Morgane Blake (Speech and Language Therapist) supports a pupil using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to give her a voice
Morgane began working with a pupil at Green Lane Primary in late 2021, shortly after she joined reception. The pupil had recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
When Morgane initially began working with her she was mainly non-verbal, apart from a few key phrases/words from cartoons she liked (Peppa Pig being a favourite!) and some nursery rhymes. During her time in the Reception Class, she was able to spend some time with her peers due to it being mainly free flow and play based. Throughout the Reception year, Morgane focused on joint attention, following instructions, and matching to build up her vocabulary. An increase in speech and language therapy provision was agreed during this year and this contributed to the progress that the pupil made.
During the first two terms of Year 1, the pupil was introduced to AAC, starting out with a basic communication board and introducing a larger coreboard with some fringes to support her communication.
During speech and language therapy sessions, and throughout the school day, the pupil’s Teaching Assistant (TA) and Morgane modelled the use of the coreboard to her to encourage her to use it independently. Currently, the pupil will not seek the coreboard out for herself, however her TA reported that during the autumn term she did use it to indicate “I want…jumper off” when it was in front of her, this was a significant breakthrough in her communication. Following on from this she has been able to make more and more verbal requests, which represents a huge change from what we she was able to do in 2021. In addition to this, when engaged she is able to rearrange sentences to match pictures and greet some familiar adults around the school.
Her amazing progress should be recognised and with the ongoing support of the SENDCo and school staff, Morgane will continue working collaboratively with them and the pupil to ensure that she continues to make progress with her speech and language skills.
What an amazing story celebrating being able to give a pupil a voice.