A new Communication Booster training course for those working with ASD

Communication boosters

The first SBT Communication Booster of 2020 will be ‘ASD – introduction to ASD and working within the classroom’ and we are now taking bookings from interested schools.

The course will be held in SBT’s offices on Friday 24th April at 2.30pm. The price for each course is £25 per person.

Communication Boosters are training courses designed to provide a combination of information, strategies and top tips to support communication through fun, informative and practical sessions.

Download the Communication Booster Booking Form and return it to us by email or post to request your place.

How SBT helps people with developmental language disorder (DLD)

Speech Therapist Helps The Girl How To Pronounce The Sounds

Here at SBT, we are very passionate about providing the best support possible to children with developmental language disorder (DLD). DLD is a condition that affects 7.6% of children – two pupils in every class of 30 – in which they find it difficult to understand or use language, with no outlined cause and no other biomedical condition present, such as a hearing impairment or autism spectrum disorder.

Without a specialist understanding, DLD can be mistaken for autism spectrum disorder, as they both result in delays to the development of language and difficulties in understanding higher-level language such as idioms. It can also commonly be mistaken for behavioural difficulties, because children with DLD often find it difficult to follow instructions and to respond appropriately to questions.

These and other difficulties in identifying DLD can significantly affect a child’s experiences at school, as well as the building of healthy relationships with their peers and staff.

The role of Speech and Language Therapists

Speech and Language Therapists are trained to assess, diagnose and provide bespoke support for children with DLD. We:

  • Provide targeted activities and programmes to develop their language skills.
  • Create learning strategies to support their language needs.
  • Educate and empower teaching staff to tailor their own language and the curriculum for them.
  • Provide helpful strategies for families to best support their children’s language development.

What SBT does

  • Follow best practice: We follow regular and current evidence-based guidance from professional bodies such as the RCSLT.
  • Research and evaluation: We conduct personal clinical research and clinical evaluation regarding assessments and interventions with children with DLD.
  • Clinical supervision: We participate in clinical supervisions, where we discuss cases involving DLD.
  • Share best practice: We regularly hold staff meetings where we raise and discuss general enquiries about language disorders. We also share best practice with one another.
  • Training: We frequently receive in-house and external training, to develop and refine the support we can give children with DLD.
  • Campaign: We encourage active involvement in campaigns such as #devlangdis and #DLDandMe to help spread awareness of DLD.

SBT is committed to providing positive outcomes for children with DLD and their families. Knowledge is power! We will therefore continue to use our ever-growing, combined knowledge to support this area of our work.

SBT staff get the latest training – and offer it, too!

Shape Coding

The past few weeks have seen SBT’s staff going on several training courses. Catherine attended a two-day course for SLTs on how to run fluency groups using the Swindon model at The Swindon Centre at the end of October. We’re very much looking forward to Catherine sharing what she’s learnt with the team!

Meanwhile, last week, Sally, Rochelle and Michelle attended a course on Shape Coding in Oxted.

Says Michelle: “The Shape Coding Course was a very interesting and engaging learning experience. The course captured many different ways that language disorders present and the variety of ways that the Shape Coding system can help to provide effective support. It was also very interactive; we had many opportunities to have a go at working with the Shape Coding system ourselves. I feel a lot more empowered to incorporate this area of intervention into my caseload, going forward.”

During Half Term, Sarah Buckley delivered another of SBT’s Work Experience workshops. These are designed to help you decide whether a career in speech and language therapy is right for you and increase your readiness to undertake training to become a speech and language therapist.

The response was great, with feedback including “Very informative and enjoyable,” “This has confirmed that this is the career I want,” and “I enjoyed the workshop and look forward to shadowing.”

We’re looking forward to attendees returning to shadow some of our therapists action and to put into practice what they learnt at the workshop.

SBT Student Grant 2019 winners announced

Student Grants 2019
SBT Student Grant Recipients 2019

A huge congratulations to this year’s recipients of our Student Grants! Thanks to everyone who applied – it was a tough choice.

Each year, we award one major grant of £1,000 and five minor grants of £100 each. Practice manager Sarah Buckley says: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer SLT students this opportunity and are eager to continue supporting students in various ways, at all stages of their journey.”

Here are some of the highlights of their applications:

Grant recipients

Major grant recipient

M (name withheld on request)

‘My goal for the profession is to diversity the workforce. An ethnically diverse workforce is able to identify closely with a client’s cultural needs and norms and create and deliver assessments with a greater understanding of cultural biases’

Minor grant recipients

Alexandra Day-Smith

‘As Speech and Language Therapists, we face many obstacles, but I believe the biggest challenge we face is a lack of understanding of what we do and why.’

