The Speech and Language therapy team at Forest Approach consists of two Speech and Language therapists (SALT) and a Speech and Language therapy assistant (SALTa). The team are employed by London Borough of Havering and come in to the school twice a week.
- What do we do?
- Who do we work with?
- Total Communication
- Eating and Drinking Difficulties (Dysphagia)
Students who attend Dycorts School who require speech and language therapy input will receive a communication assessment. Based on these assessments, recommendations with be made to develop communication skills. The speech and language therapist will set outcomes and communication targets in conjunction with their class teachers. It is important that communication intervention is embedded in everyday activities by education staff.
The speech and language therapy input may include:
- Individual therapy sessions
- Small group work
- Whole class group work
- Target setting
- Providing resources
- Modelling and training teaching staff
- Writing reports /Education and Health Care Plans.
The SALT will work closely with class teachers, Music therapists and teaching staff within the school to discuss communication levels, provide recommendations, strategies and resources to develop communication.
There is also close liaison between the medical team, physiotherapists and other professionals.
There are opportunities for the speech and language therapist and parents to meet at school’s learning review days which take place termly.
At Dycorts School a Total Communication approach is used. This means that all methods of communication are encouraged, including;
- Words and vocalisation
- Makaton signing
- Photographs and symbols
- Objects of reference
- Communication books /devices
Specific approaches may be used when appropriate, such as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Intensive Interaction, Sensory Integration and Colourful Semantics. Appropriate training is provided to staff to ensure carryover of these techniques into the classroom setting on a daily basis.
Specialist SALTs provide a service to students who experience difficulties with eating, drinking or swallowing. A referral can be made by parents, school staff and other professionals. On the acceptance of a referral, a Specialist SALT will arrange to visit the school and will assess and make recommendations according to the needs of the individual child. Other professionals may also be involved as required, including doctors, dieticians and physiotherapists.