Highly Professional Speech and Language Therapists in Oxfordshire.
The Owl Centre boasts a team of highly qualified and experienced Speech and Language Therapists in Oxfordshire
The Speech and Language Therapists at The Owl Centre in Oxfordshire combine expertise and experience with a friendly and sympathetic approach to the children and parents they see. They also have links with the NHS to ensure a seamless continuity for clients who have received NHS assessments or therapy.
Mary Pegler MA (Cantab); PGDip Clinical Communications (City University), HCPC registered
Mary specialises in working with children up to the age of six in a sympathetic but fun manner. Her experience as a clinic leader in London and Oxford makes her an expert in developmental language difficulties in the very young – including social communication and the autistic spectrum; attention problems and ADHD; specific language impairment and the delays involved with premature births. She specialises in managing Speech and Phonological problems effectively through games and group-therapy. Mary is trained in parent-child interaction techniques, as well as Makaton signing, Lidcombe and Michael Palin Centre stammering therapy.
As a mother of 3 children, she is in-tune with the anxieties and pressures of parenthood and chooses family-friendly methods of working. A wide knowledge of the Foundation Stage Curriculum allows her to guide a child through the first worrying years at nursery and school, both with practical tips to parents and more formal advice to teachers.
Prior to Speech and Language Therapy, Mary enjoyed a career as an actress in theatre, film and t.v. as well as research work for the RSC. Her first clinical employment as a Speech and Language Therapist was with Great Ormond Street Hospital in the Community, working in local clinics and outreach centres in north London. Now settled in Oxford, she is responsible for several community clinics in the county as well as therapy groups in the City. Mary also writes and advises on Special Educational Needs for the Good Schools Guide.
Polly Mitchell BA, MRCSLT, LPCert, HCPC registered
Polly specialises in working with young children with stammers. Polly believes, and research has shown, that early intervention is vital in helping resolve childhood stammering. She offers therapy individually tailored for each child with advice and support for parents.
She is highly experienced in the Lidcombe Program, a family focused “hands on” fluency programme for children up to 8 years old. Lidcombe is a very successful programme and is reassuring and rewarding for both child and parent. Other approaches include “Smoothie” individual and group programmes.
Polly also specialises in early childhood Speech and Language difficulties, including speech sound problems and slow language development. She makes the sessions fun and engaging for the child while keeping the therapy purposeful and providing resources and support for their parents and advice to their teachers.
Polly has worked for Oxfordshire Speech and Language Therapy Services for most of her career in both Community Clinics and the Specialist Stammer Centre. For over 20 years she headed the Stammer Service in Oxfordshire, which offered a variety of fluency programmes for children.
Polly has also trained Speech and Language Therapists in using the Lidcombe Program and has written and presented research papers on fluency therapy for stammering at international conferences.
Tanya Vlok, BSp and Audio (Stellenbosch), MRCSLT, MASLTIP, HCPC registered
Tanya is originally from South Africa but has been living in the UK for the past 11 years. Her professional experience to date has allowed her to develop clinical skills in Speech and Language Therapy and Audiology, in both mainstream settings and specialist areas, such as working with children with autism, hearing impairments and other difficulties.
Tanya places a high premium on early intervention and on a multidisciplinary team approach, with a specific focus on parent support. She is motivated to provide excellent quality of service, and prides herself on being able to build a strong rapport and a trusting relationship with clients. She is methodical and patient, and able to offer practical solutions and knowledge in a variety of areas.
Most of all, Tanya loves working with children and helping them (with their parents and/or carers) to reach their full potential with fun and exciting games and ideas. She has three children of her own.
Philippa Trehearne, BSC (Hons) Clinical Communication Studies (City University), MRCSLT, MASLTIP, HCPC registered
Philippa is based in Headington and can provide therapy to children in their home, nursery, school or at The Owl Centre.
Philippa worked for 17 years as a Speech and Language Therapist in London before moving to Oxford and taking some time out with her young family, later moving into independent practice. She has worked in clinics, homes, nurseries, mainstream schools and in special language units for children with severe speech and language difficulties. She was involved in setting up trailblazer projects for Sure Start, supporting language development for the very young.
