Chatterbox was set up by a group of parents who were all dissatisfied by the lack of speech therapy they received from the NHS, so took it upon themselves to form a Group where regular speech therapy could take place, in the school setting (so as not to disrupt the working day), with the support of the child’s Teaching Assistant.
Why is speech therapy so vital for our children?
Speech and language intervention is probably the most important focus for children with Downs Syndrome, both in terms of cognitive and social development.
We have found that in most cases, children of school age with Downs Syndrome, use spoken language as their main form of communication. This is often backed up by ‘Makaton’ (a form of key word signing), but by the time a child starts in Reception year, the aim is very much to focus on the development of speech, clear production of small sentences and articulation which in turn also supports the start of early reading techniques. Most children with Downs Syndrome have a much better understanding of the spoken word than production of sound.
Our Therapist works very closely with each member of our Group and gets to know what motivates and encourages them and what they find difficult. The Therapist works with the TA to set objectives on grammar, comprehension and production as well as articulation, phonology and intelligibility (ie. pace, tone of voice etc). Oral-motor assistance is also reviewed (chewing, biting, feeding, drinking) as this directly links to speech and is something which is closely monitored in the early years.
We are grateful for the lovely Therapist we use presently. Our children look forward to her weekly visit and she makes the sessions fun, lively and engaging.