Meet the Team
We are an innovative team seeking to bridge the gap between ‘mainstream’ and ‘special’ bringing professional knowledge and experience into the heart of the community to create resources and opportunities within daily life which are fully accessible and fun!
Pictologue draws on a clinical foundation of Therapy and Special Education. Our founder is a Speech and Language Therapist and we work holistically with a highly skilled, dedicated and expanding multi-professional team. Our specialty core includes Play Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, and a Special Educational Needs Teacher supported by Highly Skilled Therapy Assistants and Practitioners. As such, we work in accordance with standards of effective and evidence-based practice.
We are committed to providing excellent products and services that reflect current research and best practice. In addition to being qualified and experienced, our staff maintain appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
Bethan de Mel
Bethan created Pictologue in 2013 to provide more resources and opportunities for successful interactions, increasing support and facilitating inclusion of children who have communication needs in families, schools and the local community.
Bethan's approach is holistic, keeping the child and their family at the centre of therapy.
She holds a BSc (Hons) Speech Pathology and Therapy from Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, and has been trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches, which she implements flexibly according to each child's profile and needs, including Hanen, Makaton, Intensive Interaction, The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Aided Language Stimulation (ALS) & Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
She has over twenty years' experience as a paediatric therapist supporting children and young people who have communication needs, working in a variety of settings with the NHS and the private sector overseas.
Since 2023, Bethan maintains an Advisory role with Pictologue, supporting the ongoing development of the charity together with the Trustees and Team, and offering consultation and monitoring for individual therapy programmes.
Speech and Language Therapist
Natalie joined Pictologue in Summer 2019, initially as a volunteer advisor supporting our ToyBox service development and more recently since Autumn 2021 as a Specialist Therapist.
She has over 10 years' experience working as a Speech and Language Therapist, specialising in Early Years in 2004. Additionally, she has trained as an Early Years Teacher and practiced in an Early Years setting as a Special Needs Co-ordinator for 4 years.
Natalie enjoys using a rich repertoire of evidence-based therapeutic approaches and resources, including: Core Vocabulary Approach, Hodson's Cycles, Colourful Semantics, Shape Coding, Picture Exchange Communication System, Makaton. She holds an active interest in bilingual language development and working with a wide multi-disciplinary team.
Play Therapist (Maternity Leave)
Maira re-joined Pictologue in February 2020 after gaining additional early years experience in 2019. She focused on developing our Playroom and Play Therapy Services through 2018.
Maira is dedicated to working therapeutically to support emotional well-being and passionate about promoting a brighter future for each and every child.
She holds an MA in Developmental and Therapeutic Play from Swansea University and a further MSc in Child Psychology. Her Bachelor's degree was focused on Early Childhood Studies BA(Hons) from Gloucestershire University. Her specialist training includes Makaton, PECS, Talking Mats, equality and diversity, attachment, mental health, special needs, and many more.
She and has over six years’ experience working therapeutically with children in schools, nurseries, therapy centres and other settings. She has worked with children of all ages from different backgrounds who have a variety of skills and abilities, including physical and sensory impairments, mental health issues and learning difficulties, focusing on positive growth and development for each individual child.
Maira is constantly seeking to advance her therapeutic experiences and she has also acquired diplomas in: Bereavement and Grief Counselling, Psychoanalysis, Play Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Art Therapy, Anxiety, Depression and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Therapy Assistant Practitioner
Sharon joined Pictologue in Spring 2021, as a Highly Specialist Therapy Assistant Practitioner.
Sharon loves to create innovative strategies that are practical and motivational to children and she is particularly interested in developing sensory approaches to learning.
Sharon is dedicated to the children and families she supports and holds additional training in a variety of specialist therapeutic approaches, including: Colourful Semantics, Makaton, Picture Exchange Communication System, Attention Autism, Identiplay, Sensory Approaches to Learning, Tacpac Communication through Touch and Music, Alternative and Augmentative Communication.
She has over 20 years' experience working as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant in specialist and mainstream schools.
Sharon works full time providing individual therapy programmes and overseeing our Toy Library Service.
Speech and Language Therapist
Zey joined Pictologue in Winter 2023 as a Speech and Language Therapist volunteer. Zey graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BSc (Hons) in Speech and Language Pathology. She completed her community service year in rural KwaZulu Natal where she gained experience working with a culturally and clinically diverse population including neonates, infants, toddlers, children and young people with feeding and communication difficulties as well as their families.
Zey is passionate about teamwork, children and progressively learning to provide therapy that is both meaningful and functional to the child and their family.
Jane joined Pictologue in Winter 2023 as a Playroom Assistant volunteer. She is a parent to a non-verbal special needs child, and a Bsc Psychology with Sociology student. She has a background in care work, working with adults with various disabilities, learning needs and mental health needs. She has also worked as a volunteer in SEN schools, working with autistic children and those with severe and complex needs. She has experience in using Makaton, the PECs communication system, and ALD boards, and in using approaches such as Intensive Interaction, and has qualifications in Understanding Autism, Challenging Behaviour, Applied Behavioural Analysis, Mental Health Awareness, Support Work in Schools, and Caring for Children and Young People.
She is particularly keen to help non-verbal children to find their voice, either through spoken language or alternative forms of communication.
Her hobbies are kayaking, walking in the countryside, reading, studying, and spending time with her children.
Mathilde Chadail, Laura Haickel, John Harris, Richard Neville
Pictologue is a Charitable Company and our trustees play a vital behind-the-scenes role in strengthening our management and administration, supporting our team of staff and volunteers, making sure we are run in the interests of our beneficiaries, and fulfilling our legal responsibilities as a charity.
Interested in joining our growing, multi-professional specialist team?! Find out more here!