Unit 331 Understanding children and young person’s Development. Assignment (Task) Task D Report Early identification of speech, language or communication delay is important for a child or young persons’ well-being. All practitioners have a responsibility to identify children’s needs and intervene with appropriate support as early as possible, to help children achieve the goals of ‘Every Child Matters’ and progress towards the Early Learning Goals.
The importance of early language and communication skills for children’s later achievements is now well documented and the need to provide support for children at this early stage is so that they can achieve their full potential. This means recognising a child’s difficulty quickly: both as early as possible in their life and as soon as possible after the difficulty become apparent. Early intervention means making a prompt intervention to support the child and family. It is important that the child/young person and their families are involved in decisions about their support.
If a child or young person receives the right help early on, they have a better chance of tackling problems, communicating well and making progress. Speech, Language and communication needs do not only affect language and communication, they can have a profound and lasting effect on children’s lives. Making friends, sustaining relationships, emotional regulation, problem solving and behavioural control are dependent on good speech and language skills as well as learning to read and academic achievement. In order to be included into school, home and community life good communication skills are vital.
Poor communication is also a risk factor for mental health difficulties and impacts on emotional well-being. Because of these links, there is a knock on impact on further education opportunities, employability and family stress. These children and young people can be supported in a wide range of settings, from mainstream schools to more specialist placements such as language units or residential special schools. Studies have shown that the level of specialist knowledge and expertise in supporting children’s needs is of crucial importance.
As most of a child’s communication happens at home it is vital that close links are made between professionals and family members/carers and to look at ways of supporting the child or young person at home. If a child or young person needs more than the support of the school environment, then a multi-agency team will be involved. This would involve the child’s teacher, teaching assistant, the school SENCO, qualified and experienced professionals, for example Speech and Language Therapists and most importantly parents.
This might be through a recognized programme such as the Nuffield Dyspraxia Programme, Language through Reading or Social Use of Language Programme, or through a combination of approaches tailored to suit the individual child or young person. A child or young person with speech, language and communication delay will usually have a Multi Element Plan (M. E. P. ). If they do not seem to be making enough progress or they need a lot of extra help the school SENCO will contact the Local Authority and ask them to carry out a statutory assessment.
This is only usually required for children who have the most significant and long-term special educational needs which require a very detailed assessment. It can be a long process and both the school and parents are involved. If a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) is issued, this will take effect immediately. This will include how the child will get help and from which agencies and will be reviewed annually. There are many ways in which to support the development of the child or young person’s speech, language and communication.
Young children learn a lot through role play and this can help with their development. A home corner set up with cooking utensils can be used to support the child. Talk about the utensils and what they are used for. Ask the child questions like “what are you cooking today? ” and “who are you cooking it for? ” Encourage the child to tell you what ingredients they have used, describe what they look and smell like. This will help build up the child’s vocabulary. Kim’s game is a good activity to play with primary children.
Use a range of objects (I use no more than 8) and choose ones that are linked, for example, pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, sharpener, paper clip. Ask the child to name each object clearly as they pick them up in turn and count them. Ask the child to look away and remove one object, and then ask the child to name the object which has been removed. Encourage the child to use full sentences; instead of saying “pencil” they could say “you have removed the pencil”. Removing more than one object at a time and replacing an object with something else encourages more complex range of sentencing.
You could also talk about the objects and discuss what they are used for. “Twenty Questions” game can be played to improve the way in which the child stores their words. Use two sets of the same pictures and agree with the child on what each picture is called. Taking it in turns the listener takes a picture from pile and the questioner asks questions and turns over pictures they have eliminated. For older children the aim of the game can be to eliminate as many pictures as they can with just one question, so they begin to use the storage framework, rather then just “Is it an apple? Thinking aloud when it is the adults turn gives the child have plenty of examples such as “could it be round/could it be green/could it grow on trees” Drama is a play opportunity that most children love to do. Act out simple scenes that are familiar to them such as washing their face and cleaning their teeth. When they have practiced this a few times they can they start to put words to their mimes and then build them up into sentences. Older children and young people can act out more complex scenes, maybe making up their own scene or a small play.
This is a good way of encouraging them to communicate with others and develop their speech and language skills at the same time. A game to provide children and young people with the opportunity to practise their conversation skills is called “Presents for all”. This is a good game to play with a group and can be adapted to suit the age of the children. It is a good idea to the children in a circle (chairs work better with older children). The children take turns at saying what they would give each ther for a birthday or Christmas present – and (very importantly) why. For example: ‘I’d get Tom a football money box because football is his favourite sport. When the children are familiar with the game they can take turns in being the group leader. As with all these games, it’s important for the adult to join in and play an active role and to praise positive behaviour. For example, ‘That was lovely listening, Tom. You knew exactly what Jane said. ’ The children will feel more confident and have a sense of achievement.