Philippa believes that working closely with the key people in the child's life to support everyday natural communication will allow the child to make the best progress, and she is trained in therapy techniques which value and promote Adult - Child Interaction.
Philippa enjoys providing direct therapy to children who cannot say words clearly, and adapting games and activities to the individual child's interests to keep therapy fun. She belongs to the London Clinical Excellence Network for Speech Sound Disorders, and attends regular meetings and training on the best current evidence informed practice.
She has recently discovered the value of Twitter as a mine of information for keeping informed about developments in speech and language practice and current research, and finds it stimulating to connect with colleagues in the UK, US and Australia with similar interests.
Georgina Wilmott BSc (Hons) (Manchester), MRCSLT, HCPC registered, MASLTIP
Georgina is an experienced Speech and Language Therapist who works with a broad range of speech and language difficulties. She qualified from Manchester University in 1999, and has worked in the Oxfordshire NHS in both Early Years clinics and in schools for over 13 years. As a mother of two children, Georgina understands the challenges of parenthood, and has first hand knowledge of both the pre-school and school age settings from a parent's perspective.
Georgina has experience providing a wide range of therapy programmes tailored to the individual needs of each child. In all cases, she makes the therapy fun, enjoyable and rewarding for the child, to help them get the most out of the therapy. Her therapy approach also focuses on parental and school involvement where possible, to maximise the benefits of therapy programmes. This collaborative approach has been extremely successful at addressing the needs of the children and enabling effective therapy.
Laura Davies MSc, MRCSLT, HCPC registered.
After studying French and German at Oxford, Laura decided to move to a career in SLT after discovering a passion for working with children with Special Needs through volunteering at University. Laura qualified in 2010, and has worked since then in schools and nurseries for children with Special Educational Needs, and in the NHS. She specialises in working with preschool and primary school children, and particularly enjoys creating sensory, hands on activities to aid children’s learning in a memorable and exciting way.
Laura has a particular interest in working with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and has worked alongside parents and staff in nurseries, special needs schools and mainstream schools in order to provide a Speech and Language programme which can be integrated throughout the day.
Laura is trained in approaches such as PECS, PODD communication books, Makaton, Signalong, Attention Autism and Intensive Interaction, and makes use of a wide variety of strategies and activities in order to tailor them to the individual.
In all her jobs, Laura has worked closely with a multidisciplinary team including Occupational Therapists, music therapists, teachers and TAs, and, as such, believes strongly in using a holistic, integrated approach in order to help each child from all angles.
Caroline Harrison BA Hons (Sheffield University), PGDip Speech and Language Therapy (City University), MRCSLT, MASLTIP, HCPC registered.
Since qualifying 9 years ago, Caroline has worked with pre-school and school-aged children in both the NHS and independently. She has a wide range of experience treating mainstream SLT-related issues and also more specialised issues, such as language disorders, dyspraxia, speech sound difficulties and autism. She has worked in primary and secondary special needs schools in Oxfordshire and London, treating children with a range of complex speech and language needs.
Caroline has also developed an expertise in working with children and teenagers who stammer. Therapy techniques used include Lidcombe Therapy and Palin Parent Interaction Therapy as well as speech strategies and cognitive therapy approaches.
Caroline promotes the importance of working closely with parents and teachers, and liaises closely with them to provide advice and strategies to develop and support children’s communication skills in all environments. She also has a background in undertaking training sessions for education staff and has developed numerous school and home programmes.
Lisa Sharp – MSc – Speech and Language Pathology and Therapy (UCL) MASLTIP, HCPC, RCSLT.
Lisa has specialised in working with school-aged children in London and Oxfordshire since securing her postgraduate qualification in Speech and Language Pathology and Therapy from University College London in 1998. She has worked in specialist settings with children with Specific Language Impairment and Autism as well as working with a range of speech and language difficulties within the mainstream setting. Her work has included working closely with teachers and specialist teachers to support inclusion and curriculum access for children with speech, language and communication needs. She believes passionately in language and communication being crucial to children reaching their learning potential and to their social and emotional well-being.
Lisa is PECS and Makaton trained.
