DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT PUPILS IN SCHOOL WITH SPEECH, LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION NEEDS (SLCN)?
Do staff feel confident in understanding what is meant by the terms speech, language and communication? What difficulties this may include and how they present within the classroom?
Do staff feel able to identify pupils with SLCN, provide support and put strategies in place to meet their needs enabling pupils to continue to make progress within the curriculum?
As an independent Speech and Language Therapist with experience working within Education I can help in a number of ways.
Free Phone Consultation
Give me a call to discuss any concerns you may have and to see what I could do to help. Each school situation and needs are so different: it is important that the service is bespoke to meet needs as well as budget.
A simple staff audit of speech, language and communication knowledge can be a very useful tool to identify gaps in knowledge and training requirements. As well as looking at staff needs there may be environmental issues that could be adapted to encourage effective communication.
An audit is a time effective way of getting information about staff awareness and knowledge of SLCN as well as identifying changes that can be made within the environment that will have a quick and significant positive impact.
Get in touch for more information about how an audit, report of recommendations and action plan can be implemented within your setting.
Staff can find it very difficult to support children in their class with SLCN because their teacher training doesn’t offer teaching in this area.
Some very useful staff training may include, for example:
- What do we mean by SLCN?
- How can we support pupils in school with SLCN?
- Strategies and activities built in to the curriculum to support SLCN.
- What are the red flags for SLCN?
These are great areas for full staff training and can be worked into staff meetings or short twilight sessions.
More specific training around interventions can be accessed too. Ideas for the types of things you may want to access include:
- Early Talk Boost
- Talk Boost
- Derbyshire Language Scheme
- Makaton (Signing for Babies, Beginners and Follow-up, Foundation and enhancement, a more bespoke training set up to meet specific curriculum needs)
- ELKLAN (Speech and language support for 0-3s, Speech and language support for under 5s, Speech and language support for 5-11s, Communication support for children with severe and complex needs, Communication support for verbal children with ASD)
- Blank Language levels of questioning
- Communication chain; expressive and receptive language
- Identifying and supporting speech language and communication needs within your setting
- Supporting children with expressive language difficulties (Augmentative and Alternative Communication AAC)
- Total Communication
- Colourful Semantics
- Support for children with unclear speech
- Speech, language and communication needs and how this links with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
- Visual support strategies
An audit can be a great way to start to identify what training might be the best fit for your setting.
Why not train an HLTA or Teaching Assistant to Communication Champion within school and work alongside the SENCo carrying out intervention programmes for those with SLCN. The Speech and Language Therapist could provide additional support and advice too.
Speech and Language therapy sessions in school
As an independent Speech and Language Therapist I have had the opportunity to work directly with SENCo’s and staff to identify assess and support the speech, language and communication needs of pupils in school. This takes away the need for children to discharged from the caseload for non-attendance. Assessment can take place on-site and strategies can be fed into the curriculum and planning so that progress can be made as part of what is already taking place. This helps pupils to generalise the skills and strategies they are learning within therapy sessions because it is happening within the routine of their day.
As well as the Speech and Language Therapist carrying out assessments for pupils that aren’t making as much progress as you would hope and are a cause for concern, therapy sessions can also take place. Sessions may be on a 1:1 or in small groups in order to make the greatest amount of progress.
Intervention programmes delivered alongside a TA or an HLTA could be shared and the staff continue with these interventions throughout the week. This up-skills staff to work alongside children with SLCN and helps them to feel confident in identifying need in the future and knowing how to start and implement some help.
In-house Speech and Language Therapy is a great way to assess and monitor pupil progress and provide the right level of support to meet their SLCN.