Speech and Language Therapists (SaLTs) help students who have difficulty with Communication, Speech and Language and/or with Swallowing, Eating and Drinking.
SaLTs will develop and offer bespoke interventions, programmes and guidelines to support students’ communication needs and enhance their social skills. SaLTs may give information and advice on ways to help students communicate to their maximum potential and access their curriculum.
SaLT programmes and interventions promote a Total Communication Approach and may involve advice and strategies on:
- Language, Speech and Voice
- Visual resources with symbols and/or photographs
- Pointing, Gestures and Makaton Signing
- Eye Contact, Facial Expressions, Body Language
- Objects of Reference and/or Objects in the immediate environment
- Intensive Interaction Techniques
- Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) techniques and devices
- Low tech AAC: communication profiles or books, timetables, choice making boards etc.
- High tech AAC: Eye gaze, Grid programmes, tablets and Ipads with relevant applications like Proloquo2Go etc.
- Social skills
In liaison with other professionals, SaLTs will also provide guidelines and advice to ensure safety and enjoyment during mealtimes and promote independence with eating and drinking :
- Types of food textures and consistencies, need for modifications
- Drinks modifications and need of thickener
- Adaptive equipment i.e. specialised cutlery, neater eater
- Advice on support and assistance during mealtimes
- Oral care and hygiene routine
SaLTs liaise with the curriculum team to ensure staff are trained and competent with eating and drinking as well as communication skills. The SaLTs liaise with parents and carers as well as other professionals involved with the student, as required.