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Career move - SALT

(6 Posts)
prettycandles Wed 07-Jan-04 21:38:46

I met a retired teacher while I was on holiday, and had a long chat with her about my plans for a career change in a few years' time when my children reach school-age. I've been thinking about doing a PGCE, but she thought that I would be a good SALT. It's not something I had ever considered, and I don't really know anything about it. It seems to me that the people who need and use SALT would probably be a good starting point! What does a SALT do and how does she affect the lives of her patients (clients?) and their families? What qualities do you look for in your SALT? Who, or what, does a SALT work for? I'd be grateful for anything you could tell me.


fio2 Wed 07-Jan-04 21:48:00

be a SALT there are a shortage of them from my experience

Jimjams Wed 07-Jan-04 21:50:31

Well you'll never be short of work!

SALTS are quite diverse. Some work with the elderly- helping people who have had strokes etc. others work with children. Community SALTS tend to do general not too complicated cases. Things like stuttering. More complex cases may include children who have had cleft palate. They may help with feeding etc as well.

Other SALTS specialise in things like autism.

A lot of NHS SALTS have huge caseloads which makes continuity difficult and can really limit how effectively they can work. many become frustrated with this.

Some SALTS work in special schools. We are currently employing a private SALT once a week- she works in a private autism school during the week. She's undertaking an MA in communication disorders as well.

We have emplyed other private SALTS in the past (we moved) - one used to just work during school terms. Another worked part time in a school and part time privately. As a private SALT you caould charge 55 quid an hour. See here for more details about working privately.

coppertop Thu 08-Jan-04 12:07:23

Ds1 has been seeing a SALT since last July, after being on the waiting list for about 6 months. She works for the NHS as a Community SALT. We only get to see her about once a month. In each session she assesses ds1's progress and has a number of activities pre-planned. Sometimes he will get through these within the first 5 minutes (if he's feeling 'calm'. Other times the poor woman will be doing her very best to try to get him to sit still for more than 15 seconds. I would say that patience is a vital quality, and also an ability to really think on tour feet. I think most parents would agree that a good SALT is one who is prepared to listen to what the parents have to say. When the SALT first assessed ds1 she was convinced that his comprehension was at the one-word-command stage. I was sure taht he was more advanced than this and perhaps just wasn't particularly interested in the activities he was being asked to do. At the next session she was amazed to see that within 4 short weeks he had reached the 'complex instructions' stage. After that she started listening to me more and it really helped.
On a day-to-day basis I'm not entirely convinced that the SALT has had a big effect on us. I think we use her more as a means of assessing ds1's progress than as someone to actually help ds1 speak more. This is probably because one session a month and none during the holidays isn't really enough time to do much. If there were more SALT's we might have got more sessions.

coppertop Thu 08-Jan-04 12:09:07

That should have read "think on YOUR feet" - and I have no idea where that 'smiley' came from!

dinosaur Thu 08-Jan-04 12:16:07

maybe that's something I could do - have always been fascinated by speech and language (studied linguistics as part of my degree) and of course DS1's problems have sharpened my interest...

hmmm - food for thought...

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