Bethan Hill and Sarah Buckley
Bethan Hill (right) receiving her grant certificate from Sarah Buckley
Bethan Hill

‘[One of the] biggest challenges that Speech and Language Therapist (SLTs) face in the UK is a lack of awareness in the general public… [I] feel that some of this is because Speech and Language Therapy is a comparatively new profession’

Evie Holder with her grant certificate
Evie Holder

‘Early identification [is important]… Support for teachers in primary and secondary schools [is needed] to help identify and support children with speech, language and communication needs’

Jolene Kieser

‘[One of the biggest issues is] a lack of public awareness about Speech and Language’

Lucy May and Sarah Buckley
Lucy May (left) receiving her grant certificate from Sarah Buckley
Lucy May

‘The biggest challenge SLTs face in the UK today is a lack of funding. Cuts in funding have the potential to diminish the personal, social, educational, occupational and financial outcomes of vulnerable individuals’

The SBT Autumn Term newsletter is now available

In the seventh edition of our newsletter we have all of this in store for you:

  • SBT’s new clinical lead
  • Meet SBT’s six new therapists
  • The recipients of this year’s SBT Student Grants
  • Vacancies at SBT
  • What SBT offers NQPs
  • CommSEY: a fast way to assess communication needs

You can read all of that in the newsletter above or download it as a PDF.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive the SBT Newsletter 

New benefits for SBT staff

It’s a new term and a new academic year at SBT. As always, we’re looking for new ways to reward and help our employees. The first this term is a tech discount scheme that enables employees to buy equipment from Apple and Curry’s/PC World at a discounted rate that they can pay back through salary deduction over 12, 24 or 36 months:

How Techscheme.co.uk works

But we’re also embracing Bring Your Own Device. Since we use Office 365 and Office 365 encryption, SBT staff can log in from any computer and access the files they need, while still being secure and GDPR-compliant at all times.

That means in a world where everyone’s computing tastes are different – some may prefer a big laptop with a large screen, others may prefer a Mac, while others may prefer something small and light they can fit in a cycle bag – SBT is happy to allow employees to use their own laptops. We’ll even help set them up with printers and other resources.

That’s just two new perks of working with SBT!

You can now apply for the 2019-20 SBT Student Grant – plus last year’s winner reveals how it has helped her!

Every year, SBT awards a series of student grants to help speech and language therapy students with their studies. There is one major grant of £1,000 and

As part of our commitment to lifelong learning in the field of speech and language therapy, SBT is pleased to offer a unique award for individuals undertaking training to become a Speech and Language Therapist.

Each year, we offer one major grant of £1,000 and five minor grants of £100 each. Additionally, the successful applicants will have access to various opportunities and support, throughout their time at university.

We are now taking applications for the 2019-20 grants. To receive your application form or for any queries, please contact [email protected].

Megan Pickering
The winner of the 2018 SBT Major Grant Megan Pickering (left) with Sarah Buckley

How the SBT Student Grant helped last year’s winner

Megan Pickering was the winner of 2018-19’s major SBT Student Grant and she says it’s been a big help to her.

Continue reading “You can now apply for the 2019-20 SBT Student Grant – plus last year’s winner reveals how it has helped her!”

Come and meet us at London’s SLT Graduate Recruitment Fair tomorrow

Sarah at the graduate recruitment fair

Want to know what it’s like to work as new qualified practitioner? Then come and visit us at the SLT Graduate Fair, which is being held tomorrow at University College London. This is an opportunity for graduating students from the two London training establishments, City, University of London, and UCL, to meet with speech and language therapy services, to discuss working as a newly qualified practitioner, as well as find out what we’re like and what we have to offer.

If you are attending the event, be sure to come over to our stall where we’ll have lots of exciting giveaways and we can tell you all about this year’s SBT Student Grants.

Says SBT SLT Michelle Quaye, “I began working at Sarah Buckley Therapies in September 2018. Since then I’ve worked with children in early years as well as school-aged children in mainstream primary and secondary schools. I’ve also had many training opportunities to develop and enhance my skills in practicing as a Speech Language Therapist.

“I feel that Sarah Buckley Therapies is an amazing company to start your career; I have developed here in so many ways. The team are very friendly and Sarah Buckley is a very knowledgeable and supportive Practice Manager. I would definitely recommend this company to new NQPs!”

The fair will be held in the South Cloisters on the main UCL campus between 2pm and 4pm. You can book a free ticket at Eventbrite.