The setting up of speech4schools
After many years of working in the NHS, I realised that when it comes to speech and language therapy, there is no ‘one-size fits all’; everyone’s needs are individual and what works for one child or one school might not necessarily work for another.
A prescriptive way of working in a school fails to get everyone on board. At speech4schools we offer a more flexible approach and take pride in what we do; no question is too silly and nothing is too much trouble when it comes to making a difference to a child. I pride myself on ensuring that we all offer a high quality service to pupils, schools and parents.
I now have an ever-growing team of therapists, all of whom are passionate about what we do and love to make a difference every single day when we go into schools. I’m in charge of finding out exactly what schools want and setting up the contracts with them. I then find the perfect therapist to provide that service for them and oversee the whole process, ensuring everyone is happy! The aim of speech4schools is to help and involve everyone so we can work together to support the child’s overall development.
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What does a Speech & Language Therapist do?
A Speech & Language Therapist works with a wide range of children with variety of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
These could include children who:
- Have poor listening skills
- Have difficulty understanding language
- Don’t have many words in their repertoire
- Struggle to join their words to form well-structured utterances
- Find certain speech sounds difficult to produce
- Do not to talk in certain settings (Selective Communicators)
- Struggle to follow the unsaid ‘rules’ of communication and find the ‘social’ aspect of communication difficult
- Have voice difficulties e.g. very hoarse voice
A Speech & Language Therapist would assess the child (formally and/or informally) and make any onward referrals if necessary e.g. to have their hearing checked or see an Occupational Therapist or Paediatrician. They would usually write a report and feedback clearly to all concerned exactly what the issues are and what needs to be done to support these. The therapist would offer support to Teachers, TAs and Parents and targets and strategies would be set. Resources are often provided. The Therapist may work directly with the child (whilst demonstrating ideas and training a member of staff) and will also support changes in the child’s environment (e.g. making the classroom more language friendly).