Helping young people to find their voice
Young people with physical disabilities and sensory disabilities are often unable to express themselves fully using speech. At Hannah’s, The Speech and Language Therapy department help young people realise their expressive potential by providing them with augmentative and alternative means of communication (AAC).
The team of highly experienced and speech and language therapists interact with and assess each individual to enable them to communicate in a way that best suits the individual and is beneficial to their learning and independence. Furthermore, on-going access to this support means that every young person is nurtured to develop their communication skills boldly and confidently at every opportunity.
Good communication is fundamental to all aspects of life. Learning how to interact socially and developing independence relies on communication skills.
Therapists maintain close contact with all departments, liaising and providing training, to ensure youngsters are actively encouraged to use and develop their communication skills throughout their waking hours.
Young people take part in individual and group speech therapy sessions while therapists are also actively involved in classroom based activities too. Having fun is an important part of learning to communicate and games provide excellent opportunities to practice new skills.
The Speech and Language Therapy department offer:
- Specialist assessment and regular Speech and Language Therapy input to all students at Ivybridge, implemented across the waking curriculum.
- A ‘Total Communication Environment’, which embraces the young person’s most effective form(s) of communication, including use of ‘Objects of Reference’, photos, symbols, signs.
- Use of Makaton signing, including rolling programmes of training from our qualified Makaton tutors.
- Low and high technology Voice output Communication Aids.
- A bank of AAC resources to try including: a range of switches, switch operable items, scanning devices, communication software packages.
- Input to the trans-disciplinary ‘eating and drinking team’.
Thanks to our excellent team the Trust has developed an enviable reputation for the assessment and implementation of AAC. A young person will use a range of electronic voice-output communication aids on a short-term basis prior to seeking funding for the purchase of equipment most suited to their individual needs.