Communication Strategies for Residents with Learning Disabilities

Suitable for:

Care Staff

Run by:

Speech & Language Therapist


Bookings / Enquiries:
Contact Us on +353 86 8882765 or

The CATTS Speech & Language Therapist will deliver a workshop to Care Staff and Care givers which outlines the different types of Communication Strategies available to assist people in their care who have learning disabilities.

ipad mockupThis workshop is run over a couple of days and is usually delivered alongside consultation and assessment by CATTS to allow tailoring the practical techniques that can be used to be more directly relevant to the individuals in the specific service.


This will also allow the Care staff to advocate more effectively for people in their care.


Speech & Language Therapist Supervision Service

CATTS provide supervision services for Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists who are required to have a Senior therapist advise, coach and assist them with their clinical work.

CATTS offer 3 mentoring plans for this service which each have 2 price options designed to allow therapists pick the best to suit themselves, their clients, and their employer.  The Supervision plans are:  Senior, Intermediate and Basic, or can be tailored to suit individual needs.

The rates are the same for Face to Face supervision, and Remote supervision (e.g. via Skype). 

We also supervise Irish SLTs who are located abroad and who may not be able to access supervision services as part of their role.


OPTION 1:  Monthly Supervision Plans

Suitable for experienced Therapists, or Senior Therapists who are working in isolation and who may wish to seek occasional contact with a fellow professional to discuss cases where they may need additional expertise.

Monthly Rate: €80

This is a regular monthly price which includes each month:

  • 1 monthly 60 minute supervision session
  • Up to 3 email queries
  • 1 phone call follow up

Suitable for therapists who are not at senior level but who have at least 2 years experience working with clients. This may also be suitable for a Senior Therapist who has a lot of experience in one clinical area, but who has moved role to a different clinical caseload (e.g. experienced in clients with Down Syndrome, but who now has an caseload of clients on the Autistic Spectrum).

The therapists may, or may not be working in clinical isolation, but wish to seek regular contact with a fellow professional to discuss their caseload.  Once competency is mutually agreed, a Senior therapist may wish to move to the Senior Plan for continued supervision.

Monthly Rate: €100
This is a regular monthly price which includes each month:

1 monthly 60 minute supervision session.
Up to 10 email queries
5 phone call follow ups.

Suitable for new Therapists who are less than 2 years working with clients and who need either additional supervision and support to their on-site supervisor, or may be one of an increasing number of newly qualified clinicians who need to work in isolation with qualified senior support.

This plan is for therapists who are less than 2 years qualified and is designed to provide the supports where it may not be present.

Monthly Rate: €150

This is a regular monthly price which includes each month:

2 monthly 60 minute supervision sessions.
Unlimited email queries
10 phone call follow ups.


All the above can also be obtained via a ‘Per Use’ Option, priced as follows:

60 minute mentoring – €80

Email case query – €10 per answer

Phone follow up – 0.50 cent per minute.

Lamh Module One Courses

NEXT DATE:  SATURDAY 9th December 2017

FROM:  9:30am – 5pm

VENUE:   CATTS HQ Block D, Ace Enterprise Park

CATTS HQ is located at ACE Enterprise Park, Bawnogue Road, Dublin 22.
(Google CATTS Ireland on Googlemaps)

CATTS Lamh Tutor Marijke


Suitable for:

This course is for staff members and professionals who have started to work in an environment where Lamh is used and covers 100 Lamh signs and how to support a Lamh user.


Run by: CATTS Lamh Tutor Certified Speech & Language Therapist, Marijke Morris.

Qualifications Required:  No previous Lamh training required.

Course Duration:  6 and a half hours

Course Fee:  €110

Course Recognised by:  Lamh

Accreditation Achieved:  Module One Certificate


“I’ve learned 100 Lamh signs. I’ve learned ways to use them and importance of repetition. I’ve enjoyed Marijke’s energetic method of teaching.”

I enjoyed: “The group interaction. Moving between theory and practical Lamh signs has helped me to concentrate for the entirety of the day.”

“I’ve enjoyed learning everything about Lamh, including watching videos, doing games and working in group. It was very interesting.”

“I enjoyed the games, these were practical and helped consolidate our learning and helped us to retain the new signs.”

“I thought the course was made very interesting because it was informal and amusing at times. I was surprised at how the Lamh signs stuck in my mind.”

“I liked the positive interaction between the tutor & learners.”

“What I liked: Use of videos as well as slides. The variety of signs taught. Relaxed atmosphere – had a laugh while learning signs.”

“I thought it was very well presented. Not only was it about Lamh sign; it was about communication.”

I learned: “How important it is to communicate. I hope it will make life happier for the service users.”

“I’ve learned so many signs and how to effectively communicate with residents.”

“I liked learning sign language so it can help me communicate with my cousin and each other.”

“What did I like: being able to communicate with Lamh user. Brilliant course. Would recommend it to other people.”

Course Content:

Module One Lamh signs (100+)

Alternative and augmentative communication (AAC)

Lamh(TM) brief history and development

Lamh signing environment


By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

Use the 100+ signs from the Module One Book

Use Lamh as an effective communication tool

Contribute to assessment or decision-making around Lamh use

Participate effectively in an established Lamh environment.

