Speech and Language Therapist
Hannah has been working with children with Learning Difficulties and Autism for the last 19 years. Hannah studied Speech and Language Therapy BSc (Hons) at the University of East Anglia. Whilst studying she also worked as an Applied Behaviour Analysis tutor with children with Autism. She qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2008 and initially worked with children with a range of communication needs in clinics, mainstream and special schools in Norfolk. She then continued her speech therapy career in Bromley working across specialist units and schools for pupils with Autism and complex needs. Hannah is now part of the school employed therapy team at Drumbeat School, working in partnership with NHS therapists, she has set up the speech and language therapy service in school, delivering communication interventions and training that focuses on meaningful interactions in the classroom. Hannah completed a Master’s Degree in Autism Studies at the University of Kent. As part of her studies her research focused on the questions teachers ask in the classroom. Hannah is also the literacy lead in school.
What is Speech and Language Therapy?
A speech and language therapist is a professional who works with people who have difficulty with communication or swallowing.
Speech and language therapists often work as part of a team to prevent, assess and treat a range of communication difficulties. They can work in a variety of settings such as clinics, hospitals and schools. They may work with adults or children with a range communication needs such as learning difficulties, physical difficulties, stammering, voice disorders, degenerative conditions, cleft palate or autism.
How does Speech and language therapy work at Drumbeat?
At Drumbeat School communication is at the core of the curriculum. Communication opportunities are at the centre of all learning activities throughout the school day. Emphasis is placed on the importance of engaging, fun and meaningful interactions and experiences and all communication methods are valued.
Drumbeat promotes a total communication approach using specific ASD interventions personalised to each child.
The speech and language therapist employed by the school works closely with visiting NHS speech and language therapists and the rest of the therapy team. The speech and language therapists work within the classroom embedding a total communication approach. This may involve the use of signing, symbols, objects, communication books, high tech AAC, drawing and writing as well as speech to support understanding and expressive communication. Communication support in the classroom enables pupils to access the curriculum throughout the whole school day. Speech and language therapist also help school staff to develop their own interaction skills to enable them to become supportive communication partners.
The speech and language therapist works collaboratively with the school staff and parents to formulate communication targets, give advice, model strategies and also carry out training. Pupils may be also be seen for group and individual interventions.
General Information about children’s speech and language development.
Information and support for children and young people with speech and language impairments and their families.
Information about speech and language impairments for parents, and training and advice for professionals.
A national voluntary organisation of members concerned with augmentative and alternative communication.
The professional organisation for speech and language therapists.
Provides information about speech and language therapists working privately.
The picture exchange communication system is an alternative or augmentative form of communicating aimed at initiating communication.
Attention autism is a framework for developing attention skills and creating irresistible invitations for learning and communicating.
Makaton signs are used alongside speech to help someone’s understanding and provides an alternative or augmentative method of communication.