On this page there are a summary of testimonials. Please email enquiries@wendyrinald.com if you would like to see more.
All testimonials are printed with kind permission.

SULP 1: Teacher/inspection/project reports

SULP 2: Parents’ views

SULP 3: Pupil evaluation

Communicuddles (SULP puppets)

Wendy’s other books


Click here for a summary of research evidence into the effectiveness of Social use of Language Programme (SULP)

SULP 1. Teacher/inspection/research reports

SULP has been shown to be effective with children and young people with moderate learning difficulties and additional needs such as autism, sensory impairments and emotional difficulties. It has been used effectively with both mainstream and special school pupils. There are teaching sets available for the primary and secondary phases of education as well as brief assessment guides for developing baselines and monitoring progress. SULP has been shown to be effective with children and young people with moderate learning difficulties and additional needs such as autism
www.education.gov.uk. 2012

The SULP group improved significantly on the communication and socialisation domains of the VABS (Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale) and the no-intervention control group did not improve significantly.
Results section- Owens, Granader, Humphrey and Baron-Cohen, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2008

Please email orders@wendyrinaldi.com  for a sample of the results.

Through initiatives such as The Social Use of Language Programme (SULP), pupils are becoming more capable of assessing what they can do,
Ofsted, 2007 Inspection Report no 134975

This is a wonderful school. Leaders and managers recognise that achievement in terms of personal development and the ability to communicate is crucial to improving pupils’ future prospects. Many staff are exceptionally skilled in making use of well-established systems for helping pupils to learn and communicate. These include PECS, SULP (social use of language programme) and TEACCH (treatment and education of autistic and related communication handicapped children). Ofsted, 2007 Inspection Report no 291035

We noted improvement in the children’s confidence in particular, as well as their use of language and negotiating skills.
Language Development/Behaviour Management in KS1 – A Social Use of Language Programme.
Report by Holy Family Primary School, Belfast, 2006 (available on the internet)

SULP makes a significant contribution to the development of pupils’ speaking and listening skills and to their personal development.
Ofsted 2005, report 103613 (report available on the internet)

All teachers were able to identify clear improvements, and in some cases remarkable improvements, making children more able to learn. The benefit to the children on the programme has also been seen in improved behaviour, both within the classroom environment and at play times, for the majority of children. 86% of the children involved in SULP had high or improved school attendance ..
Cumbria Children’s fund early intervention project, 2004 (available on the internet).

There are a number of different successful teaching strategies such as accelerated learning in Primary Schools (ALPS), Social Use of Language Programme (SULP) and Living Language. These methods should be promoted and widely disseminated.
Report of the Special Schools Working Group, DfES, 2003.

The Social Use of Language programme (SULP) is used well by teachers to help pupils use language, learn how to behave and to negotiate in a variety of social contexts,
Ofsted, 2003, inspection report nos 116642

In the SULP (Social Use of Language Programme) groups pupils learn about appropriate communication both verbal and non-verbal in a structured way, which helps them develop an awareness of others, be considerate of them and to recognise and accept their differences.
Ofsted, 2000, Inspection report no 125463

The school’s attention to the development of language, through programmes such as SULP, is having a positive impact on standards achieved.
Ofsted 1997, Inspection Report No 125461

The SULP offers pupils good opportunities to develop their communication skills as well as their personal and social skills. Across key stages 1 and 2, SULP makes an important contribution towards improving behaviour
Ofsted 1996, Inspection Report No 07504, 18257

We recommend SULP for use with adults with learning difficulties in a hospital setting. Giving equal balance to skills of interaction and self-other awareness within one structured setting was a format with which we had not been familiar. We found it illuminating and a practical incentive for communicating together.
Junor and Kelly, 1994, Preparing for communication in the community, RCSLT Bulletin

SULP helps create a very positive group ethos. It raises pupil self esteem; the tremendous pupil response was a joy to watch. It is surprising how little pupils in a form know about each other. SULP helps break down barriers between pupils; it helps the relationship between pupil and teacher. SULP has provided an arena for positive interaction which has extended into the curriculum. It addresses an issue that is often raised in schools but rarely tackled specifically: listening skills.
Learning Support Department report (mainstream secondary school)

I have been using SULP with a group of autistic pupils for several months now and have been very pleased with their response to it. The ‘official’ sessions take place about once a week, but the language of SULP has spilled over into most other things we do in the classroom. Autistic Centre Report

I liked the SULP as I really noticed a difference to the children I had in my class. When I was Senco I rolled it out through the school and plan to try and do that here too.
Ynysowen Community Primary School, 2015

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SULP 2: Parents’ views

The following is a thread from The Dibb, 2011 (full thread on the link below)

SULP... anyone doing it at school?.....