Workshop fee of €110 is inclusive of:

Module One Handbook/Signbook.

Module One Certificate

Membership to Lamh signs online

Registration on the Lamh Module One database

Refreshments and Light Lunch


You need to pay the workshop fee, and complete the registration form below, at least 1 week before the course start date. This is to allow us offer places to those who may have been waitlisted due to demand.


Step 1: Payment and T&Cs

We can accept payment by PayPal, Cheque or bank transfer.

If you choose PayPal, you will be taken outside of the CATTS Website, and will be brought to PayPal, which will process your transaction. The PayPal fees are added to the overall cost of the course.

In order to match your application to the payment, please add the email address you used above into the PayPal system when paying.

Please add email address

If you choose to pay by cheque, please post the cheque for payment to the address on the form below. Bank transfer details will be made available if you email Marijke at

All payments must be made within 2 weeks of start date. Any forms completed with no payment before 2 weeks of the start date, will be cancelled, and we will offer the place to another person. If you have any special circumstances around payment, please contact Marijke at  to make alternative arrangements.

In the event of sickness or extenuating circumstances you may transfer to an alternative course at no extra cost.

You may give your place on a course to an alternative participant at any time at no extra cost but please inform us of the change. Failure to attend a reserved course will not entitle a participant to a refund or a transfer.

CATTS reserves the right to cancel a course at any time without liability. Should this occur, delegates will be given as much notice as possible and will be offered an alternative date, a different course, or a refund of the course fee. CATTS will not be responsible for reimbursing travel or accommodation.

Step 2: Complete the Lamh Registration Form

Please complete the short registration form to ensure we have all the information needed so that you can register for Lamh Online and to help you make the most of your training day. 


What happens next?

Once you have made payment, completed and submitted the above form, you are done. You should receive an email from the CATTS Lamh Tutor within a few days confirming that everything has been received and accepted by our systems. We hope you enjoy your Lamh course with CATTS.

The Lamh Logo, and Lamh Module One, and all accreditations are copyright of Lamh – Communication Augmentation Sign System Ltd., a registered company limited by guarantee 310531. Charity Number 14515.

CATTS Staff-Led Training for Residential Services

What is the Staff-Led Training Approach for Residential Services?

A combined Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) / Occupational Therapy (OT)-focused initiative to empower Residential Service staff (HSE & Contractors) to address communication difficulties and independent living skills of service users.


Some of the realised / planned benefits of the approach have been:

  • OT_ADult_careImproved quality of life for service users.
  • Expansion of the role of on-site nursing/ care staff to reduce the need to call in SLT/OT for routine concerns.
  • Reduction of challenging behaviour which may be caused when nursing staff cannot recognising when a service user is trying to communicate and is getting frustrated.
  • Reduction in onsite stress and better working environment for nursing staff (planned benefit is to contribute to less unplanned staff absences.)


The Approach includes 3 distinctive phases:

  1. Training Phase: Initial Staff Training delivered by CATTS Therapists (Communication Toolkit and Sensory Needs).
  2. Mentoring Phase: Mentoring to all staff over a defined time period (e.g. 12 months).
    Full SLT & OT assessment at the start of all Service users and follow-up training with staff to tailor specific strategies to be used with each Service user in their care.CATTS Team will continue support after training, phasing out over a set period of time.
  3. Maintenance: (Policing) of outcomes by CATTS for 3 years after the end of the Mentoring Phase, to ensure sustainability. CATTS use quarterly spot visits to Residences with a ‘HIQA-like’ reporting assessment which is then shared to Residence Management and senior team to ensure any issues are found and addressed as they are identified. After the Initial roll-out, CATTS can continue the Policing Phase for as long as Residence Management deem it helpful.


Why this Approach?

CATTS developed this approach after contact by residential units that needed SLT/OT input to address identified service issues. Instead of providing the requested consults which would result in almost indefinite support to ensure continued success, we created a model to empower the onsite teams.
The training is delivered by CATTS Founder and Lead Speech and Language Therapist, Marijke Morris, along with members of the CATTS Clinical team onsite at the residence. The CATTS Project Management system then keeps residence management at all levels appraised of the delivery of the approach through all phases, to ensure that it enhances, not interferes with the smooth running of the Residential units.



“SOS Kilkenny Ltd., a service for adults with intellectual disabilities and autism, employed CATTS to carry out individual service user assessments, staff training in developing communication strategies and staff training in communication passports. We found Marijke and Lisa to be extremely knowledgeable in their field, with a hands-on approach to instructing how to improve the communication of the people we support.  Staff were equipped with a tool kit of strategies, that they can now apply to their practice. SOS would use the services of CATTS in the future.” Margaret Larkin, Aspect Manager, SOS Kilkenny Ltd.


What to do next:

If you think your service (or the service your loved one is a resident in) would benefit from this approach, please contact CATTS to discuss. We can only engage directly with senior members of any service as positive change for the well-being of those in care comes from the top.


Ownership of the CATTS Staff-Led Training Approach:

If you are a healthcare professional, and would like to offer this approach directly in your service, or for support to third parties, please contact CATTS to discuss training and licensing for you and your team.

Currently CATTS have not authorised any other providers to offer this approach to meet residents needs in care facilities.