Dr Sushie Dobbinson, Brief Biography

Dr Sushie Dobbinson

Lead Forensic Speech & Language Therapist


Brief biography

I am currently working as the lead Forensic Speech & Language Therapist at the Humber Centre, Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. I work with a range of complex and difficult to treat people, all of whom are detained under the Mental Health Act.

Currently I’m working on the development of an adult autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) diagnostic and treatment service for forensic patients at the Humber Centre. This is a medium secure psychiatric hospital where many of the patients have been in long term care and hence may never have been assessed for ASCs, as the diagnosis did not appear in the DSM manuals until 1994. I also work for the Adult Asperger’s Diagnosis service as part of the community team for Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

My interest in ASCs began when I studying for my BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Social Anthropology at Manchester University between 1988 and 1991. I registered for my PhD with the University of Sheffield in 1994 on the topic of Repetitiveness and Formulaicity in the Conversation of Adults with ASCs, supervised by Professor Jill Boucher and Professor Mick Perkins. While studying I presented papers at conferences in Barcelona, Hong Kong, Toronto, UCL, Glasgow and Durham Universities on the topic of language use in adults with autism. At Toronto University I sat on an expert panel on Disorder in Talk. I was a member of the York University Disordered Conversation Research Group from 1996 – 2003. I also worked as a research assistant, collecting and collating date for the Pre School Language Scales III assessments.

I have taught linguistics and phonetics at the Universities of Huddersfield, Sheffield and the Open University. In 1997 I was appointed as a University Lecturer in Linguistics at York St John’s where I taught phonetics, psycholinguistics and general linguistics and became senior lecturer and Head of Programme there in 1999.

In 2005, I qualified as an SLT and since then have incorporated research into my work. I am currently working on an NHS approved project entitled Conversation Analysis of Confabulation among Patients on a Forensic Learning Disabilities Ward, looking at how non-intentional verbal deception arises in talk between clinicians and patients.  

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