Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and Language Therapy at Aspire School
Every pupil at Aspire school has access to Speech and Language Therapy from our team of Therapists, who are employed by the school.
Our therapists spend time in all classes, getting to know pupils and staff, so they can recognise when more support with communication skills is needed. Our Speech and Language Therapy team are here to support pupils and families to enable our pupils to be the best communicators they can be.
The amount of therapy or support each pupil receives is flexible and can change over time, depending on the communication needs of pupils and their families. It can also change depending on the amount of progress a pupil is making, or how well they can engage with activities in their classroom. We aim to give pupils the support they need when they need it.
At Aspire school, we use a ‘Total Communication Approach’. This means we:
- Use symbols, pictures or photos alongside our spoken language to help our pupils understand us,
- We use Makaton sign language with pupils who will benefit from it
- We use visual supports such as photos, symbols or objects
- Make sure the spoken language we use is at the right level and give our pupils time and support to understand us
- We encourage our pupils to use the communication that is easiest and most accessible for them. This may involve using alternative communication systems such as photos or symbols, Makaton sign language, a communication book or an electronic device. Our priority is always to promote spontaneous communication, by offering all pupils engaging and motivating activities that they want to take part in and communicate about. We train our staff to model the communication techniques children are learning, throughout daily activities in the classroom, rather than working on them in 1:1 therapy sessions, although these are still offered as needed.
There are three levels of support offered by the therapy team (based on the ‘Balanced System’). Support at all levels is built into everyday activities and communication is supported by all members of the school staff team.
Pupils are seen for direct therapy with follow up activities given to staff and parents.
Therapists work with pupils to set targets, jointly with parents and staff. The targets are then worked on by trained classroom staff and parents, with support from a therapist as needed.
Advice, training, and support is available to all members of the school community.
At this level, pupils benefit from whole class strategies and interventions, which are built into every aspect of the school day.
At Aspire, we work closely with other professionals to provide additional supports to our pupils when needed e.g. NHS colleagues who provide specialist feeding and swallowing advice, or physiotherapy. We also work closely with an OT provider who supports our pupils to participate and engage with everyday activities, particularly when there are sensory needs.
To contact the Speech and Language Therapy team, please call 01795 899788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org