Tag Archives: GIRFEC

Having Better Conversations – Using Talking Mats Resources (Part 1)

Talking Mats

In the first of two blogs, we talk about how using Talking Mats Resources can help people have better conversations.

Talking Mats provides a visual framework to help people express their views and feelings, using a selection of communication symbols that cover a variety of topics.  Talking Mats resources are used by many professionals across a wide range of health, social care, residential, and education settings.  Most of our resources are available in both low-tech, and digital, formats.  In this first blog we focus on the resource bundles which are available to purchase with our Foundation Training course.

Products

Our resources are available to buy through our website (https://www.talkingmats.com/shop/) however we do strongly recommend completion of one of our Foundation courses (https://www.talkingmats.com/training/foundation-training/) to get the most benefit from Talking Mats – and to use it to its full potential.  If you add a Health and Wellbeing, Consulting Children & Young People, or Social Care resource pack bundle to your training you only end up paying £65 for the training day itself which is a great deal!

Resource Bundles available to purchase with Training

Health and Wellbeing Bundle:

HWB

These packs are based on the ‘activities and participation’ domains from the WHO ICF framework and includes 9 topics which are relevant to people, regardless of their health, disability or where they live around the world. We have translated these into more ‘user-friendly’ language and have generated symbols to represent each topic.

In addition to the 9 topics from the Activity and Participation domains, we have also included Environment and Health, which are important topics within the ICF framework and in people’s lives.

Consulting Children and Young People Bundle:

These packs are based on ‘Getting It Right For Every Child’ (GIRFEC), a Scottish framework for everyone to use when working with children and young people. There are three broad topics which are relevant to any child or young person’s life. This resource can also be used with SEND reforms in England.  There are different packs for each developmental stage: Early years (ages 3 to 7); Primary (ages 7 to 12) and secondary (age 13 upwards).

CCYP

 

Best Value Bundle: This option includes the Health and Wellbeing and Consulting Children and Young People bundles above, as well as our Social Care resource packs, providing a complete set of resources to support communication on a comprehensive range of topics for children and adults.

If you’d like to book a place on one of our Foundation Courses and would like to know more about our bundle options, get in touch with us at info@talkingmats.com

Find out more about our Foundation Training course here: https://www.talkingmats.com/training/foundation-training/

 

 

 

Castle Hill High School supports pupil voice.


Castle Hill High School has seen the benefits of using Talking Mats to let pupils have their say and be involved in planning outcomes. Jenna McCammon, Speech and Language Therapist & Rebecca Highton, Speech and Language Therapy Assistant, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust explain how they are using Talking Mats at Castle Hill High School.

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Talking Mats has been beneficial in supporting young people with communication difficulties in school.

A Talking Mats approach has been used to support a pupil who presents with selective mutism. He started refusing to engage in lessons and activities, so school wanted to find out what he enjoys doing and how best to support him. Talking Mats allowed the speech and language therapy team to find out about his likes and dislikes at school, along with the reasons why he was refusing to engage in certain lessons. The sessions allowed the speech and language therapy assistant to build rapport with the pupil through finding out what he enjoys both in and outside of school, and the pupil communicated verbally during one of the sessions for the first time since his change in behaviour. The speech and language therapy assistant took pictures of the finished piece of work and asked permission from the pupil to share this with school staff. The speech and language therapy assistant was able to feed back the outcomes with staff and with other professionals during TAC meetings. Staff and other professionals would then request if the speech and language therapy assistant could obtain more information from the pupil, when needed, using Talking Mats.
Safeguarding – A possible safeguarding issue was suggested by a pupil during a therapy. The pupil has significant communication difficulties and so the information she was able to provide was very limited. The safeguarding officer in school requested if the speech and language therapy team could try to find out more. This was done us using Talking Mats, which allowed the pupil to share more information about the issue which was then shared with the safeguarding officer.
Motivational Interviewing is a tool used by the speech and language therapy team, both when assessing a new referral and when completing a review assessment in order to set new therapy targets. It is an opportunity for the young person to express their opinion, and can also be used to determine how much insight they have regarding their communication abilities. This is usually done verbally using a 10-point scale, however Talking Mats has been used by the speech and language therapist when assessing pupils with limited verbal ability. This allows these pupils to voice their views and have a say in their therapy planning. The findings from the Talking Mats motivational interviews then contribute to writing EHCP Reports for the pupil and are used to inform the decision-making process regarding their therapy goals.

