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“I put the lid on and press it down till it clicks” – Masking and Autism

"I put the lid on and press it down till it clicks" This wasn't a description of closing a holiday suitcase or the lid on the biscuit tin - these were the words of an autistic young person describing how they held in their feelings of anxiety and stress and overwhelm at school. The phenomenon… Continue reading “I put the lid on and press it down till it clicks” – Masking and Autism

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Happy holidays?? A tale of AAC and Christmas.

When I talk about AAC systems I talk about robust language systems. By that I mean a Communication system which will enable you to have access to all the words that you might need, and to communicate for all the reasons that human beings communicate. That might, just might, include being told something really cheeky. And at Christmas we need access not only to words that let us say "happy Christmas" and "thank you", but also to grumble, nag and bicker.

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Asking the questions

"His/her communication is in line with their cognitive development..." That is a phrase that I once wrote in discharge reports myself. It is what is termed cognitive referencing. It made sense at the time but it's now one that I have deleted from my clinical phrase book. As my journey into complex needs, and into… Continue reading Asking the questions

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Debating therapy? (Or should Scots always wear kilts?!?)

What relevance do debating skills have to everyday life? Why on earth would you cover that in a speech and language therapy session? There are so many skills that underpin the ability to debate, and to discuss. If you look back at your day, you will see that many of our interactions are about exchanging… Continue reading Debating therapy? (Or should Scots always wear kilts?!?)

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Why a really good Autism assessment matters (Guest Post)

When Jude asked me to write a blog post about something I was passionate about it took me a while to decide on a topic. I started working with young people with autism 16 years ago and have been a lead specialist in autism in the NHS for almost eight years so there’s a lot… Continue reading Why a really good Autism assessment matters (Guest Post)

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Top Tips – Speech practice for busy families

It's always a delight to work with a child who is really motivated to practise their speech goals both within and out with sessions. To see them trying so hard, improving week on week and responding to feedback is hugely rewarding. The role of the family is hugely important in carrying on practice outside of… Continue reading Top Tips – Speech practice for busy families

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Roots, shoots and leaves – Grow is Growing!

You may be aware that there has been lots going on behind the scenes at Grow Communication, Speech and Language Therapy!!  It's been busy old time and we are well on the way to becoming a fully-fledged Social Enterprise - this means that all profits from our work go back into helping those with communication… Continue reading Roots, shoots and leaves – Grow is Growing!

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How can I help my non-verbal child communicate?

PODD book Two of the questions that parents ask us most frequently at Grow Communication are: “How can I help my non-verbal child to communicate?”, or “We’ve done PECS but what can we do next to keep building our autistic child’s communication?” Some families have had PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) introduced, some have not. … Continue reading How can I help my non-verbal child communicate?

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DLD and older students – unravelling the knot

Friday 22nd September is Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) awareness day.  DLD is when a child or adult has difficulties talking and/or understanding language.  It is a hidden disability that affects approximately two children in every classroom, affecting literacy, learning, friendships and emotional well-being.  Support from professionals, including speech and language therapists and teachers, can make… Continue reading DLD and older students – unravelling the knot