Tell us about your role?
My name is Laura Martin and I work as a Speech and Language Therapist in Hackney supporting children under the age of 5 to develop their early communication skills. I see children and families in Children’s Centres, nurseries, schools, at home or in health centres. And I work with parents, nursery staff and other professionals, including Psychologists, Social Workers, Family Support Workers, Occupational Therapists, Health Visitors… – the list is endless!
No day is ever the same as every child presents with a different profile of strengths and needs. I see children with difficulties understanding and using language, difficulties with speech sounds or stammering, difficulties with social communication skills and those children who have a diagnosis of Autism. I also see children who have difficulties with their voice and children with eating and drinking difficulties.
What did I do today?
This morning I saw a little boy who had a speech sound difficulty and his Mum, in a play room at a Children’s Centre. We played games to practice the sounds ‘f’ and ‘s’ and I gave his Mum some activities to try at home too.
After that I went to visit a nursery to have a meeting with parents and other professionals about what support we can put in place for a little girl with a hearing impairment. We set some targets together and all agreed on a plan on how to help her.
In the afternoon I ran a Talking Walk-In assessment session at a community centre. The Talking Walk-Ins are regular drop in sessions where parents can bring their children for a brief assessment and they can discuss any concerns they have. We make a decision about whether their child needs to have therapy with us and we provide advice and activities to try at home.
To finish the day off I wrote up reports from the Talking Walk In, liaised with some health visitors and got ready for my next day of therapy!
My favourite thing about my job?
Hackney is such as diverse community and I love working closely with children and families and really getting to know them. It’s nice to see the children improve.
The best advice for speech and language development?
It sounds so simple but talk and play with your children. Follow their interests and tell them all about the world around them using simple language.
If you’re worried, why not pop into a Talking Walk-In? Click here to find the Talking Walk-in nearest you.