Gillian Bolton

My Qualifications and Experience

Gillian and child in a field

My qualifications and training

I graduated from Cardiff with a BSc. (Hons) in Speech & Language Therapy in 1992 and have since undertaken post-graduate training to ensure my continuing professional development. This includes:

Parents' testimonials

"We contacted Gillian because we were concerned about our child’s speech and language development. Since day one Gillian has offered lots of support to our family. She is kind, compassionate and offers a very thorough service. Speaking to Gillian has enabled us to understand how to best support our son and we have seen significant improvement. The use of videos has also provided the opportunity to look at ourselves and reflect on the way we interact with our child. We particularly enjoy VERVE and have incorporated the techniques we have learnt into everyday life. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Gillian for all her hard work." - Mum of a bilingual toddler with language delay

"Gillian was a fantastic support to our child’s language development.The initial detailed report on his current language skills and areas that required support was so helpful as it allowed me to understand exactly what was going on and gave further activities to support them. The home visits were very helpful, our child can be very shy and become mute around unfamiliar people but he responded well to Gillian (who was very calm and patient). From observing Gillian work with our child, we felt more confident in our supporting play and language activities at home. His language has flourished and we are so happy with his progress." - Rugby mum of a 3y old ."

"M immediately interacted with Gillian, without having never met before, Gillian put us at ease and everything felt very relaxed which helped us and M. M looked forward to the weekly Zoom sessions and we have seen a huge improvement with her Speech, Language & Communication. Gillian is someone I would highly recommend if you are looking for additional support for your child." - Neil, Parent of 4 year old M in Rugby"

"Today I received my son's spring progress report. After three months of working with Gillian Bolton, he is finally up to his level (30-50 months). As a parent, I am over the moon. Three months ago he could only say couple of 3 words sentences and really struggled with expressing his feelings. He wasn't concentrating a lot as well and was playing with cars all the time. But after working with Gillian, he has changed so much, even the school teacher says that he is far more happier and confident than he used to be with everyone. As for my self, I have learned so much about how I need to work with him and that helped massively. Thank you so much Gillian for all the advice and hard work! This is the best decision I have ever made. And now he's nonstop talking.!!!!!! Thank you" - Mrs H.M., mother of 4-year-old from Rugby

"My son won’t be in this place without your amazing support. When you started with him, he was unable to say more than couple of words. Now after nearly 1 and ½ years - since from reception - of hard work, I am so proud of my son’s achievement. He is now 5 and ½ years old and doing extremely well in school. Thank you Gillian for helping (him)... (and when he was discharged)...Thank you so much for everything you have done for our family specially (my son) ... I don't have words to explain how much we are grateful to your extraordinary work! The work you are doing can change whole future of a child and everything around him as well.... I will definitely send you his progress through coming years. Thank you for being part of his pillar of life" - Mum of a bilingual 5y old

"Would I recommend Gillian to other parents? Absolutely. Her report organization is detailed and accessible to professionals and parents. She is highly responsive, available by phone and e-mail to consult with. She did an initial evaluation that was very thorough and gave me a detailed report of my son's development. As a parent I was worried about his language and social skills as he was struggling in nursery and I wasn't sure why. Gillian has a very pleasant demeanour and is professional and thorough beyond belief. From the initial contact regarding the evaluation she will conduct, she was welcoming, friendly and put my son and myself at ease. At the end of the evaluation, plenty of time was taken to explain her findings and observations.
As a mom of a child who wasn't sure of her son's developmental progress, I really can only say THANK YOU to Gillian for the professional, insightful, high quality evaluation. She perfectly and totally captured my son's skills and provided extremely valuable feedback. I finally felt informed about my son's development and progress far beyond his speech and language skills. Gillian also provided advice and hands on ideas for his future speech and language development.
Consulting with Gillian proved to be an excellent investment of time and money. Thank you so much for everything.
" - J. Lee, Mum of 4-year-old

From other professionals

"Gillian has been working with a child with speech and language needs in our Nursery for two terms now. She has provided fantastic support for this child, both in his home and at Nursery. The child has subsequently made accelerated progress and we have really seen an improvement in his communication! At a time where budgets and staffing are tight, Gillian's visits and targets have been invaluable. I'd like to thank Gillian, not only for working with the child, but for also guiding us as staff with strategies and approaches we can use in our setting." - Amy, Nursery Class Teacher, Rugby

"Gillian has been a fabulous help to our setting with a child requiring support with SEND. Gillian has shared her knowledge of SaLT and VERVE which has positively impacted the outcomes for the child we are supporting. We have found VERVE very interesting and very useful. Thank you for your continued support. - Nursery Manager, Daventry

"I've really appreciated all the support you’ve given myself and Mrs C. regarding the speech and language needs in nursery...and thank you for being so understanding of the constraints we’ve been working with…and offering suggestions for how we can incorporate the children’s targets into their daily play." - Nursery teacher

"A very effective, committed and highly valued member of staff" - NHS SLT manager

"Thank you for your hard work over the last two terms, it has been much appreciated and has really helped us get collaborative working up and running in Bedfordshire." - SLT Manager

"I'll be sorry to see you go, we've spoken a lot on the phone about clients and you’ve always been very helpful and knowledgeable, patient and understanding. I hope you do very well with your independent practice." - Sarah, Health Visitor

"Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to your job whilst you've been working in Rugby. No one could ask for a more committed therapist and you always strived to do the most you could to support your children and their families." - SLT Clinical Team Lead, SWFT

Hand pointing right Read about my approach to working with you and your child.

My career and clinical experience

After graduating I worked for Milton Keynes Community NHS Trust as a Speech & Language Therapist in the paediatric team, working with pre-school and school-age children in clinics, nurseries and schools. I also worked in two schools for children with special educational needs.

In 1996 I took up a 'Special Needs Specialist' post for Rugby NHS Trust providing the service for Brooke Special School and working within the multi-disciplinary team in Rugby Child Development Centre (CDC). The CDC team provided assessment for all pre-school children who were referred due to developmental delay, including autism, and we monitored and supported the development of children with diagnosed conditions such as Down's Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy. At Brooke School, working collaboratively with the staff, I was able to review and change the nature of service provision and implement initiatives focusing on total communication and staff training.

When I left the NHS, to raise my own children, I began work on a training package for Speech & Language Therapists to use in special schools. My enthusiasm and positive experience of collaborative working in the special school environment led, over the next 9 years, to the development of a training package called 'Assessing and Promoting Effective Communication (APEC)'. APEC2, published in 2004, is still in use across the UK. I began to deliver training days for Speech & Language Therapists, delivered the APEC course to teaching staff in two schools in Bedfordshire, and provided an independent review of the Speech & Language Therapy service provision in two special schools on behalf of Warwickshire NHS and the Local Authority. I was able to share what I had learnt, from working in the school environment, in articles for several professional publications.

A Special Education, Gillian Bolton & Susan Kidd (2006)

In 2010 I returned to clinical practice in Rugby (now South Warwickshire Foundation Trust) providing speech and language therapy for pre-school and school age children, through a series of bank and fixed term contracts, working flexibly whilst continuing to enjoy raising my own children.

My new venture into independent clinical practice began in January 2019 with a fond farewell to the Speech & Language Therapy team at The Orchard Centre.

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