Natalie Blackburn is a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist

We are so proud of Natalie for furthering her career to become a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist or LSLS. A LSLS is a speech pathologist that specialises in hearing loss and requires a lot of additional study and experience.

“During my studies at university I was drawn to hearing loss and this speciality area of speech pathology. I think what sparked my interest is that my uncle has a profound hearing loss in one ear. I also had a lot of middle ear infections as a child and had to get grommets and lots of hearing tests – so had some personal experience with hearing difficulties as a child,” said Natalie.

The requirements to become a LSLS are quite rigorous. Natalie initially completed four years of study to become a Speech Pathologist at the University of Sydney. To become a certified LSLS Natalie was required to have three years’ experience working in hearing loss and then had to submit a portfolio that detailed:

  • 80 hours of Continuing Education (i.e. professional development / specialised training courses in the area of Listening and Spoken Language)
  • Observed 10 sessions of a certified LSLS
  • 20 of Natalie’s sessions observed by a certified LSLS
  • Log at least 900 hours of experience
  • Letters of recommendations from three parents of children Natalie has worked with

Once the portfolio is approved by AG Bell, global leader in Listening and Spoken Language Certification, Natalie had to sit two 3 hour exams based on topics related to listening and spoken language development.

“I sat the exams in early March this year and was contacted on 13th July by AG Bell to let me know I had passed. I am very lucky to have had so many amazing mentors here at The Shepherd Centre to help me along the way. We are very lucky to have certified LSLS working here who take the time to mentor our Therapists learn more about Audio Verbal Therapy. We are always improving our skills and techniques so that we are able to help our families and give them the best service.”

Congratulations Natalie from The Shepherd Centre team!

natalie blackburn