Ross has now been part of his class's SULP (Social Use of Language Programme) group within the ASN Wing for the last 6 months or so...we have noticed that Ross will now manage eye contact for at least 3-4 minutes whereas before there was very little... we had a SALT review meeting a little while back and they thought that Ross would benefit from this programme in a small setting rather than a large class setting...so he attends his SULP group with 3 other children in his wing and we do feel he is benefiting from this...just little things like the eye contact and now taking turns...

Just wondered if this programme had been rolled out nationwide?


My DS had this at primary school and it did help a lot. He's now at an ASD unit attached to mainstream and continues with a lot of these programmes.


Paula, good to hear that the SULP has helped Ross. Thomas did these programmes also and we saw some improvement with eye contact and tolerance of others too.

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SULP 3: Pupil evaluation

The following student’s comments were taken from their ‘record of achievement’ reports at the end of the school year. They were asked how the ‘social use of language group’ had helped them. The students had specific speech and language difficulties with mild to moderate learning difficulties. Four of the group had a history of emotional/behavioural difficulties.

I have improved in my confidence. I sort of used to hide away from people. I didn’t like to talk to people then. Now I’m OK

I think I have improved my listening to people in the group. I have also improved my eye contact when somebody in the group is talking to me. I am better at solving problems like when people bully you

It has taught me how to work out problems. It has also taught me how to speak out and stick up for myself

It has helped me not to be frightened of going up and asking for something. It’s very good and W and Mrs. M are very nice people who have helped me a lot.

It has helped me to learn how to look at a person when you are talking to them. How to listen to people when they are talking to me. It has helped me to make more friends outside and in school and to send things back to the shops

At first I was a bit nervous but I have achieved a lot. I enjoy it. The teachers are friendly and help you. It has helped me finding my way about and asking directions. Getting me used to talking to people and confidence saying no to people who are badgering you. How you feel and say so – happy, sad, angry – you can tell by the look on your face. I am proud of myself and I would like to come here more in the future.

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THE COMMUNICUDDLES (SULP friendly monster Puppets)

1. Benjamin Adlard School, Lincolnshire

We use the toys in our Nurture group which has KS2 children in the morning and KS1 in the afternoon. ALL children are loving them. They have been using them for modelling the SULP lessons and the children have been using them at ‘child initiated activity time’ when they choose an activity. Currently they are acting out conversations with them and then recording the conversations. This is leading to some good literacy work, going over the rules of writing, dialogue etc. The team are now planning for the Nurture group to plan a presentation of conversations, using the monsters, to Early Years, who also use the SULP materials.

2. Gosberton House School, Lincolnshire

Our beautiful monsters have arrived and we are thrilled to have them in school. They are already proving such an asset – perfect!

Six months later, the Headteacher at Gosberton House wrote to Wendy to let her know:
 Luke, Lizzie and the rest of the gang are much loved by the children and used constantly to support social skills development. The character puppets have really made the whole process so much more meaningful and engaging to them. Their success in school is huge....it's amazing how good Lizzie is at calming the children down when they perceive an injustice! [not quite what she was originally purchased for...but a brilliant bonus!]

3. Queens Park Infant School, Bournemouth

I am going to use Moby in a whole school assembly (we have 360 infants!) with our special visitor who has chosen QPI because he has heard that so many children are trying to do active listening. Then I will allow Moby to visit classrooms!... but I will use him especially in the Nurture Group.

I first introduced Moby's listening to my Nurture Group as I had noted the children often lacked focus and attention and perhaps difficulty sustaining positive social interactions. The children were taking Moby's ideas back to class - pointing out when other children were not listening! I thus introduced it to whole school, so a common language was used. During the years I have used 'Moby' I have always wished that I had a puppet of him, as children identify so readily with his stories. At last! He is here.

