There are currently two days of Speech and Language Therapy provision into Ashgate. The Speech and Language Therapist offers a range of support and advice to meet the needs of the children on their caseload. This can include assessment and advice about feeding and swallowing skills as well as all aspects of communication.
The Therapists help the staff to develop communication strategies that support the children’s understanding and use of language. A total communication approach is adopted where all forms of communication are developed and nurtured including the use of gesture, sign, pictures and electronic voice output communication aids.
For children with ASD or significant comprehension difficulties we use visual means of communication to help them to understand daily routines and instructions. Symbols are used to show the timetable of the day or just “now and next” so that expectations are understood. Lots of children express themselves using Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) where they learn to start an interaction and ask for what they want by exchanging a symbol or sentence of symbols with an adult.
The use of alternative forms of communication (PECS, signing or communication aids) does not prevent children developing spoken language and can actually encourage them to vocalise more. Communication is key for children to make choices and express themselves and understand the world around them.
If you would like any further advice or to discuss your child’s communication needs please contact Nadia in school on Tuesday or Wednesday on the school number.
Ashgate Specialist Support School, Crossacres Rd, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 5DR