I have been a special needs sibling now for thirty years. My brother has complex learning disabilities, self-injurious behaviour and a rigidity that could be mistaken for rigour mortise! With Christmas just around the corner I wanted to share one of my stories of the festive season.Christmas is a time when we are supposed to celebrate, rejoice and create happy family memories. For many this is the case and at times I am envious of the feeling of joy that people portray and experience; in what appears to be such an easy and natural fashion.Christmas was often a hit or miss experience for me and the family growing...

Its been a while since I last had the urge to write anything. The last few months I’ve found myself needing to take some of my own advice and rest, recuperate and reflect on my own needs for a while. This has been relatively tricky for me as I am so used to being on the go and active in the care of my schools, clients and families. Despite this, it has been a necessary pause and after a few months of doing absolutely nothing with my time, I am finally understanding of why I needed this time.Therapist’s are notorious for taking on the issues...

There has been an awful lot of hate in the media lately. Hate directed towards a young lady with Asperger’s who has the tenacity and bravery to talk openly about her beliefs and passions to save the Earth. I’m no scientist. No environmentalist and so I don’t really know what to say or think about climate change and so I won’t say anything until I am better informed on that subject! I am however a professional experienced in supporting autistic people and I am appalled by some of the comments I have seen posted about this incredibly brave and strong young lady who is technically still a child....

I have worked and lived with autism and learning disability for over 30 years. In all that time, society has continued to work towards finding a solution to the problems associated with these diagnoses. We find ways to normalise the person with the label, help them change elements of their behaviour and activity to fit in with society and education. Yet still diagnoses rates continue to rise, still there is a stigma attached to the label and support services our children access. A recent article that popped up from the telegraph commented that within ten years we won’t be able to...

We have been super busy this school year and have now finished our adolescent training classes ensuring that Hendrix will sit, stay, walk nicely and not jump up on everyone when he sees them. We are still working on the jumping but so far, he is doing very well!So well in fact that I took him recently into a special school with me for the day. It was AMAZING!I work as part of a small team of Speech and Language Therapists within a special school and from the moment the team arrived in school, Hendrix started his day. He fussed over our signing lady who has...

In July 2019 I took three days out of my busy schedule, booked a hotel and sent Hendrix to stay with his dog sitting family to attend a conference delivered by Humanima CIC in the beautiful countryside of Staffordshire. I have to admit, I was a little miffed to start with that I couldn’t take Hendrix along with me for the experience. I’d even found a dog friendly hotel to stay at! Otherwise I was super excited to learn more about how animals can be used to support clients meeting therapy objectives.We were a small group of about 9 and on arrival I was greeted by...

I’d like to introduce you to Hendrix. He’s a 20 week old staff who came to live with us at Let’s Talk nearly a month ago now.Hendrix was the runt of his litter and not expected to survive due to some complications at birth. He was hand reared and has gone on to make leaps and bounds in his development. He is now one very happy and healthy young boy who loves chewing mummy’s shoes and slippers!Hendrix has learnt to sit and give paw. He can wait for a treat and is starting to master sleeping in his own bed...

We live in a world that accesses information in the blink of an eye. Google searches, voice activated tools for the home and news headlines pinging to life on the screen every morning with the school day alarm. I know two year olds who can work my smartphone better than I can! Technology is an amazing resource but as a Speechie it leaves me with a big question.What cost is technology having on speech, language and social development? Should we as therapists hold on to our traditional ideologies of communication development or should we embrace the tech, get out of...