Nicola Davies, BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy (BCU), MRCSLT, HCPC Registered.
Nicola qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2017 after a 6 year part-time degree course at Birmingham City University. She has gained extensive practical experience across a wide variety of settings through clinical placements, as well as through her part-time work for a communication disability network during her studies.
The range of clinical settings she has experience of working within include clinics, nurseries, pre-schools and mainstream schools, as well as medical wards and neuro rehabilitation wards for young people. Her experience has shown her how important a collaborative and holistic approach is, specifically one involving the whole family, as well as other professionals, to ensure each individual receives the most appropriate and personalised support across all their environments.
Nicola’s previous career as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher and EFL Primary Publisher, together with her first degree in Psychology, have allowed her to develop many areas relevant to her role as a Speech and Language Therapist, bringing together her interests in language development, linguistics and her knowledge of therapeutic interventions. Spending time with her three young children, and seeing her own son benefit from speech and language therapy provided by the Owl Centre, were catalysts for her decision to retrain as a Speech and Language Therapist.
Nicola is passionate about working with children, enabling them to reach their full potential as well as increasing their well-being through building a strong rapport and using communication games that tap into each child’s specific interests. She has been responsible for running social communication / ASD groups (e.g. Zones of Regulation and Lego Therapy) as well as providing training to staff in the running of small language enrichment groups. She has also provided indirect therapy through parents and worked closely with Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapists Social Workers, SENCos and other teaching staff. She has training in Dysfluency (the Camperdown Programme and Parent Child Interaction Therapy), Makaton, Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia and Phonological treatments.
Laila Tyrrell (BScPsy Oxford; MRCSLT Reading) HPC Registered.
Laila Tyrrell is based in Oxfordshire and specialises in working with pre-school and primary school children. Her approach to therapy is fun and interactive, taking into consideration the child's individual needs and interests.
Laila qualified in 2011 and has worked in the NHS for Wiltshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. She has experienced working with a broad range of Speech and Language difficulties in clinics, children’s centres, homes, nurseries, mainstream schools and in special language units. Laila believes that early identification of speech and language difficulties and intervention is vital. She particularly enjoys working with pre-schoolers, and has a keen interest in early language development and delay, social communication difficulties and speech sound development and difficulties.
As a mother of two, one being on the Autism Spectrum, Laila understands the difficulties some parents may have when their child has extra educational needs. She works with parents and teachers in an empowering way to help them understand the child's needs and to tailor the environment accordingly to help the child achieve his or her potential. Laila believes in a care-aims approach to therapy, which takes into consideration the interest of the child and what they / the parents believe are most important for the child at the centre of therapy. She works with the team / persons around the child - be it their parents, caregivers, teachers or other health professionals - to provide the best possible holistic support.
Laila has trained in Makaton, Solution Focused, TEACCH, Lidcombe Programme and phonological treatments. Areas she is able to visit include (but are not limited to):
- Central Oxford
- Water Eaton
Kate Ellery BSc, MSc, MHCPC, MRCSLT
Since qualifying from University College London in 2005, Kate has worked with children in Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire in a wide range of settings including their homes, early years settings, mainstream schools, local authority and residential special schools and respite centres.
Kate has experience working with children with a wide range of language difficulties and specialises in working with children with language difficulties due to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome and developmental delays and disorders. Kate is trained and experienced in using a range of approaches including Signalong, PECS, SCERTS, Intensive Interaction and TEACCH and is able to tailor these approaches to each individual child's needs.
Within all her roles, Kate has worked closely with parents, teachers and the multidisciplinary team to provide targets and programmes that are centred on the individual child and family’s needs and which can be integrated into the child's everyday life. As well as providing tailored one-to-one and group therapy, Kate has a great deal of experience providing training to education and care staff and parents to support them to promote the child's communication skills throughout their everyday life.
Kate is able to provide outreach session across South Oxfordshire, including:
Annabel Hancock BSc (Hons), DPD, HPD, AfSFH, NCH, RCSLT, HPCP
Annabel is a highly experienced speech and language therapist, solution-focused hypnotherapist and psychotherapist. Annabel worked in the NHS for seven years before setting up her own independent speech and language therapy practice in London. After recently taking a break to raise her two small children, Annabel is now thrilled to be a part of the Owl Centre.
