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strategies and measurable interaction in Live English

smiLE Therapy was created in 2002 to to explicitly develop pragmatic skills in Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) students. It gives DHH students a structured and meaningful way to learn essential communication and social skills for everyday use in the mainstream hearing world. Since 2009 smiLE Therapy has successfully supported children, young people and adults who are DHH, have Down Syndrome, Learning Difficulties, Developmental Language Disorders, Multi-Sensory Impairment and Physical Disability. It is also used with some Autistic students, where criteria and pre-requisites apply, and where smiLE Therapy is delivered in a way that ensures it is neurodiverse-affirming. Now used in mainstream, specialist schools and additionally resourced provisions from primary to secondary, post 16 and 18-25 settings across the UK. It builds communicative skills resilience for everyday encounters in the community, so promoting independence and inclusion. Crucially, parent training supports generalisation of skills to the wider community.

smiLE Therapy: 

Functional communication and social skills for deaf students and students with special needs

Karin Schamroth with Emma Lawlor 

Routledge, 2015

Available from Routledge Publishing and through major booksellers

FREE one hour online smiLE Therapy Taster sessions

for your NHS Team, Local   Education Authority, School, Clinical Excellence Network, University, Auditory Implant Team,   Independent Therapy Team, ASLTIP regional group.


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smiLE Therapy Training Next Dates in 2024:

Day1 MAR 7th & 8th 2024 (mornings only 9-12) 

Day2 MAR 11th & 12th 2024 (mornings only 9-12)

Day1 OCT 10th & 11th 2024 (mornings only 9-12) 

Day2 OCT 14th & 15th 2024 (mornings only 9-12)

smiLE Therapy Training comprises:

  1. Day One and Day Two training, across x4 mornings online

  2. smiLE with Autistic students training, 1.5 hours online following Day 2

  3. Individual phone mentoring to support you with delivering your first module

  4. ‘How to run smiLE parent workshops training: 1.5 hours online, pre Day Three

  5. Day Three, across x2 mornings online: approx. 6 months after DayTwo

  6. Ongoing CPD free access to termly Q&A online sessions: 1.5 hours


To book email:


26/27 April 2024, Dublin. Karin Schamroth will present at the 2024 FEAPDA Conference (European Federation of Associations of Teachers of Deaf Children & Young People) How smiLE Therapy supported a deaf and visually impaired teenager on their journey to independence and self-advocacy across seven years.

Specialist Deaf Curriculum Framework (SDCF). The SDCF, launched in February 2024, has been written to support deaf babies, children, young people, and their families to develop knowledge and make informed and independent decisions about their deafness, from identification through to adulthood. It supports deaf children and young people’s independence. Suggested resources give links to smiLE Therapy for these sections: 2c Communication with Others and 

4b Emotional and Mental Health


14.03.24 Scottish Sensory Centre, The University of Edinburgh, will host a free x1 hour online smiLE Therapy ‘Taster’ session.


Congratulations: Masters Thesis Distinction in smiLE Therapy, Interkantonale Hochschule für Heilpädagogik, Zürich, Switzerland. September 2023. Congratulations to Isabelle Spaeti Suard, Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Students, for her Masters Thesis: smiLE Therapy: Fünktionales Kommunikationstraining in deutscher Sprache. Durchfuhrung mit einer Gruppe von Jugendlichen mit Hor- und Kommunikationsbeeintrachtigung. Department of Special Needs Education for the DHH. University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education (HfH)


RCSLT (Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists) Research Champion

Training Parents: What impact does it have on children’s ability to maintain and generalise skills learnt in smiLE Therapy? (Martina Curtin and Dr. Ros Herman)

29.06.23 Sally Morgan & Karin Schamroth presented at the 2023 Linking Research to Practice Event at the Centre For Language and Communication Science Research, School for Health and Psychological Sciences, City, University of London. How a service evaluation by students can help answer a question - Could I use smiLE therapy with teenagers with Down Syndrome?


22.06.23 Sally Morgan presents a poster at the British Academy of Childhood Disability (BACD) Annual Scientific Meeting, Sheffield. Conference theme is Learning Disabilities: Is SmiLE therapy feasible, acceptable and can support communication development for teenagers with Down Syndrome.


