Category Archives: Adult protection

First Talking Mats Advanced Online Module

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Our first Talking Mats advanced online module has launched. We are pleased we had developed our online foundation training well before lockdown. There has been such great feedback from people who have completed our online foundation course and they have been asking for more. They like the bite size chunks, being able to pace their own learning and the reflective practice approach. Now we are adding to our online course with an advanced Talking Mats module focusing on Talking Mats use in safeguarding. This course is structured around the Talking Mats Keeping Safe resource and how to use it.

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The Keeping Safe Talking Mats resource was developed to check in with people and find out how their lives are going. It uses a holistic framework to do this and the conversation it supports is structured around three topics: 1) well-being; 2) relationships; 3) thoughts and feelings. The resource was trialled and tested in projects involving over 700 practitioners. Originally, it was designed for people with learning disabilities but feedback has been that it has been helpful with a wide range of people including, those with stroke, head injury, dementia and mental health issues.

The advanced online module involves 2 to 3 hours of learning that you do at your own time and pace. It involves short talks, reading, videos and reflective practice activities. You will develop confidence in using the resource as well as an understanding of relevant issues, such as diagnostic overshadowing, developing the capacity of individuals to raise concerns, the impact of trauma. You will be encouraged to reflect on how you can apply the Talking Mats Keeping Safe resource to your own area of practice

To apply for the course, you must have completed your foundation Talking Mats training.  If you haven’t completed this training book now – there is still the reduced price training offer if you book your place before the end of August 2020. Access to this advanced course will begin on the first of every month and you will have the full month to complete it.

Book your place now. The cost is £85 for the course and the Keeping Safe resource and £35 if you already have your Keeping Safe resource and just want to do the training.

Short stories from our accredited training course in Stirling.

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Five short stories from our recent accredited training course in Stirling.

  1. A looked after child was unhappy but no one knew specifically why. Using the Talking Mats, she indicated that she was upset by the weekly phone call with her mother because it always happened when it was her playing time. The time of the call was moved to just before her bedtime but this resulted in bad dreams. The time of the call was finally moved to Saturday afternoon which helped her settle and reduced her distress.
  2. Talking Mats was used with an Iraqi boy who had come to England via Libya, Italy and the jungle camp at Calais. When he picked the symbol of a waiting room he indicated that despite all she had been through he really liked this because it reminded him of all the children in his family and made him happy.
  3. A 76-year-old man with a learning disability disclosed that he had been attacked and suffocated by his upstairs neighbour one week previously. It was only when he used the Talking Mats that he disclosed to anyone what had happened.
  4. A lecturer usually used quantifying measuring with her students to find out how they were managing their studies. Instead she used Talking Mats to find out how they were coping with their work life balance. One student told her that she was managing fine except that her pet rabbits always escape under the bed and it takes her a long time to get them back out so she does not let them out very often!
  5. Talking Mats was used with a man who had had a stroke and had to go into residential care because his family could no longer look after him. They were very worried that he was unhappy with the new care set up. He was able to show with the Talking Mats that he was happy about everything except that he was not given enough time when he went to the toilet. Once the staff realised this they then gave him more time which resolved the situation and reassured his family.

Please send us your Talking Mats stories – we love hearing them.

Keeping Safe -A new Talking Mats resource available to purchase

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The Keeping Safe Talking Mat resource provides a structured framework to ask someone ’How’s your life going?  It has 3 topics: Your Well-being;  Relationships; Thoughts and Feelings

Do you find it difficult discussing feelings with people who have limited understanding?

Do you have limited time to discuss sensitive issues with people?

Do you want to find out any issues which may be slowing recovery or preventing someone moving forward in life?

A cost benefit analysis demonstrated that using the Keeping Safe resource to create a listening space for people to think and share how their lives are going, is cost effective for organisations.

The design of the resource is described in the Tizard Learning Disability Review More Than Pictures TLDR 2017

It has been trialled and tested with people with learning disabilities throughout Scotland, but has also been used effectively with a range of people who find it difficult to discuss their life e.g. Young people with mental health condition.

