Abigail Watling

Abigail Watling

Speech and Language Therapist


BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy, PG Dip Post Basic Dysphagia Training


  • Paediatrics 
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Multi-sensory impairment
  • Dysphagia
  • Neurology
  • Trauma
  • AAC


I qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2011. I have previously worked in an adult learning disability team, managing clients with autism, cerebral palsy, multi-sensory impairment, and profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) with complex communication and dysphagia needs. I have also worked in a medium secure mental health hospital providing support to clients with a variety of mental health conditions, as well as those with learning disabilities, brain injuries, progressive neurological conditions and dementia.

I currently provide an adhoc support as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist within an education establishment where I worked as a therapist for many years. These individuals’ conditions are lifelong and are the result of a birth injury/trauma, and are due to a diagnosis(es) linked to chromosomal/genetic involvement, or they have a disability following an acquired injury. All of these young people experience communication and/or eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties, as a consequence of their complex needs. I work extensively with AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) and dysphagia. Within this role I have gained a clear understanding of the educational funding, review and monitoring systems as part of the EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plans) process. 
I work part time as a Dysphagia Clinical Service Lead providing strategic management and operational direction for the delivery and development of an effective and efficient Dysphagia service; leading on relevant projects and initiatives, while managing a team of therapists; providing support and supervision.
I also work in an SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) provision for young people who have complex needs and require a bespoke education programme with integrated therapeutic support. This is a trauma-informed provision where I work as part of a skilled multidisciplinary team to promote positive outcomes for our students.
In addition, I work independently for Therapy Hive Ltd in Gloucestershire and across the UK, working predominantly with children and young people aged 0-25 with a wide range of needs. Within this role I have become skilled at carrying out assessments to support families, schools and Local Authorities for EHCP applications and tribunal cases. Over the past 10 years I have worked to develop and establish an extensive knowledge of assessment and management of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and dysphagia pertinent to a range of client groups; underpinned by a current evidence-based practice.

I have a specific clinical interest in the area of AAC and work hard to continue to stay up to date with this ever-changing fast paced field. I am also a member of a number of clinical excellence networks and enjoy completing regular professional development in order to ensure my practice remains up to date and evidence-based.

I accept instructions from both claimant and defendant solicitors and insurers. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to expert witnesses.