Category Archives: Adult protection

Short stories from our accredited training course in Stirling.

keeping_in_touch

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

keeping_in_touch

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

matty-with-santa-hat

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!

australi-and-new-zealand

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

The Keeping Safe project continues!

colleagues_classmates

 

The Scottish Government has granted further funding for the Keeping Safe Talking Mats training and resources.

This extension coincides with the launch of the  Keeping Safe report 2013-2016   at a seminar on Thursday 19th May at the Raploch Community Centre Stirling.  It’s great to hold our event during Learning Disability week where the theme is Celebrating Success.  This project has undoubtedly been a success.  234 Keeping Safe communication resources are in use across Scotland. Staff who have used the Keeping Safe resource report that it supports Safeguarding and  helps  people think how their life is going,  enabling them to express concerns they might  have,  either big or small.    The impact that the resource has on the lives of people with learning disability is powerful.  You can read more about this in our previous blog or in the  Keeping Safe report 2013-2016

The seminar on the 19th of May is an opportunity to share experiences and explore further some of the issues that exist for people with learning disabilities.

The next tranche of funding provides more training courses for:

  1. People who work with adults with learning disabilities in Scotland to learn the skills and use the resource to support listening to their service users and
  2. The staff who use the resource regularly to become Keeping Safe trainers and support the aim of ensuring adults with a learning disability in Scotland have access to this communication tool.  We particularly want to target geographical areas that do not yet have Keeping Safe trainers, e.g. Dumfries and Galloway and Aberdeenshire.

If you work with adults with learning disabilities in Scotland and would like to apply for Keeping Safe training please contact the office info@talkingmats.com  Application for

Striling course  19th August and 16th September is here;  20160610 training flier

Aberdeen Course 9th September and 7th of October is here 20160909 Aberdeen flier

Dumfries and Galloway course 20th October and 25th November is here 20161027 training flier

Further courses are being planned in the Autumn in Dumfries and Central Belt .Please contact  Info@talkingmats.com if you wish to be sent the relevant  flyer