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About smiLE Therapy

About smiLE Therapy

smiLE Therapy teaches social communication skills to students with a wide range of communication needs, to support everyday, short interactions with people in the mainstream community.

smiLE Therapy is:

  • designed around authentic tasks

  • social communication skills are explicitly taught

  • Learning is visual and experiential through filming and role play

  • Social skills are actively promoted within a small group which is run by two Practitioners

  • The learning design focusses on the abilities and potential of the individual student

  • Clear visual outcome measures are evaluated by the student themselves

  • Students are supported to become independent in preparation for adulthood.

  • Generalisation of skills is a core part of the therapy. Parents are offered two workshops. Staff a separate workshop. This supports future interaction opportunities so skills become skills for life.

Who is smiLE Therapy for?

It is for Children, Young People and Adults:

  • From ages 7 to 25

  • Who show a readiness and a motivation to be independent in everyday, short interactions in the community

  • Who have an awareness that there are specific skills to be learned when interacting with the public who are not aware of their communication needs

  • These children, young people and adults may be Deaf, Autistic, have Down Syndrome, Learning Difficulties, Developmental Language Disorder, Multi-Sensory Disabilities or Physical Disability

  • Who attend Mainstream Schools, Special Schools, Specialist Units/Provisions, Specialist Colleges or are Home Educated

  • Who learn at a slower rate and need a simple module with a few skills to process, learn, remember and generalise

  • Who learn at a faster rate and can manage complex modules eg. Communication for Work Experience, Independent Travel, Interview Skills

smiLE Therapy for Autistic students: smiLE Therapy is honestly and explicitly helping neurodiverse people to communicate in a predominantly neurotypical world, for short everyday interactions with unknown people, while not stating that this should happen all the time. For students who fit the criteria listed above, have an awareness and motivation to be independent, smiLE Therapy gives cues on how to navigate in the neurotypical world, should they chose eg. to go to the shops or into a café. It equips Autistic people with some of the hidden rules of such social interaction situations. We do not promote Autistic people to be someone that they are not. We absolutely support Autistic people in celebrating their neurodiversity in their regular environments, close contacts and relationships.

Core elements of smiLE Therapy

  • Authentic meaningful interactions. A smiLE Therapy module is based on the design of a real-life interaction task. This might be making a request in an office environment, buying in a local shop, ordering in a café, communication for work experience

  • The communicative interaction is deconstructed into small component skills. The skills needed for any social communication task are numerous and can be complex. They are dismantled and separated out into manageable small component skills that are then taught

  • The student is at the centre of the learning design. smiLE Therapy is flexible in design and has the needs of the individual at its core. From the planning stage the individual learning needs , rate of learning, processing time needed, steer the module design

  • Each group session includes physical, emotional, social and learning environments that are key to therapy delivery

  • Learning is visual and experiential through filming and guided role play techniques and students watching their own before & after therapy videos.

  • Two practitioners are needed to run a smiLE Therapy group module. They respond flexibly to the students’ immediate learning needs in a dynamic way. Both also actively facilitate positive social skills within the group process.

  • The interaction task is filmed before therapy to capture what skills the student already has and what skills are still needed, and again after therapy to capture what skills have been learned. This allows students to take ownership of their learning

  • Taking responsibility and self-advocacy in a supportive environment are actively promoted

  • Evidence Based Practice, Outcome measures & self-evaluation. Dynamic target setting, before and after therapy outcomes based on video evidence, joint needs analysis, communication skills checklists and student self-evaluation are integral to the therapy

  • Generalisation, Impact & Skills for life. Two smiLE Therapy parent workshops and a staff workshop are key to providing the supportive facilitation and practice of newly acquired skills to varied social interaction opportunities in the community.

NEXT DATES in 2023

smiLE Therapy Online Training


Day1 OCT 12th & 13th 2023 (mornings only 9-12) 

Day2 OCT 16th & 17th 2023 (mornings only 9-12)


Follow up from March Day 1 & 2 training

Day3 NOV 16th & 17th 2023 (mornings only 9-12)

smiLE Therapy free 1 hour online

Tasters for 2023

  • Taster New Zealand & Australia 20.07.23 5pm/3pm

  • Beyond Autism 6th Form and Post-19 Team 06.07.23

  • Sheffield Comm. Learning Disability Team 04.07.23

  • The London Children's Practice SLTs 28.06.23

  • ​University College London Student SLTs 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 local time

  • 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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