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Church of England Community Academy Trust

Meet Mrs Conner

Three very special reasons for my                  love of communication.


I have been a Speech and Language Support Assistant (SaLSA) since 2013.  I can honestly say that it’s the best job I’ve ever had and I absolutely love it.


I have worked in primary schools since 2005, when my youngest son, then 4 years old, started in Reception.  My first job was supporting a Year 1 child on a 1:1 basis.  He had a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.  I learnt to sign Makaton and to differentiate whole class planning to his compliment his abilities.  My passion for working with additional needs pupils was born.


In 2012, I qualified and was registered to deliver S.L.C.N. (speech, language and communication needs) therapy to primary school children on behalf of the county of Hampshire.  I am an Assistant Member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.   Academically, I have passed a number of professional courses including Shape Coding, Cued Articulation, Makaton to Level 4, Attention Autism, and A.E.T.’s Good Autism Practice course.  I am very proud to be the S.a.L.S.A. for Freemantle Church of England Community Academy.


I have a very special reason for my love of communication, well 3 reasons actually!  Each of my 3 sons has a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome (or A.S.C. as it is now diagnosed).  They are all in their 20s now and each one has a job in their chosen field, their passion since they were little.  My oldest is a senior tennis coach, in charge of arranging coaching for school's in Hampshire.  My middle son graduated with a 2:1 in acting Bath University and my youngest passed his car mechanic's apprenticeship and is now working in a local garage .  I am so incredibly proud of them.   As with most Neuro Diverse people, they have faced the associated difficulties at school and whilst growing up.  Things like social communication challenges (making friends); echolalia (repeating other peoples words and phrases); anxiety and difficulty with the semantic pragmatic uses of language (categories, sentence structure and inferred meaning).  


When they were little, as a family, we joined Hampshire Autism and benefited enormously from their experience and specialist days out.  Things like cinema trips with the lights on and the volume down!  I love the way that mind type can focus and create.  Years later, I worked as a volunteer for Hampshire Autism at their Lego Therapy for teenagers group.   


There are so many positives to having A.S.C. and I am so happy to say that it was my boys led me to my career!