Chevonne Du Plessis


Hello, my name is Chevonne.

I completed my undergraduate degree in Speech, Language & Hearing Therapy at Stellenbosch University in South Africa in 2013. Over the next 6 years, whilst working in private practice, I collaborated on research between the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Vanderbilt University in the United States on the applicability of naturalistic communication interventions across different linguistic, cultural and socio-economic contexts.

I have presented on this research at the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP) congress in 2018 and 2019, finalising my own Master’s degree thesis on this topic in the same year. I have since also published this research in The South African Journal of Communication Disorders. I also completed my third tertiary-level qualification, a Postgraduate Diploma in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology, at University College London in December 2020, being 1 of only 10 students selected for this course internationally.

I joined the Words First team in February 2020, where I found my passion for working with students who have complex social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. I collaborate closely with schools to understand the complexity of young people trying to express complex emotions and traumatic experiences, and take pride in supporting families to understand diagnoses and therapeutic targets from a wide variety of professionals. I am privileged to be able to support neurodivergent individuals on their journey to understanding, accepting and advocating for themselves.

Currently, I work in two schools catering for students with SEMH needs, and I am the Clinical Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for ADHD within Words First. I am also ADOS trained and run Autism Diagnostic Clinics along with an Occupational Therapist and Paediatrician at our Kids First Clinic in Kenley.

There is little else that parallels my love of learning, research and knowledge – unsurprisingly, I will happily get lost in libraries or bookstores for hours on end. One of my all-time favourite books is “Quiet” by Susan Cain. It has been one of the most powerful tools in both my personal and professional life to remember that communication is so much more than words; that even in silence volumes can be spoken.