4. East Renfrewshire Primary School

Communicuddles are proving a big hit with our younger pupils! The children were told that Looking Luke was going to visit and they had to keep practising their  'good looking'  during his visit.  When he arrived the group were sooo excited to see him!   
They all took turns showing Looking Luke how to do good looking and were delighted when he handed out 'good looking' sticker

5. Assistant Headteacher, Belmont School , Gloucestershire

We are thrilled with our SULP puppets - the quality is excellent; the characters and colours are fantastic. The staff cannot wait
to get on and use them with the pupils so they can be introduced to these great characters.

6. Helen Shingler, SENCo, Wigton infant school, Cumbria.

Just to let you know that the puppets have arrived and, my goodness, their Internet photos do not fully do them justice! They are very beautiful. We look forward to Spring Term when some of our children will begin to work, play and learn with them. Thank you for all the work and time you have given to ensuring our children meet their new friends before the end of term. Please  pass on our appreciation and a big thank you to your toy maker. She is a very talented lady – she has made each puppet very beautifully and exquisitely. I am certain some midnight oil has been burned recently. We appreciate all the attention given to our order. Thank you for all you do in support of children’s communicative and emotional growth and development – your ideas are truly wonderful. I hope your programmes continue to go from strength to strength. 
Return to SULP Infants

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IDI (Identifying Difficulties with Inference) has been invaluable to me in assessing the needs of teenagers who appear to have competent communication skills at a superficial level, but show specific difficulties in coping socially and integrating in education, as well as with their peers. Being able to identify and explain inferential communication issues has been paramount in such cases.

Findings from the IDI have helped me explain specific communication issues with an evidence base to service providers to secure speech and language therapy support for this client group. The IDI has also been a useful tool to explain seemingly intangible communication issues to teenagers and their parents, and to  help them understand the reasons for their difficulties and how to resolve these. Wendy Rinaldi is relatively unique in her approaches and consideration of social pragmatic communication issues, which can all too easily be dismissed, giving misconceptions of clients with these needs. Michelle Whitton, Independent Speech and language Therapist

Programmes such as LaCAL (Language Concepts to Access Learning
– extended in the new programme, Get It & Get It Across ) and OL (Organising Language-Language Choices) are having a positive impact on the standards achieved, Ofsted inspection report nos. 125461

Developing Language is a fantastic resource for all paediatric therapists and teachers, It is very structured and comprehensive yet concise, flexible and broad enough to be practical Royal College of Speech-Language Therapists Bulletin.

Language Choices. We are three NHS Speech-Language Therpists who work as part of a Service Level Agreement with Kent County Council and Kent Community Health NHS Trust providing SLT provision into Broomhill Bank school, which is a specialist secondary school for students with SLI/language disorders/ASD (i.e. where their primary need is communication and interaction). We have used Language Choices in a variety of ways, for example, two students have individually completed the programme very successfully and one of the students has herself linked the concepts of relevance/sufficiency etc. to her narratives. Additionally our year 11 students with higher language levels show increased awareness of the concepts and were able to apply these in structured situations.

SOUND follows a clear rationale and with some adaptations all the phonological confusions can be covered. The stories are appealing and I like the way that pressure can be taken off the child by the fact that Omar and Abi are the ones making mistakes and trying out new sounds. There are very detailed and clear instructions on how to use the programme that are easy to pass on to an assistant. Speech and language Therapist (anonymous feedback)

The children related to the characters and enjoyed the SOUND stories and the spontaneous speech games. I found the auditory discrimination exercises within the story and the ’gliding with the skateboard’ particularly helpful! Mary Gush, independent speech and language therapist

I have enjoyed using SOUND with one of my teenage students. He has some
learning difficulties and after several years of speech and language
therapy he was getting bored. This resource has renewed his interest and
even rekindled his earlier love of books. Sian Awford, independent speech and language therapist

In SOUND the pictures and characters are child-friendly. It’s a very extensive therapy tool and a very good starting point that can be built upon with other games and activities…..oh and I like the gliding concept, especially using a skateboard! Emily Owens, independent speech and language therapist

The session planning guidance in SOUND is very useful – particularly for trained TAs. I think this approach would be particularly useful for newly qualified SLTs and could also be used in their training. The illustrations are clear and fun and the super-mouth is useful for beginning to get children used to their mouths and placement without feeling self-conscious. Olga Bonnard, independent speech and language therapist.

