What does Chatterbox do?
The main purpose of Chatterbox is to ensure our children receive regular, specifically tailored speech therapy (SALT), within the school setting from expert Speech Therapists. Unfortunately, the NHS do not have the resources to provide the regular SALT to our children so Chatterbox was borne out of necessity and after 15 years in existence, is still working hard to ensure it continues to deliver first class speech therapy.
We work with a company called Symbol who come into school each week and work with the child (and his / her Teaching Assistant) on a one to one basis. Very often the therapy is set out to mirror what that child is learning in class that term, or it could be that the child has a specific speech need that needs focusing on. The Therapist works with a number of resources (often including games, puzzles, stories, reading, writing etc) to engage the child, keep and maintain their interest and ensure they are constantly being challenged as well as having fun! It is important that the child’s TA accompanies the child on each session so that what is learnt can be used back in the classroom.
The same Speech Therapist sees the same child so a good relationship is built up, allowing the Therapist to quickly pick up on signals that the child is loosing interest or finding something too easy / difficult.
The majority of children with Downs Syndrome will require some level of SALT intervention throughout their school life so the work that Chatterbox does is incredibly important.