WHO AM I?
My name is Rebekah Traynor and I qualified with a BSc Speech and Language Therapy degree in 2007 from Manchester University and have worked within the UK NHS and the Isle of Man Department of Health since qualifying. I am very passionate about my vocation which is all about problem solving to create successful communication.
I am very experienced in the area of adults with communication and swallowing difficulties. I have specialist skills working with dysphagia (swallowing impairment) and continue to work with this area within the Health service. Over the last 8.5 years I have been the Team Lead for the Isle of Man Adult Speech and Language Therapy service developing services to improve patient care, recently qualifying in Videofluoroscopy (x-ray of the swallow) as an objective swallowing assessment.
Whilst working in an NHS hospital in Rugby I was tasked with improving opportunities for individuals within the community which involved setting up a Communication Group for people following a stroke, enabling them to increase their social opportunities in a supportive place and an intense Parkinson’s Disease Communication Group with the aim of improving the speech and voice skills of individuals with this disease. These allowed improved communication and confidence alongside meeting others in a similar situation facing similar challenges.
I have been fundamental in bringing high tech AAC, such as i-gaze to the Isle of Man for adults with acquired communication difficulties, increasing ability to continue to communicate with others despite increased physical impairment. I was able to support a gentleman in communicating with a room of health professionals using an iPad and a voice output system, giving him a voice which enabled him to tell his own story.
Since setting up Traynor Speech Therapy in September 2020, I have qualified as a LSVT Loud ® clinician which is an intensive treatment programme for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. I am keen to introduce this evidenced based treatment technique, not otherwise available on the Isle of Man and provide an individualised intensive exercise programme, improving communication for those with Parkinson’s Disease and benefitting their overall confidence.
Whilst employed in the Northampton Health service, I worked in schools and clinics, assessing and treating children with communication difficulties. I was part of the Corby Schools Project which focused on bringing Speech and Language Therapy support into schools and to provide a narrative based therapy treatment to improve mild to moderate language delay. This was very successful in preventing further deterioration of language by intensely treating children early on in their school years.
As well as leading training sessions for local nursing staff, I have led several workshops at the Isle of Man Motor Neurone Disease conference focusing on swallowing and communication. These workshops were very practical as I feel this is the way skills are developed and maintained and a true understanding of specific impairments are felt.
I was asked to speak at the National Multiple System Atrophy Conference in September 2018, again leading a very practical presentation. I have been asked to speak again at next year’s MSA conference about my experience of working with individuals with this rare disease.
I achieved Distinction in the Advanced Certificate in Spoken English through the English Speaking Board and this has enabled me to be confident in presenting to others and has given me the confidence to train within my career.
I have been an active performer in the Manx Music Festival and enjoy reciting poetry both in Manx dialect and English for local events. I enjoy acting, being a member of the Michael Players and contribute to their annual Manx dialect play, I also played a lead role in the recently performed ‘Accrington Pals’ by Peter Whelan at the Erin Arts Centre, directed by Dorothy Lowey.
My passion is providing goal focused support to improve communication, with the overall aim of changing lives by increasing the means and opportunity for individuals to communicate with others.