Rueben, 5, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy shortly after birth, he attends mainstream school full time and receives NHS therapist input into school. Rueben’s family contacted us for independent speech and language therapy as they felt they could be doing more for him at home and school and there were only finite resources in school. They wanted to see if we could help his speech, eating and language development by providing more regular input. Specifically, they wanted to work on speech intelligibility, being able to eat harder texture foods and being able to follow instructions in the classroom as well at home.
Rueben was seen for an initial assessment to gain an up to date profile of his communication strengths and difficulties. Following this we were able to set realistic goals with the family and school to help his development and provide therapy input to help achieve these. A combination of approaches were used such as targeting muscle movement and function of those muscles involved in eating, articulation and strategy work for his speech and sessions supporting understanding of key concepts and picking out the key words in sentences to be able to follow instructions.
Following 12 weeks of input, where he was seen for individual sessions weekly and/or training was provided to those working with him in school we were able to make some positive changes to his abilities. Rueben was able to eat apple and other harder textures which he had not been able to eat previously. His speech at a single word and sentence level had an improved percentage of clarity which meant his communication with peers was more successful. He also showed improved language comprehension for key concepts commonly used in the classroom, and an improved ability to understand sentences that were longer or more complex. His teaching assistant reported he needed things explaining less often and she also felt more confident in supporting and developing his skills in the classroom.