Speech and language therapist takes on dual challenge to support deaf children "I knew at university I wanted to use my degree to support deaf children, “explained Sophie Williams who has just begun the training journey to become an Auditory Verbal therapist. As a speech and language therapists based in Yorkshire, it was working with a child who had received Auditory Verbal therapy that inspired Sophie to take on the training at AVUK. And as a thank you for the bursary to allow her to train she will also be completing a different kind of training after signing up to raise funds for the charity in this year’s London Landmarks Half Marathon which she is running with her partner Will. She explained: “All therapists want to do the best for the people we work with I want to contribute to social mobility and supporting a child born deaf to start school with age-appropriate speech and language makes a real difference to their social mobility. We know that a child’s language abilities when they start school are a strong predictor of their future academic, economic and social outcomes.” “Seeing the difference it can make to a deaf child to be able to converse with their hearing friends and family has really made me want to expand the skills I already have. Families with deaf children deserve to have access to all the available options so that they can support their child by choosing the approach that best fits their child and the family.” Sophie started her AVUK training programme at the beginning of the year thanks to the charity’s bursary scheme. She said: “Without the bursary scheme I doubt I would be enrolled on the Foundation course, it’s as simple as that. It is for this very reason that my partner and I are running the London Landmarks Half Marathon to fundraise for AVUK. It’s a small way I can give back to AVUK for this opportunity to train. “The more specialists there are, the more accessible a choice Auditory Verbal Therapy will be for families. It will mean that families will have greater choice and ultimately more deaf children will be able to reach their full potential.” Sophie is sharing her training journey through a new blog and on Instagram.