​speech therapist london | ​speech therapist london | Scoop.it

Amanda Davis (Words First Director) noticed very early in her career that children with spoken language difficulties often presented with written language difficulties.
She also noticed how written language was ‘parasitic’ upon spoken language and that children’s ability to understand and speak was the bedrock on which reading and writing was built. However, over the years working in a variety of different schools, clinics and hospitals both in the UK and abroad, Amanda noticed that speech and language therapists were unlikely to address any written aspect of language, staying firmly within the remit of spoken language and social communication. The written language difficulties were left to the expertise of a dyslexia specialist or trained assistant. This didn’t make sense. When you’re reading, you’re reading language – the language areas of your brain are ‘on fire’. When you’re writing, you don’t need to just form letters – you need to form sentences, the language areas of your brain are on fire! Why did we persist with separating the disciplines? Amanda was also interested in the lack of effective interventions for adolescents and was drawn to supporting teenagers who presented, on the surface, with behavioural difficulties. She perceived a desperate need for a fresh approach to be implemented in the secondary schools in which she worked. Believing that language was the basis of many literacy difficulties, Amanda embarked on an eight-year journey to study further the links between literacy and language, completing a Master’s degree in speech and language and a Master’s degree in Dyslexia. Always keeping an eye on the links between literacy and language, she developed the ‘reading and language circuit model’ upon which most of Words First work in schools is based.