24 April 2020

Women of NEU: Tracy Hawdon, Specialist S&L Teacher

“The best thing is to be able to hear or see the children and their parents and let them know we are here – thank goodness for technology!”

As a Specialist Speech and Language Teacher, lockdown has brought some real challenges in terms of having direct contact with pupils. I coordinate a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Team of therapists, educational psychologists and support assistants and we work intensively with pupils with significant speech disorders or DLD, some of whom have an EHCP. The current situation has made us think outside our normal practice, we are now working much more closely with families as most of our children are staying at home. 
Some of us are also shielding due to our own health conditions.

We are devising support programmes and resource packs with the aim of keeping our children actively practising those skills we have worked on but without any expectation for parents to be taking on our specialist role. It's a fine balance trying to provide enough to prevent the children from losing those skills they've worked so hard to achieve whilst not wishing to add to the exceptionally busy lives at home. Many of our families have English as an additional language so we must be mindful of our expectations.

We are experimenting with remote therapy sessions and assessment using shared screens and duplicate resources.

The best thing is to be able to hear or see the children and their parents and let them know we are here, we're thinking about them and still doing our best to provide them with the support they need - thank goodness for technology!

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