with speech, language and communication needs.

A multidisciplinary piece of work, based around the ‘Means, Reasons and Opportunities’ Model. (Money, D.Thurman, S (2002) Means, Reasons and Opportunities Model for Communication)

Assessments conclude with a joint piece of work e.g. communication passport developed with the client and staff.  A communication passport is a highly personalised document and describes a client’s communication skills and helps to share important information about themselves.

A Communication passport is a ‘living’ resource, continually updated with information to help the client communicate effectively in their day to day lives.

Person-centred training focussing on the specific needs of an individual, is also available. Helping clients to communicate effectively and become an active part of your organisation.

Specialised support for clients with Autism:

Children with social communication difficulties or who have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulty with communication, social interaction and play.  They may have specific sensory needs and benefit from different learning styles.

Therapy will build on interaction and language skills, attention and play.  You will be central to your child’s therapy and learn how to build interaction and language into your everyday life.

 

Therapy approaches for people with Learning Difficulties & Autism

My approaches are based on clinical research and proven to be effective. You may be offered one or more of these as part of your therapeutic plan;

  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). PECS helps to develop early communication skills using pictures or symbols.  Individuals learn to exchange these in return for things that they want in their environment.  The system builds on communicating for items which are relevant and motivating for the individual.  e.g. food and drink, toys, activities, going out.  PECS can be used with any age and many diagnosis.  https://www.intensiveinteraction.org
  • TEAACH.  Structured TEAACHing approaches are developed to meet the need of each individual with ASD.  They build on the visual strengths of individuals and support any challenges with attention and executive function.  TEAACH is a framework which teachers, support workers, parents and therapists can use; to develop physical organisation, individualised schedules, work systems and the visual structure of materials.  These enable the individual to become more independent in their learning, home and work environments.    www.autism.org.uk/about/strategies/teacch.aspx
  • Intensive Interaction therapy (IIT).  IIT is a person-centred speech and language intervention used to develop sociability and communication.  It is effective with adults and children with severe learning disabilities and autism, who struggle to interact with people.  Therapy develops basic social communication skills, reduces stress and negative behaviours, develops an individuals feelings of self worth, and encourages positive interactions. www.intensiveinteraction.org
  • Sensory Integration. Some individuals have an underdeveloped sensory system which affects their ability to regulate and respond to sensory input (smell, sound, vision, emotion, feelings).  Occupational Therapists are specialists in sensory processing and carry out assessment and therapy.  As a speech and language therapist, it is important to understand a person's sensory needs.  This enables us to adapt therapy approaches and the therapeutic environment to enable the individual to get the most out of therapy.  www.sensoryintegration.org.uk
  • Communication passports. A communication passport is a highly personalised book about the owner and gives important information about their needs, wants and interests.  It can be a low tech book on paper or an interactive book on an iPad.  The owner takes an active part in compiling their passport and is supported by their family, care staff and speech and language therapist. www.communicationpassports.org.uk
  • Visual supports.  Visual supports are helpful for individuals with Autism, delayed development and learning difficulties.  Timetables (schedules) provide a structure for daily activities. Choice boards enable an individual to actively communicate their preferences.  www.autism.org.uk
  • Social stories are visual scripts which allow an individual to understand a situation and its consequences in a visual format.  They help individuals to understand what might happen in a situation and provide guidelines on how to behave.  This gives information and structure which supports understanding and reduces anxiety around new experiences.
  • Total Communication encourages the use of all communication methods to support an individuals ability to understand language and express themselves.  It is used to support individuals with speech language and communication needs, ASD, Down Syndrome, Learning Difficulties and other conditions.  A total communication approach utilises speech, body language, facial expression, sign and gesture, symbols, written words, objects and sensory information.

 

How can I help?

If I can help you, or someone you care for, please get in touch for an informal chat.

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The session are a good mix of games which are fun and structured. My daughter is not aware of working! The session plan is easy to understand and the notes re-assure me. It’s really good to get feedback and see how well my daughter is making progress.
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