I am an independent Speech and Language Therapist based in Plymouth, Devon. I carry out private Speech and Language Therapy with children aged two to sixteen years old in Devon. I graduated from the College of St Mark and St John (Plymouth) in 2008 with a BSc in Speech and Language Therapy. Since then I have worked in a specialist school for children with severe and complex speech, language and communication difficulties in East Sussex. I have also worked in three different NHS trusts in a range of settings which include mainstream and additional resource provisions, community clinics and children’s centres. I returned to Plymouth in 2014 with my husband to settle and start a family.

I have had formal training in the following areas:
Parents usually know their child better than anyone else does. I use my skills to work out the nature of the child’s speech, language and communication difficulties. I rely on the parent’s knowledge of their child when planning activities and designing strategies that work for the individual child. I take into account their needs, interests and motivations.

Communication is a natural part of everyday life. Speech and language therapy for children usually works best if strategies that have been introduced in therapy are made part of the child’s and the family’s daily life. This needs to happen in a way that’s realistic and manageable for parents too – for example, for 5 to 10 minutes every day. This approach is not only particularly effective but also delivers best value for money.

I believe that working in partnership with parents is the most efficient and effective way to ensure that children's speech, language and communication skills develop to their maximum potential as quickly as possible.

Alongside one to one work with children and families, I can provide bespoke speech and language therapy services to schools and nurseries in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.
Bassie helped me to see how the way I talk to Rafe has a huge impact on how he learns language. I had no idea how simple things like offering choices rather than ‘yes/no’ questions can make such a difference.
Grace, mum to Rafe (18 months)
Dear Bassie. I want to thank you for the help to Thomas with his lisp. He’s getting on top of it and I think his normal speech has improved and he’s making clean ‘s’ when he thinks about the words
Mathew, father to Thomas (aged 10)
Bassie is a highly knowledgeable Speech and Language Therapist. She is very approachable and caring. She is dedicated to her profession
Leah Lyon – Speech and Language Therapist and proprietor of Speech Therapy with Leah.

Case Studies

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Thomas aged 10 years
Area of need – Pronunciation of ‘s’
Total therapy sessions to resolve – 3
Outcome – Speech age appropriate

Thomas was concerned about his speech because he had a lisp and had difficulty producing the ‘s’ sound clearly. He had received previous speech therapy in the local NHS service when he was 6 and was discharged. Aged 10, he wanted further help to be able to speak clearly. He was re-referred to the local NHS service and his parents contacted me for support whilst they were on the waiting list. I saw Thomas for an initial consultation and agreed that he would benefit from direct therapy to learn to produce the ‘s’ sound accurately. I talked through how the ‘s’ sound was made, and also the steps to learning and using a new sound. I provided him and his mother with activities and resources on how to practise his new sound. Thomas was very motivated to change his speech and did a little practise every day with the help of his family. By the end of the first session, he could produce a clear ‘s’ in words, and he was using the sound clearly in sentences by end of the second session. On our third therapy appointment, Thomas was saying his ‘s’ clearly in conversation. We revisited the steps to learning a sound. As he was now using ‘s’ in conversation accurately, Thomas and I agreed that he was now his own speech therapist and would continue to monitor and correct his speech as required.
India aged 4years 11months
Area of need - unclear speech
therapy sessions to resolve - 6

India's parents got in touch because they were concerned about her speech. She had been referred for speech and language therapy however they were told there was a long wait for the local NHS service. India was exposed to two languages from birth and her parents were unsure if this was a factor in her speech difficulties. India's hearing had been tested and was normal.   A phonological analysis of her speech sounds revealed that she had difficulty using the sounds 's, z f, sh and th' in words. This meant she said 'tun' when she meant sun and said 'tish' for fish. Where there were two consonant sounds at the beginning of words, India missed one out to make it easier for her to say so clown became ‘cown’, sky became 'guy' and green became 'geen'. This is a process known as consonant cluster reduction and was appropriate for a child of her age. There were no difficulties with India's understanding of language (comprehension) or use of language and grammar.  

I explained to her parents that she was having difficulty producing long sounds where she needed to maintain airflow. When India tried, she could make all the sounds on their own but not in a word. One of the first things we did in therapy was made sure that India could hear the difference between the words that she said (for example 'tun') and what the word should be (for example 'sun'). We targeted her production of 's' clusters, f, s and 'th' in that order. India and her family were very motivated to change her sound system, they practised several times a day for 5-10 minutes. India made significant progress in a very short period of time. Therapy was completed in English and now that her sounds her secure, she is working towards transferring her sounds to German, her second language.
Jude aged 3 years 7 months
Area of need - language and interaction
Therapy sessions - ongoing

I started working with Jude and his family in July 2016. Jude’s mother got in touch following his diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). she was concerned that since the diagnosis, they had yet to receive NHS Speech and Language Therapy support. She was aware of the benefits of early intervention for children with Speech, Language, and Communication needs and wanted Jude to start fulfilling his potential. I saw Jude for an initial assessment and following this, we agreed on fortnightly therapy sessions at home with telephone updates between the face to face appointments.

