My experience of speech and language therapy as a child led me to this area of study

Student spotlight | Carl Darlton, BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy


Carl Darlton

I am a professional British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter as both of my parents are Deaf, so I’ve had a unique upbringing which gave me the insight and unique perspective of a different way of life. Recently, I have particularly been enjoying hiking or going on long walks, this has been great for my mental health since the pandemic, and I would recommend everyone to get outdoors for some fresh air!

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to Speech and Language Therapy

Growing up in a household without voices, mine became delayed and I ended up needing speech and language therapy (SLT) input as a child. I then became a BSL interpreter and identified a growing community of deaf children having cochlear implants. This also means that those children would need SLT input to improve their speech and language.

I knew this was an area I wanted to work towards, and I knew I could achieve this at Leeds. However, since being on the course and having a lot of work experience provided by the course, I have found myself also fascinated by other areas within SLT.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett?

I chose Leeds Beckett as I heard it had a great course which would give me the skills to be an effective speech and language therapist. I knew the city centre, so it was easy to navigate around and find the hotspots for eating out. I don’t live too far from Leeds either, so it was easy to commute to on the train, which is a short walk away from the campus.

The social aspect of Leeds is also a positive, there are many places to visit, drink, eat and a variety of places to do activities.

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett?

Since starting at Leeds Beckett, the most enjoyable moments have been the social aspect of meeting new people and developing friendships, eating out and studying in the library. Leeds Beckett City Campus has a lot of different facilities which means there are a lot of options.

Another aspect of this course specifically is the array of experiences I have gained from work placements throughout the two years so far, from working with children, adults and even other professionals.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

I would recommend that you research and look into the career choice first, make sure that you understand the variety of areas that you could potentially work in. I went into this course with the mindset of only working with deaf children and now I am adamant I want to work with adults in an acute setting.

If you have gotten an understanding of what the career entails, then I would suggest that you try and gain a lot of practical experience through the university or even from your own volunteering as this can build your confidence in interaction with clients.

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