The Speech and Language Therapists (SLT) at Southern Health deliver a service within the learning disability services, stroke services and older people mental health across Southampton city.
SLT’S work with children and adults to help them overcome or adapt to a vast array of disorders of speech, language, communication and swallowing.
Brighterway have recently provided funding to purchase 3 specific assessment tools: Renfrew Action Picture Test (RAPT), Communication Assessment Profile (CASP) and Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Fifth Edition (CELF 5).
Assessments can provide a clear picture of clients’ strengths and weaknesses, in turn this allows staff to be more focussed in their work.
Clinicians and SLT students noticed a gap in resources based on experience of assessing people with learning disabilities and communication needs. They identified a number of assessments that would enhance their ability to work effectively with their clients.
We spoke to the Speech and Language Therapy team in Southampton city to hear their thoughts about the assessments and the difference they have made to the service.
“The RAPT assessment has been useful to implement assessment via video calls as the images are clear. This has meant that we can deliver communication assessment virtually reducing the risks from Covid-19 to both our clients and Speech Therapy team.
When using the assessment during a face-to-face visit, the cards are able to be wiped with antibacterial wipes, meaning that the assessment can be re-used quickly and adheres to infection-prevention-control guidelines.
The assessment has provided clear information about a client’s use of grammatical constructs in his spoken language, allowing the therapist to select the most appropriate intervention efficiently and this client has made great progress and will be discharged soon.
The RAPT has supported speech therapists confidence in working virtually, rather than relying entirely on face-to-face work”
“The CASP has made it faster and easier to get a broad picture of a person’s understanding.
It’s meant, especially during Covid, that I’ve been able to gather information about different communication skills/needs with lesser risk of Covid transmission, as it requires less visits to carry out than doing several different types of communication assessments.”
“The CELF 5 covers some aspects of language suitable for our more able clients, this means that we can provide a varied service to meet the needs of all individuals who require our support”.