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Thanks to Jemma and Rebecca for sending these great examples. Change happens when we give young people a listening space.

Supporting Looked After Children to have their say

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Thanks to Karen Wilson, a specialist teacher and one of our accredited trainers, who describes how Talking Mats can help in supporting Looked After Children in having their say.

‘I work as Principal Teacher for children with additional support needs in a mainstream secondary school. In supporting a wide range of children and young people, I am frequently involved in Looked After Children reviews. These reviews can be quite daunting for an adult, as all agencies involved with the young person are represented, along with their carers and their support agencies. I can’t imagine what it must feel like as the child.
Many of these young people find it difficult to express their views, partly because of the circumstances they find themselves in and partly because many of them have communication difficulties linked to their early experiences. I have been struck by how little information is often contained in their Having Your Say form. This should be one of the key ways for young people to express their views and is completed in advance of the review.
I recently used a Talking Mat to help a young person complete her ‘Having Your Say’ form. The young person reported that it was much easier to engage in the process and told me that she had enjoyed doing it. She normally does not like filling in the form. All of those involved in the review expressed surprise and delight at how much more information it was possible to get using a Talking Mat.
I am now working with Talking Mats to explore how this idea can be developed to give more of our Looked After young people a stronger voice in decisions which directly affect them.’

Have a look at the following blogs for further information on theTalking Mats GIRFEC resource and how it is being used

Promoting Inclusion and Participation

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As part of the Right to Speak initiative Talking Mats was funded to develop ‘Promoting Inclusion and Participation’: an online learning resource for staff working with children and young people who use Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC).  We have been delighted to work with NHS Education Scotland on developing this free resource and also have really enjoyed working in partnership with the learning and development consultancy: Forum Interactive.

The complexity of care for children and young people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) is multifaceted. Ensuring that goals are centred on the young person and family’s needs is a constant challenge to practitioners. There are several resources that focus on developing the technical skills of developing AAC but there is a scarcity of resources that focus on the impact of AAC on the child’s day to day life.

Promoting Inclusion and Participation is based on an earlier project which determined the key indicators of a quality AAC service from the perspective of AAC users and their families.

Promoting Inclusion and Participation uses the following frameworks to help practitioners structure their decision making:

  1. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – Children and Young People (ICF-CY)
  2. Janice Light’s Communicative Competencies (2014)
  3. GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) wellbeing indicators

Section2-350x350These are brought to life in a series of DVD vignettes which tell the stories from the perspective of the child, their families and schools. It poses the practitioners’ questions that allow them to reflect on the impact of AAC on the child’s day to day life. The resource is designed to be used for group discussion. The feedback from the expert practitioners that reviewed the material suggest that the DVD and resulting questions can enable AAC practitioners to have  a rich discussion about best practice and how to time educational and therapeutic input to achieve holistic outcomes.

This on-line resource will help practitioners:

  1. Understand the role that collaboration and involvement play in delivering wellbeing outcomes for children who use AAC.
  2. Apply a holistic approach and outcomes focused approach to assessment, implementation and review which places the child at the centre.
  3. Recognise that as the child develops and changes, so the level of different team member’s involvement will ebb and flow.

Download the resource here. It takes a little time to download so be patient !

We would be delighted to receive feedback of how it is being used.

Ref

Light J , Mcnaughton D, Communicative Competence for Individuals who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication: A New Definition for a New Era of Communication? Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 2014; 30(1): 1–18

 

 

Using Talking Mats to gain feedback from parents

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We are grateful to Nicola King SLT, who describes how she and colleagues use Talking Mats not only to gain feedback from parents about the therapy process, but also about the parent’s understanding of the child’s diagnosis and its impact.
The options to start the discussion are included in the mind map below. Click on image to enlarge.

blog rhona
Issues raised by one parent were
1) Information given to me –unsure . The mum went on to say ‘I’m worried/ frightened. I don’t want to ask too much as I’m frightened as to t he answers
2) My child’s progress –unsure. The mum offered ‘I’m inpatient’

Nicola commented –‘These were huge issues and each response gave me a chance to explore what she was thinking and meaning. For the first time this mum offered her fears about ASD and ADHD. She enjoyed the Talking Mats process and after the interaction agreed for the first time to an onward referral which ensured support was in place for her son starting school.
The Talking Mats format was a brilliant way to have that ‘difficult conversation’ ‘