Speech & Language Therapy
All our young people are assessed by a Speech and Language therapist when they join school and a detailed programme is drawn up to meet their individual communication needs. Joint planning between teaching staff and the Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) is seen as a particularly important area of the curriculum in supporting the development of speaking and listening skills.
Our SLTs work with all our students and run weekly Social Skills sessions using material from the Talkabout series (Alex Kelly) and an approach known as ‘smiLE’ (strategies and measurable interaction in Live English). This means that our therapy is based on functional, real life situations and events to demonstrate and practise important non-verbal communication skills (e.g. eye-contact, posture, personal space, facial expression etc.) as well as verbal communication skills (e.g. greetings, asking and answering appropriate questions, topic maintenance etc.).
Some of our students need help to expand their spoken language skills and we use an intervention called ‘Colourful Semantics’. This uses colour coding and pictures and helps students to understand and use the abstract concepts such as ‘who’, what’, ‘where’, ‘why’.
Social Stories are written whenever required. These are a way of helping students, particularly who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder, to understand what they may need to do in a specific situation. For example, how to keep safe on the minibus, how to be kind to their classmates, how to get ready in the morning etc.
Some of our students require help with their speech skills, i.e. articulation and phonology for which we use a technique called Cued Articulation.
IPads are increasingly becoming an important feature of students’ lives and we use a programme called Proloquo2go as a communication aid.