We are delighted to introduce our new member of the team at Grow Communication. Join us in welcoming Sarah Johnston. We are proud to have such a knowledgeable, passionate and compassionate team member. Read on to hear more about Sarah’s personal and professional experiences.
Jude: What led you to become a Speech and Language Therapist Sarah?
Sarah: “As soon as I started the degree course in Speech and Language Therapy and Pathology at Queen Margaret University College in 1997, I was hooked and knew that this was the profession for me. Communication is recognised as a fundamental human right and impacts on every aspect of our lives from the quality of the relationships we have, to learning the 3Rs, to achievements in schools to the likelihood of employment and career progression as well as how we feel about ourselves. Everything we do in life is reliant on our ability to hear, understand and respond to language.
Thank goodness I had this passion for speech, language and communication because, after 12 years of practising as a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), my daughter was born full–term following a healthy by the book pregnancy but failed to thrive as she took her first breath. With an inability to suck and swallow her weight plummeted in the first day and led to NICU and the start of a journey sitting at the other side of the desks of professionals!”
Jude: That sounds like an incredibly difficult journey for you all Sarah. How did being an SLT impact your parenting?
Sarah: Every day for over five years, speech and language therapy strategies, approaches, frameworks have been a consistent feature in our family life, e.g. Makaton, Parent-Child Interaction therapy, Aided Language Displays, visual timetables, Nuffield etc. I have had to put everything I ever learned as an SLT into practice to help her communicate her needs, make friends, be included etc. It has been life changing (understatement!).
My little girl has had many people fail to see her potential and it’s changed who I am as a parent and a therapist. I believe every child has unique interests, motivations, and strengths that need to be uncovered and recognised. What an honour and privilege it is to really see the greatness that lies in each child and to truly experience joy as each new (communication) skill is achieved.“
Jude: so starting with Grow sounds like a new challenge. What do you hope to bring to the families at Grow Communication.
Sarah: “I’m excited to start this new adventure at Grow Communication with Jude and Katy, who I know are as passionate as I am about presuming competence and getting it right for every child. My experience as a SLT is vast and varied from hearing impairment to Autism to Developmental Language Disorder.
I am enthusiastic and motivated about the life-changing difference that speech and language therapy can make in the lives of children with speech, language and communication needs and I am dedicated to supporting families to achieve the best outcomes for their children!“
We are so pleased to have you onboard Sarah. Jude and Katy.