Sophie Williams is a Speech and Language Therapist, highly specialist in hearing impairment, and heard about Auditory Verbal UK and its work supporting deaf children to learn to listen and speak from a colleague and found out more by attending some of the charity’s online short courses. Sophie was then inspired to start AVUK’s Foundation course after working with a deaf child who had received Auditory Verbal therapy and was at mainstream school with age-appropriate speech and language. “I’ll never forget the first little boy I met who’d graduated from a programme of Auditory Verbal therapy; once you see what is possible it’s hard not to want to be a part of that,” she explained.

“I became a speech and language therapist because I wanted to contribute to social mobility - supporting a child born deaf to start school with age-appropriate speech and language makes a real difference to their social mobility because we know that a child’s language abilities when they start school is a strong predictor of their future academic success.

“Auditory Verbal therapy is an early intervention approach that works. It works precisely because it is intervention that begins early, when a child’s brain is most adaptable and it is first and foremost a parent coaching programme which equips parents with the tools and the confidence they need to support their child to achieve their desired outcomes.”

Sophie was supported to complete the AVUK Foundation Course with a bursary from the charity. She said: “Without the bursary I would not have been able to complete the Foundation Course.” Alongside her work at the Implant Centre, Sophie now also works as an independent tele-therapist, offering therapy online for children with a range of communication needs and adults looking for online hearing rehabilitation.

To give back and thank AVUK for its support, Sophie and her partner also ran the London Landmarks Half Marathon in month March 2022 to raise money to provide more training bursaries for professionals.

Now having completed the Foundation course she explained: “In the last six months I have experienced the greatest clinical and professional growth since graduating as a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. I’m more motivated than ever to continue developing my practice. Next, I will hopefully enrol on AVUK’s advanced course as I feel confident that with AVUK’s support this goal is within reach.”

Find out more about AVUK’s professional training.