Tuesday 23 February 2016

Just ‘Scene and Heard’ of a fantastic new AAC app!

The more complex cases we receive each week at Small Talk speech and language therapy, the more there is an increasing need for efficient and universal communication aids. ‘Scene and Heard’ is a fantastic app by Therapy Box, that has been created as a seamless transition between both low and high tech AAC. The diversity in speech and language difficulties we target on a daily basis including; ASD, non-verbal clients, those with reduced communication breakdowns or limited language abilities means it is vital we are able to use resources that not only universal target the range of interventions we provide, but that also bridge the prominent gap between therapy and generalisation of learnt skills to everyday life.

‘Scene and Heard’ comprises of a library of over 12000 useful Widgit Symbols, which can be effectively added with photos into personalised, printable communication books for each client. The ability to tailor these resources into visual timetables gives everyone the opportunity to independently plan their own lives. An important factor during the speech and language therapy process is supporting the child or adult to take responsibility of their own learning and daily routines, the easy-to-use features means that this AAC devise can be readily adapted by child, parent, teacher and therapist.

‘Scene and Heard’ can be used to creatively develop step by step instructions for everyday activities, using both the in-app accessible scenes or the new added feature of being able to draw a scene ensures that the designing of these tools is a flexible, fun stage of the therapy process. Each in-app scene consists of a range of interactive media ‘hotspots’ that allow personalised audio recordings, video recordings, spoken text and symbols to be inserted into the activity to provide information through multiple modes of communication; further highlighting ‘Scene and Heard’ as a universal and accessible tool for anyone.

As well as those who struggle with receptive and expressive language, we regularly work with people who also have limited narrative skills. In addition to the augmentative and alternative communication functionality of this app, I have personally found the customised scenes a very useful resource to use when creating a sequence of events. The ability to upload new photos means I can create scenarios and social stories that can be accessed by the diverse population that I work with. Many people we work with at Small Talk have some addition behaviour needs, typically as a consequence of the speech and language difficulties; Scene and heard incorporates a countdown timer into the activity to support behaviour management, easier transitions between tasks and increasing individual independence.

The all-in-one functionality of ‘Scene and Heard’ creates an AAC device that can be both low and high tech, ensuring that intervention can be continuous and seamless as progress is made. The attention to detail in the apps settings to prevent double taps, allows even those with limited fine motor skills to take full control of their learning. Further highlighting how this app is truly a universal and functional communication aid and has recently become an everyday staple in my speech and language therapy toolbox.

Natasha Hallam
Speech and Language Therapist


Wednesday 10 February 2016

What are you giving up for LENT? Feel pious AND make a difference to children's lives!

Better than chocolate or alcohol!

Zip It for Afasic this Lent! 

Thinking of giving something up for Lent? Then why don’t you ‘Zip It’ for Afasic and give up talking, whilst raising some much needed funds for Afasic?
Don’t panic, we aren’t asking you to give up talking for 40 days! But why not give up talking for a few hours, a day, two days or even a whole week to raise awareness of speech and language disabilities?

Alternatively, you can donate £5 today by texting 'LENT60 £5' to 70070. 

Find out more about how you can Zip It for Afasic or make a donation below! Your support really does make an enormous difference to their work with children, young people and their families affected by speech, language and communication disabilities. 

Staffordshire Early Years SLCN Conference

Come and join us for our first annual Staffordshire SLCN Conference

Sat 16th April
The Conference CentreJohn Taylor High school Dunstall Rd, Barton-under-Needwood, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire DE13 8AZ

Registration - 9.30am

Selective mutism:  the way forwards Libby Hill is a consultant speech and language therapist and one of the very few in the UK who is trained to work with children with selective Mutism. With 1 in 150 being diagnosed with the condition, we all need to know how to deal with it. Libby will discuss how to identify SM from reluctant talkers and practical ways to manage in your setting.

Behaviour is communication: Kathryn Stinton is a specialist early years teacher who has worked in mainstream and specialist settings for twenty years. Kathryn will look at the typical development of social skills and factors which can impact on this, as well as the role of the environment in promoting positive behaviour for both adults and children.  A range of practical strategies will be discussed.

The development of language for learning: a Blank solution Natasha Hallam is a speech and language therapist who works in mainstream and special schools settings. Natasha will look at the development of children’s language for  learning and give you practical ways to both assess the children’s levels and tailor your activities accordingly.

2 year olds not talking; how to measure what they can do Margaret Gomm and Georgina White are both speech and language therapists with a great deal of experience of working with younger children in children’s Centres and Nurseries. They will look at the common issue of 2 year olds who cannot talk. They will give you practical ways to record communication before words and tips for working with non-verbal children.

Closes - 3.30pm

Buffet lunch provided

FEES & PAYMENT £85 per delegate £65 early bird until 28th February 2016. 

Places are limited to 50 so please book early to avoid disappoinment.

Payment and booking is all managed online: BOOK HERE

For more information: Libby Hill Small Talk SLT Ltd 

office@smalltalk-ltd.co.uk www.private-speech-therapy.co.uk