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Observations For Sen (language)


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Hello everyone !

I was just wondering if there were any specific type of observations that should be used for children with delayed speech and language.

 

At present I've been using narrative observations, but I have my area senco coming in May to observe a three year old that has limited speech. I just wanted to make sure that I am doing everything possible to document his speech and language skills.

 

He seems to understand language, as he responds to simple instructions and he sings along to songs at songtime, but he has difficulty expressing his needs. He uses single words and occasionally two word phrases the rest of the time it is noises and gestures he uses to communicate.

 

I have started to introduce Somerset Total Communication as a means of trying to get him to communicate to us, with limited success but it is new to both the children and staff. As of next term I will have a visual timetable and we are beginning to put together a visual book of resources.

 

I know there is bound to be someone out there that has been in a similar situation and more experienced and knowledgable than me so please share your wisdom !

 

I hope I've posted this in the right forum, didn't know whether it should be in the SEN one, so I apologise in advance if it has to be moved !

 

Motherclangerx

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Whenever I have worked with a child that is one or two word level I have introduced Makaton as a means of communicating. This helps the child to feel less stressful and also the other children in the group pick it up as well. Song bags and story sacks are good at relieving the pressure of the child to verbalise. Does the child interact ok within the group? We often play turn taking games with one or two other children to ease them in gently, also encourages language in a less scary group. The best thing to develop his language is to constantly model, repeat and narrate what he is doing. Also does he have good command over oral muscles? Bubbles is usually a popular one to exercise the muscles - blowing and language such as 'pop' are good fun.

As far as observations go I carry out the same observations as with all the other children. Just note down any obvious developmental concerns, such as words he says with an interpretation so I can pick out speech patterns.

Another technique that is often recommended is Hanen. Especially extending language by adding on words, i.e. 'car', you would say 'red car'. But hopefully your Area SENCO can provide you with much more detailed advice specific to this child.

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in our area not sure about yours we can refer to speach and language therapist without going via Senco which although some of our children do need to see the senco or referal to specialist teaching service is great as the waiting list for s and l is enormous!!!

 

visual time table is good how about limiting choice offer him 2 choices and ask him to repeat what he wants

eg snack time offer milk and water, choice of cars to play with and so on

 

always get down on his level as im sure you do, using his name before you ask him something

 

we often write iep for our children as they are easy to follow and we give a set time for them to work noting down what is and is not achieved so that when your Senco does come they can see what this child can and cannnot do

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Thank You for all your replies !

 

I have read with interest some of the strategies listed and we are already using some of them. I have not heard of Hanen so a little research is in order to find out more about this technique.

 

The child in question has now been referred to the SALT at the local hospital via his paediatric consultant but I have no idea when he will be assessed and I wanted to make sure we are doing our best to help him in the setting.

 

I tried to referr the child myself but could get no response from the hospital so his mum(a doctor in same hospital) went to his consultant.

 

Next step I think is to do an IEP to help set a small target, even if it is for him to communicate directly with someone it would be a big step forward.

 

Motherclangerx

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One tip I learnt from a friend regarding eye to eye communication is to hold the object near your face - especially good with autistic children. This encourages them to look at you and communicate directly. Also helps desensitize to eye contact.

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Thanks everyone for all your advise !

 

I feel more confident in what I'm doing and relieved that I have been on the right track with the things I have implemented. I'm new to the Senco role and have had basic training but sometimes that isn't enough !

I guess you learn through experience and we have not had any children with great needs in our setting.

 

Motherclangerx

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