Here is a typical ‘day in the life’ of a Speech and Language Therapist working with private families:
8:00am: I leave the house to travel to my first client, a 3 year old boy who I have been working with for the past six weeks. He was referred to me with a stammer and so I have been working closely with parents using Parent-Child Interaction therapy. I enjoy developing a good relationship with parents and seeing the family regularly for therapy allows me to do this. The session was very positive as parents have already seen improvement in their child’s fluency over the last few weeks. We discussed some further strategies to work on over the next week.
10:00am: After seeing my first family, it is time to travel to our clinic in London for an initial assessment. It is great having a clinic space in central London that is so accessible for many families! I write up my notes from my session this morning and make a plan for the next session.
11:00am: I read through the case history form completed by the family who will be arriving soon for their initial assessment. Based on what the family have shared with me on the case history form, I prepare the clinic room and set out toys and activities that I think the child will like. This little boy is two years old and parents are concerned about his social communication skills.
12:00pm: Time to take a 30 minute lunch break to re-energise for this afternoon.
12.30 After lunch, it’s the initial assessment. The assessment involves going through the case history form previously completed by the parents in order to ensure I have all the information I need, some informal assessment using toys and games and observation of his interaction with his family and also me.
1.45. It is time to think about an intervention plan for this family. I decide that this little boy would benefit from the use of assistive communication right now to support and develop his ability to communicate effectively with his family, so I get to work on creating some ‘Picture Exchange’ resources for his new communication system (PECS).
3:00pm: I write my notes following the initial assessment and make a phone call to the Occupational Therapist the little boy is also seeing regularly so that I can seek their advice for our therapy sessions. As a private company, it’s very important to continue to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, just like our colleagues in the NHS.
3.30 I begin my initial assessment report so that I can make sure this is with parents within the new couple of weeks.
4:00pm: It is now time to prepare for tomorrow’s therapy – it is important to be organized as a therapist who travels across London frequently. I finish up my report and gather my resources for the next day. I’m excited for what tomorrow will bring!