MARIE COUCH

SPECIALISMS:

Learning Disabilities, Mental Health Tribunal Assessments

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS

* Bsc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
* Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
* Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).
* Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP)

EXPERIENCE

I am a qualified Speech and Language Therapist with over 18 years’ experience working within both community and private settings. I am skilled in carrying out in-depth assessments, writing detailed reports, and providing therapy.

I provide Speech and Language Therapy expert witness reports in respect of children and young people aged 11-25 years.

I can also contribute to Education and Health Care Plans and the Specialist Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) in cases where a child or young person’s education is affected by a communication problem and extra specialist assistance is being sought.

I am very experienced in assessing all areas of young people’s communication skills, specifically their receptive language, expressive skills, and social interaction.

In addition to my role as an expert witness, I work in private practice, providing Speech and Language Therapy to children and young adults aged 11-25 years with a range of communication, learning, and behaviour difficulties.

I have worked as part of multi-disciplinary teams in a number of Child Development Centres, providing assessment and therapy for pre-school children with developmental difficulties. I have also worked with children in nurseries, primary schools, and community clinics. In addition to working with the children and their families/carers, this involved providing advice and training to staff.

I currently work as a Speech and Language Therapist in a residential special school and for 10 years I worked as a Speech and Language Therapist in two specialist colleges for young people aged 16-24. The pupils had a range of learning difficulties including Autistic Spectrum Disorder and ADHD and many of whom had complex communication difficulties. As the lead therapist, I was responsible for supporting and developing other therapists on the team. In addition to carrying out detailed assessments and providing individual and group therapy, my role included supporting the clients by giving formal training, advising staff, and adapting the environment to promote effective communication.

I have considerable experience of advising staff in a range of educational establishments and devising and delivering training to different clinical groups. I am able to adapt the information to the skills of the listener.

I have supported many young people to communicate more effectively, which has improved their ability to access education and enabled them to be as independent as possible.

My areas of expertise include:

* Attention related difficulties (ADD, ADHD)
* Autism spectrum
* Behavioural difficulties
* Learning disability
* Mental health
* Social and emotional difficulties
* Tribunal assessments or reports-Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST)

I understand the litigation process and my duties under the Civil Procedure Rules pertaining to expert witnesses and Part 35.

I regularly undertake appropriate training to ensure that my skills and knowledge are current, and to maintain my professional development. I have completed the Bond Solon Excellence in Report Writing training.

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