The (Soundwell) Specials
… are not only a 1970s local band (from Coventry) but also a highly skilled and dynamic group of therapists working with Soundswell. Special school work has, in the past been seen by some as the Cinderella of speech and language therapy, but no longer…

… are not only a 1970s local band (from Coventry) but also a highly skilled and dynamic group of therapists working with Soundswell.

Special school work has, in the past been seen by some as the Cinderella of speech and language therapy, but no longer…

For us, there are two distinct types of specialist settings:

  • (The traditional) Specials schools catering for children and young people with a range of special needs including MLD, SLD and CPMLD
  • Specialist secondary settings catering for young people with a range of SEN including SEMH and ASD needs whose learning is within the normal range

The communication needs are huge and diverse. The knowledge and skills that staff require are equally challenging.

There is (at best) a fair-sized mountain to climb to make a positive, measurable and sustainable difference to children and young people in both these kinds of settings. At worst there is poor practice – where staff haven’t had access to the training opportunities which will make a difference. Many children, (with no other means of communication) exhibit quite extreme behaviour. There are young people whose experience of communication has been unsatisfactory and unsuccessful – their difficulties have become entrenched.

Many therapists feel (and often are) ill-equipped to deliver the strategies and interventions these client groups so badly need.

Soundswell therapists are in the process of developing a skills and competencies document which has a triple purpose:

  1. To support new speech and language therapy graduates who want to work in this
    area but whose exposure as students gave them little or no clinical experience.
  2. To encourage more experienced therapists to venture into new and different ways of working
  3. Provide a comprehensive training package for teachers who are new to working in specialist settings

If this is you – get in touch with us to find out more.

Written by Diana McQueen

May 4, 2022

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