We welcome the Department of Education’s announcement of the schools which will be taking part in the first-ever project to bring specialised therapists into schools and pre-schools. We have long been campaigning for Speech and Language Therapy in schools for students who have Down syndrome.
Speech and Language disorders are a highly significant part of the learning profile of children who have Down syndrome, impacting on both learning and social inclusion. Providing therapy in school could potentially reduce the time that children are withdrawn from school for therapy sessions while increasing teacher understanding of the complexity of the language disorder and the need to take this into account to facilitate access to the curriculum.
Well targeted Speech and Language Therapy Support makes a significant difference to the ability of children with Down syndrome to optimise their potential.
Our strong view remains that Speech and Language Therapy should be made available in all schools. This is a step in the right direction but with just 19 therapists for 150 settings, we will wait for feedback from our members to see if this pilot results in meaningful therapy input for children with Down syndrome.
You can read the full announcement from the Department of Education HERE.