It  has been shown as a helpful way to

  •      discuss new information (89%),
  •      discuss and resolve fears (84%)
  •      support thinking (89%)

This poster gives an overview of the project KS 2nd Poster (click to enlarge)

The Thoughts and Feelings topic uses a different top scale and this resource is best used by people who have completed Talking Mats Foundation Training.  If you want to buy it (£55.00 +VAT)  contact the office  www.talkingmats.com   tel. (+44) 01786 479511

Happy Christmas from Talking Mats

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Talking Mat would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas

2106 has certainly been a busy year for us at Talking Mats. We have seen some staff changes saying goodbye to Jill hall and welcoming Morag Crawford. We were delighted when we brought Kirsty  onto our staff . Kirsty originally volunteered with us as part of a school transition programme for people with autism. Laura Holmes joined us as a Talking Mats external associate for the North West of England.

If you are interested in what we do and want to see our activity in numbers then have a look at the Talking Mats Year in numbers . Click on image to see the enlarge ! talking-mats-year-in-numbers-2015-2016

 

 

At the moment we are busy preparing for 2017 and we are looking forward to

  1. The evaluation of our following projects in The New Year

2 Continuing to work with

3 Launching more resources

  • Keeping Safe- so far this resource has only been available to people working with people with learning disability in Scotland. We will be holding a specialist seminar about this resource in London on the 17th March so its use can extend south of the border .
  • Launching our conversation sets: gardens, holidays, trips out, sports indoor, sports outdoor and football.  These were developed as part of the family training for people with dementia but they have much wider use and will be available  as additional  Talking mats sets

Plus Talking Mat is planning to go to Australia in May!

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Nicki and Lois have their flights booked. Agosci here we come ! Then we are over to New Zealand to run foundation training in Christchurch and Auckland before we head back to Melbourne to run the first ever accredited training course in Australia. We will also be running a specialist seminar on Keeping Safe in Melbourne. If you want any details about the trip please get in touch.

We really appreciate all the support we get from everyone involved in Talking Mats and wish you all a happy and peaceful festive season

Talking Mats for Capacity Assessments with People with ASD/LD

Mental Capacity

Many thanks to Ruth Spilman, Senior Speech and Language Therapist, for this great blog about how she uses Talking Mats for Capacity Assessments with People with ASD/LD

I am a speech and language therapist (SLT) working in a residential provision for young people with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities and other co-occurring difficulties. We support young people from 7 up to the age of 20. Many of the young people are in a ‘grey area’ with a view to capacity assessments, including those aged 16-18. We support many capacity assessments, including deputy-ship for finances and care, health and welfare, as well as more individualised capacity assessments around restrictions in the environment, consent to medical interventions and making decisions about the future.

A large part of the way we support these capacity assessments is by using Talking Mats, which support people with autism who generally prefer to think about things visually. The young people are encouraged to use Talking Mats in their everyday communication, such as evaluating activities, lessons and therapy sessions to develop their skills, as well as during direct Speech and Language Therapy work. If a young person has proven their competence using a Talking Mat, we can then move on to supporting capacity assessments. As part of the process, the SLT would break down the concepts needed to be understood to identify if the individual has capacity or not. For example with finances, do they know what money is? can they organise things that are expensive and cheap? can they put items in a scale of least to most expensive? This would all be done using a Talking Mat, then followed up if they achieved this task with a range of further activities. A Talking Mat can then support activities to evidence their understanding or lack of, while also giving a young person all practicable help to communicate.
See below two examples of a young person thinking about 1) money to support their finances, and 2) things that are healthy or not.

money

healthy living

Talking mats are used for a range of different skills and assessments in the provision I work in, but their use for capacity assessment gives the young people the most practicable support with communication and allows for clear evidence of the person’s understanding of the concepts involved. In addition to the range of items mentioned above, we have have also discussed tattoos, physical intervention and behaviour support strategies, having a lock on an individual’s bedroom door, and understanding of fantasy and reality.
Talking Mats has proved to be a truly simple but brilliant and useful tool.

Ruth Spilman, Senior Speech and Language Therapist, Specialist services in education
The Cambian Group, Dorset, BH19 1PR www.cambiangroup.com