24.09.22 BATOD National Conference (British Association of Teachers of Deaf Children & Young People). Student Hadiqa, together with Karin Schamroth, Sarah Caffrey (QVI Teacher) and Teressa Willis (QTOD) presented on "Hadiqa’s teenage journey to independence, self-advocacy and well being with smiLE Therapy".

smiLE Therapy helping students across UK

Doncaster Communication Specialist College

Students Thrive thanks to smiLE Therapy


Mary Hare School, Berkshire  

See p37 smiLE Therapy: Our Speech and Language Therapy department have been looking at developing social skills in hearing impaired pupils and the benefits of smiLE Therapy.   

Heathlands School for the Deaf, Hertfordshire

Pupils follow the evidence based speech and language therapy programme called “smiLE Therapy”.  This programme is jointly delivered by smiLE trained therapists supported by teachers. It helps pupils to develop successful functional communication for everyday situations including when meeting non-signers. It links well with the school’s PSHCE curriculum.


Cognus, Surrey

Bringing a smile to the faces of Year 5 and 6 pupils as their skills and confidence grow after their first block of smiLE therapy delivered by Jessica Wood, speech and language therapist at Cognus Therapies!

21 Together Charity, Kent.

Supporting children & young people with Down’s syndrome, their families and those that work with them

Social groups for young people with Down’s syndrome aged 11 to early 20s attend S-club, which consists of 3 three sessions; smiLE Therapy, skills and social sessions


Royal School for the Deaf Derby

Starczewski, H & Mitchell, C  'A day in the life of a teenager at the Royal School for the Deaf Derby' Illustrating how the school’s communication policy works in practice in the Secondary School Department throughout the day through the eyes of a pupil. Includes a smiLE Therapy group developing communication skills for ordering a drink in a cafe independently with confidence. BATOD 


Blanche Nevile School, London

The Speech & Language Therapy service aims to give pupils the confidence, skills and strategies to communicate to the best of their ability in the hearing world. This is taught using smiLE Therapy

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To arrange bespoke training / to book an individual mentoring sessio

Contact us or


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NEXT DATES in 2024

smiLE Therapy Online Training

Day1 MAR 7th & 8th 2024 (mornings only 9-12) 

Day2 MAR 11th & 12th 2024 (mornings only 9-12)

Follow up from Oct 2023 Day1&2 training

Day3 MAY16th & 17th 2024 (mornings only 9-12)

Day1 OCT 10th & 11th 2024 (mornings only 9-12) 

Day2 OCT 14th & 15th 2024 (mornings only 9-12)


Follow up from March 2024 Day1&2 training

Day3 NOV 14th & 15th 2024 (mornings only 9-12)

smiLE Therapy free 1 hour online

Tasters for 2024

  • NELFT NHS Havering  24.09.24

  • Taster Thursday19.09. 24 @3pm UK time

  • Oxfordshire CC SENSS Team 17.04.24

  • Taster Tuesday 16.04. 24 @3pm UK time

  • Scottish Sensory Centre Thurs14.03.24 4-5pm

  • Taster Tuesday 27.02. 24 @3pm UK time

  • Taster Thursday 18.01.24 @3pm UK time

  • Somerset  Council Hearing support 16.01.24

  • Newham Council, Lister Unit 24.11.23

  • Taster Thursday 09.11.23 @3pm UK time

  •  University of East Anglia 19.10.23 

  • Taster Tuesday 10.10.23 @3pm UK time 

  • Taster New Zealand & Australia 20.07.23 

  • Beyond Autism 6th Form + P19 06.07.23

  • Sheffield Learning Disability Team 04.07.23

  • The London Children's Practice SLTs 28.06.23

  • ​University College London 15.06.23

  • Taster 22.06.23 @3pm UK time 

  • NELFT NHS Waltham Forest 07.06.23

  • Taster 23.05.23 @3pm UK time 

  • Taster for New Zealand 10.05.23 8-9am 

  • TODs, Sensory Service Team, Leicester City 

  • Taster 20.04.23 @3pm UK time 

  • Government of Jersey SLT Services 30.03.23

  • Taster 23.03.23 @3pm UK time 

  • Bristol Sensory Service Team 14.03.23

  • Taster 28.02.23 @3pm UK time 

  • Magic Words Therapy 23.02.23

  • Speaking Space SLT Practice 14.02.23

  • Taster 09.02.23 @3pm UK time 

  • Beyond Autism Schools Taster 07.02.23

  • Evelina, London NHS Service Taster 07.02.23

  • Taster 26.01.23 @3pm UK time ​

  • Birmingham University Taster 11.01.23

Email us:

to book training, arrange bespoke training at your workplace or to arrange a FREE Taster for your CEN / University / Education Authority / NHS Trust / School

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