On Saturday 26th April you could find the ITS team down at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist’s (RCSLT) head office close to London Bridge, where we celebrated our annual team day and ITS Giving Voice event.
Whist it is always difficult to find a date to bring the whole of our UK wide team together, we did a pretty good job of connecting approximately a third of the team to share a day of excellent PDP and an exciting array of Giving Voice activities.
We were joined by 4 key speakers, who delivered hands on and practical workshops to challenge our minds and expand our skills.
Workshop 1 – Exploring AAC
Kicking of the day, Sean Carroll – IT/Assistive Technology Consultant from Sensation Communication and Technology Solutions, helped us explore the great array of Augmentative and Alternative Communication aids (AAC), ranging from switches right the way through to eye gaze technology.
Our mantra at here at ITS is to never expect others to carry out therapy activities and programmes which we have not had hands on experience with ourselves. Therefore getting our hands on the latest AAC equipment was a great learning curve. Experiencing eye gaze first hand, helped us to understand what it is like for our clients.
You can read more about Sean’s work at www.sen-sation.co.uk.
Breaktime saw the first of our Giving Voice celebrations with a colorful balloon launch under the Shard.
Our environmentally friendly balloon tags explained the reasons for us Giving Voice.
We are hoping to hear back from the members of the public who found our tags, in the hope that we have spread the message wider about Giving Voice.
Workshop 2 – Exploring Puppetry and Story Making
The second workshop was led by Pam Marshall
HCPC & BADth Registered DramaTherapist and Clinical Supervisor. Pam really helped to demonstrate a client centered approach and to help us to recognise how we can gain such a great level of detail from our clients when we facilitate them to take the lead.
This is not always a method which Speech and Language Therapists feel comfortable with because we often seek to set out structure and a series of activities which are often adult led.
The session helped our SLTs see the opportunity to combine structure and child led activities by using puppets, story telling and in time mask making.
You can read more about Drama Therapy here
Lunchtime saw the team ordering their food using high tech and low tech AAV devices. (PHOTO) Experiencing first hand a daily routine for someone with Speech, Language and Communication needs brought home to us the very reasons we are supporting ‘Giving Voice.’
Our afternoon sessions took us on a learning journey through sensory processing difficulties and learning more about Sensory integration, with Pediatric OT Roelien Kahn.
As you will see from our latest videos we love Fidget boxes and the How does your engine run programme. We were lucky enough to experience some further details about sensory calming activities which can be used in the home, the classroom and prior to therapy sessions to help our clients get in the ‘ready to work – just right’ state.
Finally we enjoyed a workshop on literacy difficulties and dyslexia with Krysia Sivyer. Kyrsia is a Patoss registered Specialist Dyslexia teacher and is dual trained as a Speech and Language Therapist. It was fascinating to hear more about the helpful assessment and therapy tools we could use to delve deeper into children’s phonological awareness and literacy difficulties. We also looked at the impact of poor working memory.
You can read more about Kyrsia’s support for those with literacy and dyslexia difficulties here
The day drew to a close with a glass of bubbles and the dissemination of our Giving Voice Lanterns. Each lantern will be lit from our therapist’s base across the country and a collage of videos will be made to show their personal pledge to the Giving Voice Campaign.
The day was such a great success for all of our team. We have learnt that despite our excellent daily connections through the innovative use of technology, there is nothing quite like meeting face to face. This has driven momentum to organise some further ITS local team days throughout the year.
Director of Integrated Treatment Services