Each year we raise money to fund speech and language groups for children within our group. All children with Down’s syndrome in Swindon are given the opportunity and positively encouraged to attend mainstream school. They receive varying levels of support but all receive, at best, only one hour of speech and language therapy per term.
Some of our children attend specialist schools for people with learning disabilities. At these schools speech and language therapy is a major part of the curriculum, provided on a weekly basis by specially trained teachers and teaching assistants who can support them on a one-to-one basis.
Unfortunately our children who attend mainstream school do not receive this one-to-one support, mostly due to budget constraints. We don’t charge our parents for speech and language therapy as we need to ensure that it is accessible to all our families and that nobody is excluded on grounds of income.
Thanks to the support of Global’s Make Some Noise we will be able continue to support our children with their speech therapy for the next two years.
“Speech therapy needs to be part of their everyday life and brought into every situation.”
It’s about making it fun and normal, not different. The ability to communicate is such a basic need. It enables us to communicate choice, feelings, needs and to socialise.We insist that a parent/carer attends with the child/young person and in almost all cases their teaching assistant from school also attends. This ensures that any work done in the group can be carried on at home and school.
The group sessions are about increasing vocabulary, clarity of speech, understanding of language, teaching signs but most of all increasing their confidence and self-esteem by encouraging them to speak and giving them the structure and words that they need.
Far too often our young people will only speak to familiar adults who they know will understand them. Our Group aims to widen that.
They will all enter the big, wide world where you make friends, work with colleagues and communicate with your care givers by speaking and we must encourage them to do that from an early age by giving them the skills, praise and practice within a caring but challenging environment.
“We believe that people with Down’s syndrome have a valuable role to play in their local community, especially if we help them improve communication skills, develop confidence and give them a sense of worth.”
If you can help support our speech and language therapy project you can make donations online here or contact us directly firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information you can download our leaflet about speech and language therapy here.