At the initial appointment in July, Jude presented with rigid attention to activities, and inconsistent understanding of spoken instructions at single word level. His parents reported some inconsistent spoken language at single word level. At this time there were also concerns that his speech was not clear. Jude presented with needs in the areas of attention and listening, play, understanding and use of language. He was very responsive in the first session when I introduced the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The aim of PECS is that the child will learn to initiate interaction and make requests for items that are highly desirable. In that first session, he was able to independently pick up symbols for items he wanted (bubbles and balloons) and place them in an adult’s hand to request them. As he had picked up the system so quickly, his parents agreed to continue using it at home.

Jude’s intervention to date has included Intensive Interaction which aims to increase his awareness and interest in other people, as well as the Attention Autism programme which aims to develop attention skills as well as support turn taking and interaction. As Jude was making good progress at home, it was agreed to support him in transferring his skills to the school environment. A therapy demonstration session was arranged and carried out in school. I demonstrated the Attention Autism programme to Jude’s Learning Support Assistant. Parents and I were keen to transfer this programme in particular as it would have more of an impact within the education setting because it builds attention skills and supports his interaction with peers. Following the therapy demonstration, I was able to meet with and discuss Jude’s needs with his class teacher, learning support assistant, and SENCo. I provided a written programme with advice and strategies with school staff to contact me for additional support as required. My input with Jude has primarily been within the home and supporting his parents with appropriate activities to meet his needs.
What is speech and language therapy?

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) provide life-improving treatment, support and care for children and adults that have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking or swallowing. SLTs assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to help them communicate better. They also assess, treat and develop personalised plans to support people who have eating and swallowing problems.

How much do you charge for a session?

£90 for an initial consultation that lasts about an hour. This includes taking some general information from you, direct assessment of your child’s communication skills, followed by advice and recommendations. I will also provide you with a written summary report that includes my recommendations. I charge £70 for the therapy sessions, including materials.

How quickly can we start?

I do not keep a waiting list and can typically see a child within two weeks of the initial telephone consultation.

How soon will we see improvements?

Every child is unique and their communication needs are very different. Having said that, the vast majority of the families I have worked with have reported a significant improvement within four sessions.

Can I stay in the sessions with my child?

Absolutely, parents are a key part of the therapy process and are actively encouraged to stay in the sessions.  A vital part of successful therapy is helping you as the parent / carer to understand your child's needs and feel confident with carrying out the activities at home with your child. There are occasions where parents may not be present if it is agreed that the child may work better one to one with the Therapist.

How often will my child be seen?


This depends on your child's individual needs.  I can see a child for therapy weekly, fortnightly, or monthly depending on what their communication goals are. I keep in telephone and email contact between face to face appointments.

Will you be involved with my child’s school/nursery?

Where appropriate and always with your consent, I will be in contact with all those involved with your child so that we are all aware of their needs and maximising their potential across all environments. I will provide you with advice and written information that you are welcome to share with other professionals.

How do I know my therapist is registered?

All practising therapists must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To verify, click on the link and search for the name of your child’s Therapist. Some private therapists are also registered with the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practise.

Can I see a private therapist whilst seeing an NHS therapist?


Yes, however it is important that both therapists are aware of the other's involvement, so collaborative working can take place to ensure effective treatment for your child.

How do I pay for my child's therapy?

Payment is taken in the form of cash or bank transfer at the end of each session.

As a school/Nursery can we employ your services?

Yes. I am able to see children in schools and nurseries for assessments or therapy (with written consent from parents). I can also train staff in supporting children with speech and language difficulties.

What geographical areas do you cover?

I provide services in Plymouth, Plympton, Plymstock, Ivybridge, Tavistock, Totnes and surrounding towns and villages.
What happens at the initial assessment/consultation appointment?
The first appointment is usually in your home. This initial assessment is necessary to help determine your child's areas of ability and difficulty. I will ask you questions about your child's communication skills, general development, play skills and health. The assessment and discussion with you will enable me to gain an understanding of your child’s ability in the following areas:
All assessment is carried out using pictures, toys and games to make it fun for your child. At the end of the first session, I will give you verbal feedback about the assessment findings and some simple ideas for working with your child at home. The initial assessment normally lasts an hour.

What happens after the initial assessment/consultation?
Future management will be discussed after the initial assessment/consultation. Your child will be offered future management from among the following options:

What happens in a therapy session?
Following your child's initial assessment, therapy will be offered when appropriate.  Targets for therapy are set individually for your child and all work is based around games and activities to make sure your child has fun while learning.

How long will a therapy session last?
Therapy sessions are typically 60 minutes long. 30-40 of direct therapy but this will vary depending on your child’s communication goal, age, ability and the type of therapy needed. There will also be time spent discussing progress during the week and sharing and setting activities for the following week.
My fees/terms & conditions are as follows:

Initial Consultation (with simple report):                                   £90
An initial consultation will often include formal and/or informal assessment, observations, discussion with you and provision of initial recommendations. This lasts up to 60 minutes and will be followed up with a short summary report. It can take place at the child's home or educational setting. Longer reports can be prepared if required (at an additional cost). 

