Melanie Yates Bsc (hons) in Speech and Language Therapy
AHPC Full Registration
I am a Speech and Language Therapist, originally from South Africa. I completed my training at the University of Reading, United Kingdom. I have worked in paediatrics with a wide range of difficulties and disorders such as Autism, social pragmatic difficulties, Down’s syndrome, attention difficulties, language delays and disorders, articulation and phonological delay/disorders, hearing impairment, auditory processing disorders, dyspraxia and stammering.
I am extremely passionate about the work I do and am fully committed to each and every child and family with whom I work. I encourage family involvement throughout the therapy process to ensure a holistic approach is provided. I strongly believe in providing intervention that is ethical, individualized and child-centred.
Fátima Ionescu Degree in Linguistics and PGDip & MSc (Distinction) in Speech and Language Therapy
HCPC & AHPC Full Registration
I am a bilingual Speech and Language Therapist, originally from Portugal. I have a degree in Linguistics from the Classical University of Lisbon, Portugal, and both a postgraduate and Masters degree in Speech and Language Therapy from City University London, United Kingdom. I have been working in various clinical and educational settings, including busy clinics and special needs and mainstreams schools both in London and Singapore, covering a paediatric caseload with a range of difficulties, which include autism, language and articulation/ phonological delays, cerebral palsy, specific language impairment, global developmental delay, dyxpraxia, Down’s syndrome and stammering.
I am passionate about evidence-based practice, educating and training as a means to empower families and professionals, including Speech and Language Therapy students, to better address children’s needs. I also put extreme value in the benefits of working collaboratively with both parents/carers and other professionals, in order to provide a child-centred approach that is both holistic and facilitates children’s active participation across a range of life experiences.
(Fátima is currently offering a supervisor and managerial role at Treetop)
Debora Marchini B.S. & PGDip in Speech and Language Therapy
AHPC Full Registration
I am a Brazilian Speech and Language Therapist. I graduated from UNICAMP and did my Post-Graduation in USP, two of the best universities in São Paulo state, Brazil. I am now a member of the Speech and Hearing Association of Singapore (SHAS).
Before coming to Singapore, I worked in an University Hospital in Brazil and was exposed to a wide variety of challenges in a Paediatric Care, including cases of orofacial myofunctional disorder that include specific conditions or behaviors that can have a negative impact on oral postures and function (e.g. tongue thrusting, deviate swallowing, mouth breathing, orofacial muscle imbalance, etc). Prior to joining Treetop Therapy Centre, I worked in private paediatric clinical settings in Singapore working with a wide range of difficulties, in particular Autism Spectrum Disorder and language delays (both expressive and receptive).
I am intuitive and passionate about working with children. I am an interactive therapist who allows the child to enjoy the therapy. Learning in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere allows the child to develop independent learning skills that are fun and interactive. I am able to provide therapy in Portuguese and English.
Currently, the Therapists at Treetop are trained in the following:
- Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach
- Hanen “It Takes Two to Talk”
- PROMPT trained (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets)
- The Lidcombe Therapy Program
- The Listening Program
- 101 DIR Floortime
We are looking for adhoc or part time Speech and Language Therapists to join our team. You will offer therapy in the clinic and in schools.
What is communication
Attention & Listening
From birth, babies are aware of the sounds around them and begin to attach meaning to different sounds. As a child becomes older, they recognize sounds (speech sounds) as speech and develop an understanding of words they hear. These listening skills are very important for learning and social development. Children need to be able to listen and attend to incoming communication in order to develop their speech and language skills as well as develop friendships with peers.
Some children may experience difficulties with listening due to hearing difficulties, language delays, difficulty processing information or difficulty focusing on one thing at a time.
Children with attention & Listening Difficulties may have the following characteristics:
- Appear to not be listening
- Frequently interrupt or talk when they should be listening
- Appear confused or do not know what to do when instructions are given
- Easily distractedCan not tell you what has just been said/what has been spoken about
Receptive Language is the comprehension of language. It is the listening and understanding what is communicated. It can also refer to reading comprehension. Receptive language includes the understanding of both figurative and literal language. It also includes being able to follow instructions.
Children with a receptive language problem have difficulties in understanding spoken and, sometimes, written language. Some signs that may indicate receptive language difficulties are:
- Difficulty following instructions
- May seem like they are ‘zoning’ out when language becomes too complex
- Constantly asking for repetition or appearing not to be listening
- Often appearing confused when language is more complex or when having to follow multi-step instructions
- Constantly imitating words or phrases (echolalia)
Expressive Language is the use of language. It is the ability to put words and sentences together, both orally and in writing, to express thoughts. It is about conveying meaning and messages to others, while labeling objects, actions and events, and using various grammatical structures.
Children with an expressive language difficulty struggle to use spoken and, sometimes, written, language. Some signs that may indicate expressive language difficulties are:
- Having a difficulty naming objects and actions
- Having a difficulty linking together words into sentences or using sentences that are considered shorter and less complex than what is expected for a specific age
- Using “jargon” (made up words)
- Using sentences that are incorrectly structured and/or not fluid (the words are in the incorrect order, and there may be frequent stops and starts)
- Having difficulties finding the right word when describing something
- Having difficulty retelling a story
Phonology can be described as an aspect of language that deals with rules for the structure and sequencing of speech sounds.
Phonological awareness refers to an individual’s awareness of the phonological structure, or sound structure, of spoken words. It involves the detection and manipulation of sounds at varying levels e.g. syllabification, rhyming, alliteration etc.
Phonological Awareness is an important ability for literacy skills.
Some signs that indicate phonological awareness difficulties are:
- Struggling to clap out syllables
- Unable to blend or segment sounds
- Finding it difficulty to manipulate sounds in words or within a sound cluster
A Phonological Speech Disorder is when a child has numerous phoneme errors that can usually be grouped into categories or patterns. For example, all speech sounds made at the back of the mouth (such as ‘k’ ‘g’) are made at the front of the mouth (‘t’, ‘d’). The speech errors are usually not linked to oral motor difficulties and/or normal development.
An articulation Disorder/Difficulty is when a child has problems making sounds. The sounds can be substituted, omitted, added or changed. For example ‘car’ may become ‘tar’. Young children often make speech errors, e.g. many young children sound like they are making a “w” sound for an “r” sound (e.g., “wabbit” for “rabbit”) or may leave sounds out of words, such as “nana” for “banana.” The child may have an articulation disorder if these errors continue past the expected age.
Social interaction and pragmatic skills
Social and pragmatic skills are defined as the skills that facilitate interaction and communication with others in a social context. It is related to the skills people use to communicate, using both verbal and non-verbal language, through the use of gestures and body language, while observing the rules for social communication.
Some signs that may indicate social and pragmatic difficulties are:
- Difficulties using appropriate eye contact and/or non-verbal turn-taking
- Difficulties maintaining and/or changing the topic of conversation, including introducing topics and taking conversational turns
- Difficulties initiating and or maintaining social interactions
- Difficulty interpreting non-verbal language such as facial expressions and body language
- Tendency to have a literal understanding of language
Who do we see?
We see children who have a wide range of communication difficulties, such as:
- Attention & Listening difficulties, including auditory processing difficulties
- Receptive (understanding) difficulties
- Expressive (talking) difficulties
- Speech delay/ disorder, including articulation difficulties
- Verbal/oral dyspraxia (planning and oro-motor difficulties)
- Social communication difficulties
- Dysfluency (Stammer)
These difficulties can occur in isolation or as part of an existing diagnosis (e.g. autism, cognitive impairment, Down syndrome, cleft palate, etc.).