Speech and Language Therapy

About us:

Louise Wallis-Jones (Lead Therapist) worked for 15 years in mainstream schools and a child development service within a large, triborough NHS trust.  Before coming to Holmewood, she spent four years setting up and then working in an autism resource base in a mainstream secondary school.  

Salwa Shafique has recently gained her MSc in Speech and Language Sciences from University College London.  Prior to this she worked as a TA for four years, supporting children with a range of emotional and learning needs in mainstream schools.

Our aims:

  • Supporting students to fulfil their communicative potential and develop confidence and self-esteem.

  • Developing the students’ ability to understand and regulate their emotions, so that they feel calmer and have the tools to manage their own responses to situations or stimuli.

  • Promoting social communication skills and autism awareness within the wider school.

  • Enabling students to access the curriculum, learn and make academic progress.

  • Supporting the students and staff to learn about autism and specifically, what autism means to them.

  • Developing staff understanding and application of effective communication and teaching strategies for a range of learning styles.

  • Developing the students’ insight into their own learning profile so they can use specific strategies to support learning and recall.


Our approach is based on the principle that students’ communication skills are best developed through interaction with the people who are most familiar to them, in everyday situations.  We endeavour to achieve these aims by working collaboratively with school staff, families and carers. Students are involved in target setting and review in order to support ownership of their needs and promote generalisation of skills outside school to the home and wider community.


Our role:

  • Assessing students’ language and communication strengths and needs, at least annually.  New students will participate in initial assessment which will be completed within the first half term of them being in school where possible.  Assessment will involve a combination of the following:

    • Observation in a range of situations (e.g. structured classroom activity, unstructured playground or assembly observation) using the SCERTS (Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support) Framework;

    • Discussion with parents and school staff.

    • Informal or formal assessment as appropriate.  Formal assessment may include use of the Social Language Development Test (SLDT), Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF) UK 5, Renfrew Action Picture Test, British Picture Vocabulary Scales.  There are other assessments available for students requiring more detailed speech or language assessment.

    • Following assessment, the findings will be summarised in an accessible report format.  This will be shared with the pupil’s family, school staff and multidisciplinary team (MDT).

  • Setting termly IEP targets in collaboration with staff and parents/carers where appropriate.

  • Supporting staff to make environmental modifications in order to optimise access to classroom activities and to promote communication opportunities in the classroom and playground.

  • Providing informal and formal training to staff.

  • Contributing to relevant school policies e.g. communication and behaviour policies.


Direct Intervention:

Speech and Language Therapists are able to give advice and where appropriate provide direct (1:1 or group) intervention to target one or more of the following areas:

  • Attention and listening skills

  • Social communication and interaction skills

  • Emotional regulation

  • Receptive and expressive language skills

  • Thinking, reasoning, memory and problem solving skills

  • Specific approaches to working with autistic students including SCERTS, TEACCH, Social Stories, Comic Strip Conversations, Zones of Regulation and Social Thinking.

  • Developing independence

  • Developing confidence and self esteem


The SALTs also work within the classroom, providing support to a targeted student or the whole class and modelling strategies for staff.


Please contact Louise Wallis-Jones and Salwa Shafique with any feedback, questions or concerns regarding your child’s SALT input at THSL.

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