Monthly Archives: August 2017

How can Talking Mats help in determining capacity?

decisions

This is the second in a two part discussion on decision making and determining capacity, this time looking at how Talking Mats can help. Click here for the previous blog

Where Talking Mats comes into play is by allowing people to consider each option around a decision and then make their decision when they place the symbol under the appropriate top scale. We have found that many people, who would otherwise be judged not to have capacity, can show that they can indeed understand and express their views so that they can be acted upon. Equally our work so far indicates that if someone cannot use Talking Mats this may be an indication that they do not have capacity for that particular decision.

capacity diagram

Talking Mats supports the four criteria which are required in determining mental capacity. The table below lists some of the elements which Talking Mats provides to support each of the 4 criteria.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

TM and capacity

Are these 4 criteria applicable and helpful in your setting?

Work with children and young people? TOP 10 TM blogs

TalkingMats_ConsultingChildrenandYoungPeople

Huge thanks to all the practitioners who have sent us guest blogs. We selected our 10 favourite guest blogs…in no particular order!

  1.  Talking Mats to support children who stammer Kirsten Taylor, Speech and Language Therapist tells a moving story about how finding out what was upsetting a boy with a stammer helped to implement change.
  2. Hearing the voice of the child Emma Atkiss, Senior Educational Psychologist, shares her findings from the Wigan Pathfinder project reporting that using a Talking Mat helps to meet the 5 criteria of Shier’s model of participation.
  3. Talking Mats for capacity assessments in people with ASD/LD Ruth Spilman, Senior SLT from The Cambian Group, shares practical tips on assessing capacity.
  4. Castle hill school supports pupil voice Jenna McCammon, SLT and Rebecca Highton, SLT Assistant, tell 3 inspiring stories using TMs in: selective mutism; safeguarding and motivational interviewing.
  5. Supporting Looked After Children to have their say Karen Wilson, Principal Teacher for children with additional support needs in a mainstream secondary school  shares her experience of using TMs to give young people a stronger voice in making decisions affecting them.
  6. Hearing the voices of Looked After Children Rachel Clemow, Head Teacher and Donna Wood, Education Support Worker, report that Talking Mats has enabled children to express their thoughts and views in a safe, neutral environment.
  7. Talking Mats and Mental Health  Carla Innes, Clinical Psychologist for learning disability from Healthy Young minds Stockport talks about the impact of TM training on the whole team.
  8. Mummy I don’t want to go to nursery today read about how using a Talking Mat might shed some light on why a 4 year old was upset at the thought of going to nursery.
  9. How do you feel about starting school? The story of 4 year old twins and their thoughts about starting school.
  10. Sibling Attitudes Prof Juan Bornman from Pretoria in South Africa publishes a report on a study carried out with 27 typically developing children who have a younger sibling with a severe speech and language disability.

If you have been inspired and are not yet trained to use Talking Mats – come along to one of our training courses.

Accessible training in remote locations.


Thanks to Natalie Leader, one of our Accredited Trainers from Hobart, Australia for this blog reflecting on her experience of doing the online Foundation training.

southern tasmania

The beauty of online training is that no matter where you are or what time zone you’re in, there are options. This is really brought to bear when living in a rural or remote area, such as here in Southern Tasmania.No matter how much those of us here in beautiful Tassie brag about what an awesome place it is to visit, there are limits as to which training organisations will provide professional development sessions here, and how often.

I missed an opportunity to attend Talking Mats Foundation training by a few months so registered to do the online training instead.

My experience with the Talking Mats online training platform was that the organisers were responsive and positive, and the content offered variety, with steady monitoring of progress. Amongst the easy navigation and helpful resources you also participate in discussion forums. As one who doesn’t often participate on line, I found them encouraging and helpful, It was also interesting to read people’s descriptions of different ways that Talking Mats can be used.
Doing the modules in sequence (and with some time in between) worked well for me, as I reflected more deeply on the role of the listener and the qualities I needed to foster in my practice, such as observation, pacing and neutrality.Fostering those qualities and being guided by principles such as self-determination is now an ongoing goal for me.

I have now introduced Talking Mats into my practice and have taken the next step of becoming an Accredited Trainer.

Becoming an accredited trainer involved attending a 2-day workshop in Melbourne for face-to-face training and assessment from Lois and Nicki from Talking Mats Ltd, Stirling, Scotland. As if having excellent trainers was not enough, there was the added bonus of a roomful of like-minded practitioners, all sharing their skills and experiences with Talking Mats. Because each person’s work setting was unique, our group had a rich and diverse array of perspectives on implementation of Talking Mats training and techniques.
So, now I’m making preparations for delivering my first training workshop, sharing Talking Mats with my colleagues. I actually don’t have the jitters (except regarding the IT!) And, I’m confident that Talking Mats will speak for itself. Perhaps I may have appeased the IT deities by taking a giant leap from my former self and participating in a blog, so that side of things will run smoothly!

Good luck with the training Natalie!

This month we have online course participants from Singapore, Canada, Ireland and the UK. Register now for our next online training starting on the 5th of September.