I always had an interest in being a Speech and Language during my school years. The opportunity of combining medicine alongside a personal and holistic approach to supporting people was very appealing.
After qualifying in 1982 from De Montfort University I have worked in a range of settings including community clinics, special education and learning disability teams in both the NHS and private sector.
Since 2001 I have focussed my clinical input as part of a multi-disciplinary team in inpatient assessment and treatment services, providing communication and behavioural support for adults and children with a range of complex needs. During this time I became aware of how often a person’s presentation was attributed to a mental health or learning disability diagnosis, overshadowing other potential causes, such as Autistic Spectrum Condition. The ability to “see outside the box” and encouraging others to think differently became a passion that is with me still.
In 2006 I became an Associate Consultant for the British Institute of Learning Disabilities delivering training and support to a wide range of Health, Social Care and Education services. Topics covered include communication, Autistic Spectrum Condition, Active Support and Positive Behavioural Support. I was named BILD PBS coach of the year in 2018. In 2020 I became one of the subject matter experts for BILD to deliver Autism training alongside and expert by experience on the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training trial.
I believe that offering people a greater understanding of themselves and their children through appropriate diagnosis is crucial. It can give an understanding and signpost support available for areas of concern, but also look at strengths and how to develop these to improve the quality of life for individuals and those around them.
I am trained to administer the ADOS-2 as part of the diagnostic process.
I am registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)