Standard Therapy Appointment:                                             £70
A standard Speech and Language Therapy appointment will be agreed after initial assessment/consultation and lasts up to 60 minutes. This session includes direct intervention (working directly with your child) and indirect intervention (working with parent/carer to support the child e.g. discussing needs, providing advice and/or observing the child).
This cost includes planning, record keeping, goal evaluation, travel time, cleaning and any brief liaison with relevant professionals. These sessions can take place at the child's home or educational setting.

Consultation or therapy sessions that last longer than 60 minutes may be subject to an additional charge of £15 per 15 minutes.


Written Reports/Letters/Care plans/Programmes and Meetings£70 per hour/ pro rata
Reports towards Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) and written Care Plans/Programmes will be charged according to the time taken.  The average Care Plan/Programme takes approximately 1 hour to complete and copies will be available for Education Staff.

Liaison with other Professionals:
It is a professional duty of therapists to liaise with each other if the client is under the care of more than one therapist. This is in order to ensure the compatibility of therapeutic interventions in the best interest of the client.
Therefore, parents must give consent for liaison with an NHS therapist who is currently working with the child. Parents may also request liaison (where appropriate) between the therapist and other professionals currently working with the child, but this decision will be at the discretion of the therapist and may incur a fee. Meetings etc. will be charged according to the time involved, consistent with the charges for therapy sessions.

Travel:
20 mile round trip – No Charge. A travel charge of 45p per mile is made thereafter to cover fuel and vehicle costs. Mileage will be calculated in advance using Google maps to find the most efficient route to the destination. Any travel costs will be discussed and agreed with you in advance.

Cancellation Policy:
Please give a minimum of 24 hours’ notice of cancellation of appointments wherever possible. For cancellations made with at least 24 hours’ notice – no charge. Late cancellations (later than 8.00am the same day) may incur a charge of 50% of the session fee. Non-attendance without notice will be charged at full rate. 

Payment:
Clients are requested to pay at the end of each session. Payment can be made through BACS or by cash.  I will send you an invoice after each appointment. 

Communicating:
Please note that I use a Gmail and Outlook account for online communication and that email is not a 100% secure method of communication.  I will only use email or other mediums such as WhatsApp, Viber, SMS, Facebook Messenger, or any other social media with your consent.  All reports and documents shared online will be password protected. 

Data Protection:
As part of your child’s assessment and treatment I will process and store confidential data relating to you and your child (such as age, date of birth, address, medical and developmental history etc) and their speech and language development, including assessment results and treatment plans. I will also store data shared with me by other professionals as appropriate e.g. copies of medical reports/assessments. This data is necessary and important to inform assessment and treatment. This data is stored securely in paper and electronic form and is only shared with others with your explicit consent.
You have the right to access your child’s notes by putting a request in writing to me. You also have the right to rectify or erase any data held by me about your child. You can withdraw your consent to the storage and sharing of your child’s information at any time by letting me know in writing/email. Any information you give me about your child is voluntary, but failure to share information about your child or restrict the sharing of information which could be crucial to their care could compromise your child’s treatment and progress.
I will never release sensitive and personal information to Third Parties unless this is required by law.  

Consent for sharing information:
It is good practice to share information about your child’s speech and language with other professionals involved with your child. I will only do this with your consent. If your child is being seen by an NHS Speech and Language Therapist, sharing information about treatment is recommended so that the best outcome can be achieved for your child. I am happy to discuss this further should you wish to. Any information given about your child is completely confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone else without your consent.
Please be aware that any information that is disclosed within the session which suggests that an adult or child is being harmed or at risk of being harmed, can be shared with the local safeguarding authority without consent being sought.

Complaints:
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding my service, please contact me at any time to discuss your worries. I will do my utmost to resolve any issues that may arise.  If it is not possible to come to a satisfactory resolution, you have the right to make a formal complaint by contacting the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) at www.helpwihttalking.com     
    
Speech and Language Therapy Consent Form

I give my consent for an assessment of my child’s speech, language and/or communication needs. YES NO
I give consent to sharing of information concerning my child with school and other relevant professionals involved in their care. YES  NO
I understand that sensitive and personal information about my child’s speech, language and/or communication needs, will be safely stored. YES  NO
I understand that communication through email and social media (as outlined above) is not 100% secure.  I provide my consent to use these mediums to communicate with other professionals and with me (as outlined above). YES  NO
By signing below, I am agreeing to the terms and conditions outlined in this document.

Signature:
                                                               Date: 
Printed Name:
  
Relationship to child:  

Contact me

info@thespeechlady.co.uk 07908677633

I have an Enhanced Certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

I am a registered member of the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC), the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP). This means I adhere to their rules and regulations and carry out continuous professional development (CPD).  I am also bound by a strict code of professional ethics from the Health Care Professionals Council and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.