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Children who experience difficulties with communication and interaction may have difficulties with speech, language and communication; social communication; or have a diagnosis of Autism/ASD.
Speech and Language Difficulties
Here at Lydden Primary School, we support children with a range of speech and language difficulties. All children are assessed using an interactive online programme called Language Link when they start school in Foundation Stage. This programme highlights any difficulties they may be experiencing with their understanding of language and we can then put some extra support in place to help them. If we feel that your child may benefit from some extra language support, your child's class teacher will let you know. We can also offer some top tips to help support your child's language development at home so do look at the documents below or ask a member of staff for more information!
We can also offer support with children's speech sound development and use the assessment tool Speechlink to identify any particular sounds which may benefit from targeted support. We can make referrals to the NHS Speech and Language Therapy team who may be able to undertake further assessments and recommend or offer further support.
If you are concerned about any aspect of your child's speech or language development, please speak to your child's class teacher or Ms Moody. We will only make referrals with parent consent.
Social Communication difficulties
We support children with a range of social communication difficulties in school. Social communication means the ability to understand and use language in social situations. Skills in this area include conversation skills like being able to hold a two-way conversation by listening to someone else and waiting their turn to speak. It also includes non-verbal communication skills like using eye-contact, facial expressions, knowing how close to stand to someone and when it is or isn't appropriate to touch or hug them. Social communication skills are important for children to be able to interact appropriately with others, develop friendships and negotiate with others.
Children who experience social communication difficulties may find it hard to wait their turn in a conversation or during an activity. They may find it hard to hold a conversation unless it is about something they are interested in such as their favourite topic. If something goes wrong or there is a misunderstanding, they may find it hard to repair what has happened. Children might find it hard to hold eye contact or may hold eye contact for too long; they might stand too close to someone they are talking to, or they may speak loudly or with an unusual tone. Sometimes children with social communication difficulties are quite literal and they don't understand jokes or the hidden meanings in some of the language we use e.g. pull your socks up.
If you have concerns that your child may be struggling with their social communication skills, please talk to us. We can refer your child to a Paediatrician if you would like further advice or an assessment of your child's needs.
Autism/ Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC)
Autism is a disability that affects how people perceive or see the world and how they interact with others. People with Autism see, hear and feel the world differently to others. Autism is a spectrum condition which means that every person with autism is unique and may struggle with things in different ways and may need different levels of support.
In order for a person to be diagnosed with Autism, they will usually be assessed as having persistent difficulties with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviour, activities or interests. The assessment and diagnosis of autism can only be made by a team of medical professionals, usually a Paediatrician or Psychologist and other medical professionals such as a Speech and Language Therapist. School staff cannot diagnose Autism. If you have concerns that your child may be having difficulties with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviour, activities or interests, please speak to your child's class teacher or Ms Moody.
There is a lot of useful information available about Autism including some of the websites below.