Jessica, 12, suffered a traumatic brain injury, she was knocked over by a car just after leaving the school bus. After spending a period in hospital and having rehabilitation as an inpatient she was discharged home and was due to go back to school. She saw NHS therapists in the community but they were not able to see her as regularly as her family felt she needed and so they wanted extra speech and language therapy input from an independent therapist.
Jessica had a complex profile of both language and cognitive difficulties leading to reduced communication skills. These were impacting on her social and educational abilities, although Jessica was not always aware that there was a change in ability. Jessica had specific difficulties with social skills such as knowing what to say and when to say it, reduced understanding of both spoken and written language, reduced ability to form written language impacting on things like essay writing, and word finding difficulties.
Her main goal was to feel part of her group of friends, her family goals were to see her settled back into school, help the school to understand her new difficulties, improve her language skills to access education and advocacy to get the right support in school.
Through more intensive speech and language therapy, seeing Jessica twice a week and further support to educate teaching staff, within 16 weeks we had achieved: being more aware of her communication strengths and difficulties, identified strategies that worked for those difficulties and implemented them at home and in the classroom, improved her core language skills, supported the development of her social interaction abilities with friends, this is ongoing, and helped to secure some teaching assistant time in school. Jessica is happy as she is back with her friendship group and back to feeling like she is achieving in school. Her family feel like they are no longer floundering and have a good supportive plan in place with the right help.