My name is Isla Davies and Blethers is my independent speech & language therapy practice. For many years I have talked about setting up my own speech & language therapy practice based in a bespoke mobile therapy room and in 2011, I decided it was time to follow my dream.

Isla inside the Blethers Mobile therapy room in Dirleton, East Lothian

Isla inside the Blethers Mobile therapy room in Dirleton, East Lothian

I grew up in Kelso in the Scottish Borders and since I was a wee girl, was fascinated by languages and communication. In my sixth year of high school, I was delighted to discover the existence of a subject called Linguistics and went on to study this at Edinburgh University.

As I learned more about linguistics through my studies, I became increasingly interested in the amazing process of how children ‘automatically’ learn language and what can go wrong along the way. As the time of graduation approached, I started to wonder about how I could use and expand what I had learned in my future career. It was then that I first met a speech & language therapist and realised that this could well be the job for me! I went on to study for my MSc in Language Pathology at Newcastle University and qualified as a speech & language therapist in 2001.

Working in the NHS for 10 years, first in North West England then later in Southern Scotland, I have had the privilege to work with a huge variety of young people and their families. I have extensive experience of treating a wide range of communication problems and throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to develop specialist skills working with young people who have Autistic Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s Syndrome) or Complex Needs/Learning Difficulties. One of the things I appreciate most about being a speech & language therapist is the variability of the work. There is no room for boredom in a speech & language therapist’s life!

I believe that effective communication, however ‘basic’, is central to wellbeing and happiness. After all, communication is central to every human relationship whether that’s  making friends, finding a partner or getting that job you wanted.  For young people with autism or complex needs (and their families & carers!), developing effective communication can be a huge challenge, particularly when the communication disorder is not visible from the outside. For this reason, I am  passionate about helping children and young people to reach their communication potential so that they have positive life outcomes and enjoy the best possible quality of life.