Speech & Language Therapists

Jude Philip – Specialist Speech & Language Therapist/ Clinical Lead/ Chief Executive Officer

I qualified with distinction as a Speech & Language Therapist in 2003 (Queen Margaret University). I had completed an MA (Hons) in Linguistics at Edinburgh University and though I loved Linguistics I always preferred the practical side – applying the theory about language to real life. Speech & Language Therapy was always the career for me and I was lucky to gather lots of fantastic experience and mentoring in my time working for the NHS in Forth Valley.

In 2015, when my kids were both at school, I decided to start out offering part-time private Speech & Language Therapy. This went from strength to strength and before long I had more demand than capacity and I decided to leave the NHS and set up full time. A leap that I have never looked back from. Joining forces with Katy and then building our wider team has been so rewarding.

I am passionate about working with individuals and families and really hearing their voice – their goals, fears and aspirations – and set out to help them achieve that. My degree in Linguistics stood me in good stead and I am passionate about reading, researching and continuing to learn and develop evidence-based practice – hence my role as Clinical Lead. My reading pile is usually full of research articles and personal accounts of living with communication difficulties. I love what I do and value the trust families put in us at Grow.

Specialist Experience & Training
– Autism assessment, diagnosis and support (trained in ADOS-2, DISCO) Girls and Autism, Attention Autism
– Selective Mutism advanced training (specialising in SM + Autism)
– LSVT LOUD (dysarthria with cerebral palsy), PROMPT, Colourful Semantics, Intensive Interaction
– A range of AAC training – Podd, apps for iPad, Eye-gaze, PECS, AAC and literacy

Katy Laing – Specialist Speech & Language Therapist/ Chief Operating Officer

I first studied a BA in Applied Music (2002) working part time as a support worker for Adult’s with Learning Disabilities in a large Scottish Charity. It was during a training course for work that I first heard about speech and language therapy and it was a lightbulb moment for me. Upon graduating from my music degree I immediately commenced a BSc in Speech and Language Pathology from University of Strathclyde graduating in 2005. I worked have worked as a Speech & Language Therapist since then in the NHS until 2017 when I left to join Grow Communication full time. During my time in the NHS I developed a real interest in the Autism Spectrum Condition and was part of the teams Autism service for many years. In 2015 I achieved a post graduate certificate in Autism from University of Strathclyde.

During my time in the NHS I developed a specialism in the assessment of, and support for, individuals with Additional Support Needs (including Learning Disabilities, Complex Needs and Autism Spectrum Disorders). I worked in specialist provisions for secondary aged children, community clinic and within a multi-disciplinary adult learning disability team where I became a qualified dysphagia trained therapist and an accredited talking mats trainer.  I really loved working with families and care providers in ensuring that the communication needs of the individual they were supporting were understood and that the environment was best suited to individual needs.

Specialist Experience & Training
– Autism Assessment and Support (trained in ADOS-2, SCERTS, PACT, PG-Cert).
– Full Developmental Dysphagia training
– Talking Mats accredited trainer, Talking Mats, Social Stories, Intensive Interaction, PODD and other forms of AAC
– Selective Mutism advanced training

Sarah Johnston – Specialist Speech & Language Therapist

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.

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.

Specialist Experience & Training
– Approachs to Speech sounds
– AAC – Makaton, Podd Books, PECS, Aided Language Stimulation, AAC and Literacy development

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