Speech & Language Therapy
Our Speech and Language Therapy Team carry out a thorough assessment of every student. On-going support is provided directly through individual or group speech, language or social skills sessions or indirectly through other members of staff who support the student during their daily routine. All staff are offered training by our Speech and Language Therapists in Signalong which, like Makaton, supports speech with signs based on British Sign Language for the deaf. It uses an individually tailored vocabulary of key words to support each learner’s vocabulary development.
The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is also widely used as part of our total communication approach alongside other augmentative electronic aids and communication books. We aim to develop communication skills by tailoring the communication style to the individual and by supporting speech with objects, pictures, signs or appropriate body language within a known context. Opportunities and motivation for interactive communication are maximised by providing a responsive environment which encourages listening, commenting, narrating and appropriate choosing within the security of a predictable routine. This individualised approach enables us to cater for students who have communication needs in addition to special educational needs and for whom English is not their principal language.
Our Speech and Language Therapists are also trained in the assessment and management of dysphagia (difficulties with eating and drinking) and provide staff training, as well as individualised eating and drinking support plans for those that require them.
Our Occupational Therpaist can carry out an individualised evaluation of students identified as requiring occupational therapy and develop a customised intervention to support and assist the student's ability to perform daily activities and reach his/her goals. Occupational therpay interventions focus on sensory integration, adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching the skill, and educating the learner in order to increase participation in and performance of daily activities.
We have a visiting Physiotherapist who assesses individual needs and can devise programmes of exercises and routines to support those students identified as requiring physiotherapy.
Horse Riding Therapy
Lower School classes regularly attend riding sessions at the Fortune Centre for Riding Therapy in the New Forest.
Music therapy provides a unique opportunity for students with a wide range of special needs to express themselves and communicate creatively, supporting their psychological, emotional and spiritual development. For some students the therapy may feature work in other creative modalities (e.g. drama and movement) alongside the music-making. The core aims of music therapy are to help students develop their inner resources, realise their potential and work on their difficulties creatively.