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Barnsley Children’s Speech and Language Therapy

James has severe expressive speech and language needs. He is 3 years and 8 months.

What James finds hard:

James has a “language disorder.” This means that his language is developing in an unusual way. He is not just doing what we would expect but just a bit later. James also has “a speech sound or pronunciation disorder”. This means that his pronunciation is very difficult to understand. It is not developing in the usual way. James might have “verbal dyspraxia”. This means that he might have difficulty coordinating his muscles to make speech sounds. We are still checking if he does have this condition.

Assessing James:

The therapist has seen James in his local health centre, at home and at nursery. She checked his play and attention skills, got information about his general development. She checked his understanding. She also assessed his pronunciation (speech sounds).

What we talked about with his parents

The therapist found out that James understood what people said very well. He had difficulty putting words together in sentences. He had difficulty saying words clearly so that other people could understand him. The therapist talked to his parents and said that James would need a lot of help from our service. She said he would need a long term episode of care. She said that James would need help with his speech sounds and putting words together into sentences. She felt that he might need a communication aid so he could let other people know what he was trying to say. She also said that James might need help from other professionals as well as help in school. This might mean that he needed to go to a school that had
extra support for children with speech and language difficulties.

What help James gets:

James gets lots of different types of help from his therapist.

  • His parents and his school have attended training run by our service to help them know more about speech sound difficulties and language
  • He is learning Makaton signing – and so are his family difficulties. This will help him tell people what he is trying to say more easily
  • He is practising his speech pronunciation
  • He is using an Ipad with a special app that turns it into a communication aid
  • He is going to see a paediatrician
  • He is going to be assessed to see if he need extra support in school (Statutory Assessment)
  • All the people involved with James are meeting together to talk about what help he needs (Common Assessment Framework – Team Around the Child Meeting)

What’s happening at the moment:

The therapist sees James for an ongoing episode of care. This is because he has severe communication difficulties. He might be referred to the London Nuffield Centre for an assessment because they specialise in dyspraxia.

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