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I just wanted to say a big thank you for the SULP course that you ran for three of our staff last month. They really enjoyed the day and gained lots from it. We would like to have three more staff trained if possible…Marie Smith, Deputy Headteacher, St Nicholas School

Really pleased to have attended – the training was personalised and reinforced my understanding.

We enjoyed the personal touch of being just us – it felt more focussed on our needs for our school’s students. Felt at ease to talk –
in a big group wouldn’t feel so confident to talk out.

Good breakdown of information and demonstrations of activities. I have a better understanding now and feel more confident
putting this into practice – thanks Wendy!

Really very useful with lots of food for thought for the future at school. Lots of potential for different groups of children.

Thank you for our training- we both found it very interesting and it has given us renewed vigor to deliver the course effectively.

Thank you, a very informative day. Good refresher and good additional materials.

A very good pace and lots of opportunity for Q and As in a small group of people I know.

I had a really good day, thank you. Like the idea of 2 to 1!

Pleased to refresh knowledge from use years ago! Very comprehensive programme yet flexible in practical use. Thanks for an
informal yet informative day.

I really enjoyed the practical demonstrations and can see how they can make an impact.

Very impressive programme. Really looking forward to using it with the children.

Makes much more sense now that we have worked through the programme with Wendy – much clearer.

Thoroughly enjoyed working within a small group in an informal setting.

Really useful outline of how to implement the programme effectively, nice small group.

Very enjoyable course. Will do lots of group work and feel it will benefit the pupils and the school.

Informative and the programme makes more sense now and I have more of an understanding of how it works.


I found the practical lecture (social communication and social understanding) very interesting and very helpful coming away with new things to try with the children and how to deal with difficult areas; also with a lot more confidence. I'm now very excited to try activities like special chair, scorecards and snazzy boxes! I'd like to thank you again for your time and knowledge -  it's been very enlightening and I’m eager to use these new methods. Elly Dodds, TA, Heath farm School, Charing.

I found your practical lecture very interesting and I think it will be of great benefit to the children in my classroom, Janice Munden, Heath farm School

I really enjoyed your seminar at the SEN show. I teach Communication and Social Skills at my SEN college and this seminar gave me more ideas and activities to use and in what order to use them – so many thanks. It felt like the tip of the iceberg for me, there is so much to learn. Jane Farringdon, class teacher

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. I have learnt so much and improved my own CPD considerably. Helen Pitfield, Outreach teacher

As a Maths subject leader, I was very interested in GIGIA and I can see this being very beneficial in my own school to help youngsters understand the meanings behind the vocabulary. Vicki Turner, Vice Principal

Many thanks for the day, I found a lot of it very useful. I particularly liked the information on self-esteem and improving this as well as friendship. Sarah Hassnip, SLT

It was refreshing to attend a days training that was focussed on intervention. So much of the time assessment, features of or implications are the focus. This was very much about ‘so what can we actually do about it’. I found the Language Choices programme particularly helpful. I can see how it would easily apply to the work I do with primary and secondary school children with language disorders. Kerry Jane Keeling, SLT

I found the day really interesting. Wendy was very knowledgeable and able to convey her expertise in an accessible and engaging way. I feel that it would benefit all of my colleagues to know more about this important area. Helen Nation, Educational Psychologist

I found the study day very useful day and nice to meet you too after hearing of your work over many years. The quality and quantity of work you have done is truly inspirational. I found the way you presented the social skills behaviours as the” old way/ new way” within a narrative very helpful as a teaching method using the comic strip conversation style. This is missing from other resources like…. that don’t explain the wanted behaviours very clearly. I loved the way you teach time concepts to children and have used that already. Thankyou. Ann Farquar, independent SLT.


Skype training worked well as it saved a lot of money but still allowed us to interact with the trainer.  I think that SULP will be very useful for us as a school. Samuel Evans, SENCo, Westborough High School, Dewsbury

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