Meet Yin, specialist speech and language therapist

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hiya! I am Yin Collighan and I am a specialist speech and language therapist who started at Speech and Language Link around 10 months ago. I have worked in a wide range of different areas: my favourites including speech difficulties and Selective Mutism. I am of Chinese-Malay heritage and am proud to say that I am one of 9% of Asian speech and language therapists in the UK. I play the violin, do origami and enjoy running in my spare time!

Why did you decide to be a therapist?

When my mum was 55, she had a brain haemorrhage and was put into a medically induced coma. When she regained consciousness, a very lovely speech and language therapist came to assess her language and swallowing, talking me through the process. This is where I became fascinated by the profession. I also adore children, so putting the two together, to become a paediatric therapist, made so much sense. I have never looked back.

What do you do at Speech & Language Link?

A little bit of everything! I’m currently involved in the latest research, support participants on our training course The Link Speech and Language CPD, answer questions from schools via our Speech & Language Link Help Desk, create videos for Top Tips and provide my therapist’s stance on the company’s social media! If anyone reading this is in our Facebook group, hello! My personal values align so well with those of the company – I am so lucky to be in a position where I can support many schools and spread awareness of speech, language and communication needs.

What advice would you give to those working in schools to ensure students receive the support they need?

Communication skills are essential in all we do, so we must help individual students decide on the best strategies to support their communication and to use them consistently across the school – ensuring staff are on board with them too. A communication-friendly school environment benefits every student, not just those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) – it breaks down barriers, improves behaviour and promotes inclusivity – think distraction-free spaces, visuals and labels, clear timetables and instructions, and frequent opportunities to participate – whatever a pupil’s level of need.

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