Sunfield’s on-site team of speech and language therapists take an individualised approach to each young person, enabling them to make the most of their communication, in order to get the most out of their learning and living. They will start by assessing your child’s communication skills when they join us and will then use this information to develop an individual Total Communication approach to supporting them.
This approach builds on all the methods of communication they use spontaneously, such as body movement, pointing, object/picture exchange, signing and vocalisations. If appropriate, they may also be introduced to, and trained in the use of, an electronic communication aid such as a Proxtalker or an iPad. In addition to developing a communication system and expanding your child’s vocabulary to enable them to communicate their needs verbally or non-verbally, the therapists also work on developing social skills and the understanding and expression of emotions.
Depending on their assessment results and individual needs, your child may receive individual and/or group input. They will also have the opportunity to use their communication skills across our site, in safe functional environments such as the school shop or snack cafes run by the Speech and Language team. All staff working with your child will have access to an individualised Communication Passport, which will be regularly updated with advice on how to support their communication.
The expert team in the Speech and Language department also offers regular training, both internally and externally, on Communicate in Print, TEACCH, Intensive Interaction and Signalong – in addition to giving training and advice on electronic communication aids. They also offer support during student transitions into Sunfield and when they leave to begin their journey into adult life.
Further information on the techniques and technology used can be found on our fact sheets here.