Annabel specialises in treating paediatric speech and language delays and disorders and anxiety related problems in children and adults. She has worked in numerous settings across the UK and abroad, specialising in treating children and adults born with craniofacial abnormalities, cleft lip and palate, and speech sound disorders. Annabel has extensive experience treating pre-school and school-aged children in both mainstream and specialist settings with a range of disorders including, speech sound disorder, processing difficulties, stammering, specific language impairment, central auditory processing disorder, autism, ADHD, hearing impairment, brain injury, dyspraxia and dyslexia. Annabel is trained and experienced in using a range of approaches including Makaton, PECS, POPAT, Talk Tools, and Talk Boost to name a few. Annabel is able to tailor these approaches to each individual child's needs.
Within all her roles, Annabel has worked closely with parents, teachers and a range of multidisciplinary teams to provide targets and programmes that are centred on the individual child and family’s needs and which can be integrated into a child's everyday life.
Annabel is able to provide outreach therapy in the following areas:
- Bourne End
- High Wycombe
- West London (Ealing, Hillingdon, Chiswick)
Colette Lloyd BA, BSc (Hons)
Colette is a paediatric speech and language therapist who specialises in working with children with Down syndrome. She previously lived in Bahrain in the Middle East where her children were born, and where she started running support groups for children with Down syndrome. On return to the UK, she decided to study speech and language therapy, after working for a few years as a Special Needs support assistant in a mainstream setting. Qualified in 2017, Colette is passionate about inclusion for children with additional needs, and, as far as possible, looks to integrate therapy into the day to day routine of the classroom. She also uses Makaton in her work where necessary.
Colette’s final year dissertation was on two different types of therapy for developmental verbal dyspraxia/childhood apraxia of speech: the Nuffield Dyspraxia programme, and REST therapy.
As well as delivering therapy 1:1 and in small groups, Colette also offers training to schools and parents.
Colette’s interest in Down syndrome and in teaching language through teaching reading, has also led her to qualify as a trainer to train staff to deliver the Reading and Language Intervention programme developed by DSEI.
Colette has four grown-up children, one of whom has Down syndrome.
Alison White – BSc (Hons) Speech Sciences (UCL), RCSLT, RTP
Alison is delighted to be on a Return To Practice programme for Speech and Language Therapy following a break while her children were young. She has extensive experience working with both pre-school and school-aged children in a variety of settings, and has particular experience of working with children of all ages with developmental language disorder. She is passionate about early intervention delivered individually and in groups in a fun and engaging way, and values working closely with parents/carers, education staff and others in supporting the children she works with.
Alison’s particular areas of interest include children with delayed or disordered language development; delayed or disordered speech sound development, and children with attention and listening difficulties.
Alison is based in Oxford, and is able to provide sessions at Owl Centre venues, as well as outreach sessions within 15 miles of Oxford.
Bethan Lee, MA Classics (Cantab), MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Reading), MRCSLT, HCPC registered
Bethan studied Classics at Cambridge University, pursuing a lifelong love and interest in language. She worked in publishing for five years, before taking a new direction and working in a mainstream primary school, where she developed specialist interests in literacy development, autism, and hearing impairment. This ultimately led her to retrain as a Speech and Language Therapist, undertaking the Masters course in Speech and Language Therapy at Reading University, where she qualified in 2014.
Since qualifying, Bethan has worked in the NHS with pre-school and school-age children with a very wide range of speech and language needs and in a variety of settings, including clinics, homes, nurseries, and mainstream schools. In this role she also developed a specialist interest in hearing impairment, working with parents and schools to deliver effective therapy programmes to children with hearing impairment and attending specialist training. She belongs to the Clinical Excellence Network for Hearing Impairment and attends regular meetings and training on the best current evidence-informed practice.
Within all her roles, Bethan has worked closely with parents, teachers, and the multidisciplinary team to provide targets and programmes that are centred on the individual child and family’s needs and which can be integrated easily into the child's everyday life. She believes fundamentally in making therapy fun and evidence-based, to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and young people are achieved.
