Jo qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1984 and has worked within the NHS since then with a range of children in a variety of different settings in Peterborough.
Her particular passion has always been working with children under 5 years with speech and language delays and disorders, including those with Complex Needs.
From 2004 to 2010, Jo was Lead Clinician for the local Sure Start Speech and Language Therapy team, continuing in the role of clinical lead for Early Years within the NHS team until February 2016. She now works as a Highly Specialist Independent Speech & Language Therapist.
Amy is a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (SLT). Starting her career in a paediatric community role within the NHS, she developed a passion for two main areas of interest- hearing impairment and complex speech disorders.
After working as a hearing impairment specialist SLT in the community, she joined a Hearing Implant Team at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge and worked with children who have Bone Conduction Hearing Devices (BCHDs) and Cochlear implants.
Her interest in complex speech disorders lead her to pursue post-graduate training in cleft palate speech and she now works in the Cleft Lip and Palate team at Great Ormond Street Hospital, alongside her work for the Teddy Talk Test.
The concept of The Teddy Talk Test was originally conceived by a Speech and Language Therapist called Joy Mance, back in the 1960s. Her version was called the 'Teddy Bear Kit' and came about because, at that time, little was known about early identification of children under 5 presenting with communication difficulties. Joy set about developing a tool that would help her fellow professionals to decide whether or not to refer children to her. With Joy’s blessing and encouragement, this concept has been developed and evolved into the Teddy Talk Test.
Developing the Teddy Talk Test has been a challenging and exciting journey. We truly believe that it's use in Early Years settings and Reception classes in school will enable professionals to identify children at risk of speech, language and communication difficulties as early as possible.
If just one child gets the help they need as a result of this great tool, then it will all have been worth it.