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How schools can help a child with SLI

All schools need to make sure that they provide the best learning environment for children and young people with SLI, regardless of the type of school that they are. This means that they need to make sure they provide a communication-supportive environment.

They need to have the following features that would be considered to be good practice in providing support for children and young people with SLI:

  • Lots of visual support systems to help with understanding. Things like timetables on the wall, targets shown on the whiteboard, picture cards and photos are really good
  • A speech and language therapist who has spoken to the staff in the classroom, to explain SLI and what it means for a child in their school
  • Teaching assistants that have received training from a speech and language therapist to support children with SLI
  • Information is presented in a variety of ways. This means that teaching would include the use of real objects, practical activities, pictures and video
  • Teachers who have received training on how to make the classroom environment – and their own instructions, questions and comments – communication-supportive
  • Lesson planning that includes explicit opportunities to build speaking and listening skills for all children and which incorporates therapy goals for individual children
  • Information that is shared about pupils with SLI between teachers and schools
  • Information given to parents about the way the school supports special educational needs and how to contact people who support their child, like the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

This text is taken from the SLI Handbook

    • The SLI Handbook helps parents to understand this complicated and confusing difficulty, by describing what SLI can look like in children of all ages and how it is different from other forms of speech, language and communication needs.