Aims /principles of service delivery
The Speech and Language Therapy service works within the parameters of the whole Speech and Language Therapy service with the following philosophy. “Our service aims to help children to communicate to the best of their ability. Our approach is based on the principle that children’s communication skills are best developed through interaction with people who are most familiar to them and in everyday situations. We aim to achieve this by working with the child and advising teachers and parents. The balance between direct work with the child and advice to others will depend upon the needs of the individual child.”
The Speech and Language Therapy service aims to:
- Develop an environment in which a total communication approach is facilitated. This implies use of a range of additional strategies to support the development of communication for a range of different functions.
- Provide an assessment and intervention programme for the children attending Queensmill School who have communication difficulties indicative of Autistic Spectrum disorders.
- Work within a collaborative framework in which Teachers and Therapists work together towards establishing aims for the development of children’s communication skills in order for work on communication to occur throughout the school day.
- Liaise closely with Parents/ carers through provision of parent workshops and specific liaison regarding particular children.
- Provide ongoing INSET training for school staff regarding all aspects of communication and the relationship between children’s communication and their behaviour.
- Liaise with other professionals as appropriate.
- Work with staff teams regarding the functional analysis of a child’s behaviour and design/implement an Individual Behaviour Management Plan as and when appropriate.
Children attending Queensmill School are automatically referred to the Speech and Language therapy service on entry. Children new to the school will participate in initial assessment which will be completed within the first half term of them being in school .The findings of the assessment will be shared with Parents/ carers / classroom staff as part of their baseline review.
The process of assessment of a child’s needs may involve the following:
- Detailed discussion with Parents/ carers
- Individual sessions for formal and informal assessment
- Observation of the child in a number of contexts
- Discussion with school staff
- Production of a report
The Speech and Language Therapists are available to give advice and input on the following areas;
- Attention and listening
- Play skills
- Understanding of language
- Expressive language
- Use of communication for interaction
- Social skills
- Augmentative and alternative communication – including the use of objects of reference, photographs, symbols and signing systems.
- Use of behaviour as a means of communication
Delivery of Speech and Language Therapy varies according to the individual needs of the children. Therapy may take the form of any of the following:
- Participation in whole class groups
- Liaison and planning with classroom staff
- Individual therapy
- Small group therapy
Following assessment all children receive termly aims which list the targets the child will be working on in terms of their communication for that term. At the end of the term progress will be evaluated and a review report distributed. The speech and language therapy aims are designed to link into the child’s PLP (personal learning plan) and inform classroom staff of targets to work on for communication across the school day. At times it may be valuable to establish similar aims for the child working on his/ her communication skills at home. Such programmes will be introduced on an individual basis.
Liaison and joint planning is seen as a vital part of the role and for this purpose Therapists hold regular “clinic” sessions with class teams to discuss arising issues which may include specific children, adaptation of specific activities and behaviour programmes.
Each term a summary of the child’s progress on his/ her aims will be produced and circulated. A full review report is provided for the Annual Review and where there are issues pertinent to communication the Therapists will try to attend the review meeting. At the end of the academic year a summary sheet of basic information is provided in order to ensure staff new to the children at the start of the academic year are provided with some fundamental information about the child’s communication.
Liaison and communication are considered vital in running an effective service. Parents/carers are encouraged to contact therapists directly on and arrangements can be made for meetings / home visits where appropriate.
The Speech and language therapists aim to attend Parents’ evenings and where Parents/carers are not able to attend these meeting but would like to meet with the Therapist alternative arrangements are made.