Bethan delivers assessments and therapy in and around Oxford.
Abigail Robins MSc (MRCSLT) HCPC registered
Abi qualified with a distinction in her Speech and Language Therapy masters’ degree from the University of Essex in August 2014. Since qualifying she has worked in a specialist secondary school for students with a diagnosis of high functioning autism. In this role, Abi has been responsible for setting up the speech and language therapy provision; delivering 1:1 sessions to target expressive, receptive and pragmatic language difficulties and group sessions to target the development of social communication, emotional literacy and life skills. In this role, Abi has worked closely with the multidisciplinary team, providing regular training sessions and support in the classroom environment in order to model good communication skills and integrate therapy into the daily curriculum.
Abi is passionate about supporting individuals to learn skills which enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. Abi has recently completed formal training in Lego®-based therapy which has allowed her to develop new and fun ways to target the development of students’ social communication and interaction skills with great success. Abi believes it is essential that therapy sessions are personalised and tailored to each client and that activities are motivating and enjoyable whilst targeting the development of communication.
Abi has experience of working with clients of varying needs such as selective mutism, complex mental health needs, high anxiety, school-refusers and hearing impairment.
Abi has a great deal of experience in providing training to parents and professionals in order to ensure a holistic approach to the delivery of therapy, and she is passionate about working closely with those around the child to ensure that skills are generalised. Abi has represented her previous employers at the National Autism Show at the Birmingham NEC arena as well as several workshops for professionals and parents.
Abi is based in Bicester and is able to provide therapy sessions in clients’ homes or conduct nursery/school visits in (but not limited to) the following locations:
- Chipping Norton
Sara Barnhill - M.S., SLT, MRCSLT, HCPC registered
Full Name: Sara Barnhill
Known as: Sara
Type of therapist: Speech and Language Therapist (dually certified as Speech-Language Pathologist in the States)
Qualifications: M.S., SLT, MRCSLT, HCPC registered
Year of qualifying: 2009
- Specialty areas include paediatric speech/language disorders, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and cleft/craniofacial speech disorders.
- Created many programmes and supports for caregivers to assist in implementation of AAC at home.
- LAMP (Language Acquisition through Motor Planning) trained.
- PROMPT (PROMPTs for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonetic Targets) trained.
- Hanen It Takes Two to Talk and More Than Words certified.
- Completed Post-graduate Assistive Technology Certificate from University of Illinois: Chicago.
- Invited to write a guest blog series of PrAACtical AAC.
- Presented at local, regional, and national conferences in the U.S. and U.K related to AAC, and cleft/craniofacial care.
- Loves working as part of a collaborative team with other professionals and caregivers to help every child find his or her voice. Particularly passionate about finding what motivates a child and using that as creatively as necessary to help the entire family improve communication skills.
Interesting / Fun facts:
- Sara moved to the UK in 2017. Since that time, she has enjoyed exploring Oxfordshire’s beautiful countryside, historic buildings, and learning to drive on the left side of the road!
- Sara enjoys cooking, practising yoga, and spending time with her husband and their eight month-old daughter.
Gail Kidd - BSc (Hons), PG Diploma, MRCSLT, HCPC
Full name: Gail Kidd
Known as: Gail
Type of therapist: Speech and Language Therapist
Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Psychology (York University), PG Diploma Speech and Language Therapy (City University), MRCSLT, HCPC registered.
Year of qualifying: 2014
- 5 years working in the NHS and private practice, supporting children aged 2-25 years old with a variety of speech, language and communication needs.
- Experienced at delivering training programmes and working with school staff and parents to promote communication-rich environments in schools and at home.
- Passionate about building strong relationships with children and their families. Uses tailored therapy approaches and creative resources to make therapy fun and rewarding for children whilst helping them to achieve their goals.
Before training as a Speech and Language Therapist, lived and worked in New Zealand. Tried a variety of jobs, from farming to wedding floristry to building houses before deciding Speech and Language Therapy was the one for me!
Profiles of the other Owl Centre therapists to follow soon.
Please click here to find more information about the private speech and language therapy services provided by our Speech and Language Therapists in Oxfordshire.