It’s been a week of delivering and organising presentations and it’s only Wednesday. Yesterday there were two presentations delivered; one to the New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists’ Association (NZSTA) Auckland area meeting about our work (Our team are all proud Registered Members of NZSTA), and the other to the board of START. START are our wonderful SLT colleagues who provide specialist input for people who stutter (https://www.stuttering.co.nz/). Sunday’s presentation will be about Child Development and Behaviour: Trauma and language /communication development at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Community Child Health Satellite day titled, The Many Faces of Trauma’. Discussion was underway this week with a high school principal who wants training for pastoral staff across their community of learning so they can ensure that they are equipped to identify when communication might be a barrier to participation of children and young people, and staff have skills for adapting conversations, particularly high stakes ones involving potential school stand-downs. Planning took place for some training to be delivered with some young people in prison and the staff who look after them – we are excited about the opportunity for delivering this training which will include young people themselves as they can help identify the strategies that help them and provide their wisdom to the workforce. We are also preparing some forthcoming conference presentations, including one at our NZSTA/SPA joint conference in Brisbane and Youth Justice conference later in the year.
We have now a team of nearly 20 SLTs involved with delivering Talking Trouble’s work, and we are increasingly busy with the roles we do in legal contexts when we deliver Communication Assistant roles (witnesses/defendants) and related work (Police, probation and forensic health interviews, Family Group Conferences, participation in court-ordered courses such as Family Violence prevention), and we continue to deliver specialist speech-language therapy assessments and interventions for a wide range of people (children, youth and adults) involved with justice/care and protection/mental health and behaviour agencies. Projects at both local and national level are ongoing with Oranga Tamariki and we are excited about the next in the series of Youth Justice site projects with Oranga Tamariki which will start later this month in Manurewa, with others to follow at other sites.
Talking Mats training is ongoing across the country and we are really enjoying delivering this work alongside our colleagues from TalkLink.
We continue to love working in this area and are excited by the incredible passion other professionals are showing when they ‘get’ why it is important to keep their ‘communication glasses’ on! Fabulous feedback was received yesterday following a Family Group Conference that one of our team assisted at as everyone involved, including the whānau felt that her input made a huge difference. Ensuring that people can understand these high stakes conversations and have their voices heard is at the very heart of what we are trying to achieve.