Sioban Boyce
Communication/Behaviour Specialist
 
 

I qualified as a Speech & Language Therapist in 1978 and worked in the NHS for 18 years. I repeatedly came across children who could speak perfectly well but couldn’t participate appropriately in social interactions. It became clear to me that there was a direct link between inappropriate behaviour patterns and an inability to communicate effectively with others. This applied even when a diagnosis such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome had been made.

In 1996 I set up Not Just Talking and became a Communication & Behaviour Specialist. From research evidence, I made connections between failure to develop adequate non-verbal conversational skills in the period before a baby starts to talk and subsequent behavioural difficulties which affect the ability to learn, make  and keep friends and contribute to family life.

In preference to a traditional Speech & Language Therapy model (focused on the development of speech and language) or a behaviourist approach (teaching the child particular behaviour and then rewarding them for good behaviour), I chose to focus on non-verbal communication development – teaching interpretive and information-giving skills and various other related communication techniques. This began to produce compelling results.

I developed a unique and highly successful assessment and intervention programme to improve children’s non-verbal skills. I also specialise in the development of these fundamental skills in pre-talking babies and children.

Not Just Talking has gone from strength to strength enabling children to communicate effectively. I have also developed training and support packages to help both parents/caregivers and professionals to understand non-verbal communication and help children who have problems in this area.