Induction of a child with communication difficulties into school.
Initially we understood that N's parents had deferred entry until January 2003. However this was not the case and in April, when the situation was clarified, we reassured his parents that a place was available for N in Reception to start in September.
He had been assessed at pre-school by the EP and provided with 1-1 support at School Action Plus, resulting in progress being made. N also attended the Balidon Opportunity Group in Yeovil.
Prior to N's Reception induction visits the SENCo (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator) and Nursery Nurse visited Stalbridge Pre-School and Balidon to observe N and liaise with staff.
A Case Meeting was held at Stalbridge Primary School in July in the presence of the parents, Educational Psychologist (EP), SENCo, New Reception Class Teacher, the Health Visitor and representatives from Balidon Opportunity Group and Stalbridge Pre-School.
To ensure a smooth transition, school reassured the parents that it was going to appoint a Teaching Assistant (TA) to continue supporting N on entry to school. The school also suggested that in addition to the four planned induction visits, further visits through the summer holiday would be organised to support N and his family.
The SENCo and Reception teacher visited Westfield School to seek advice from the Autistic Base and as a result bought in the Widgit 2000 Software. It was considered that all the children would benefit from this as well as supporting N's individual needs.
The school liaised with the pre-school concerning the term time induction visits and N attended with his supporting adult. Four further visits were arranged through the school holiday with the newly appointed TA, Reception teacher and SENCo, so that N could begin to become familiar with his support and environment.
The TA has also received support from the SENCo and an experienced TA who is currently acting as her mentor.
On entry to school in September the school continued the home -school liaison book.
N now has an individual Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) programme and is continuing to make progress.
His parents are keen for him to start school full-time in January and we are currently planning a social story to support him and his parents through the Christmas break.
Social stories have been written for lunchtime procedures and the Easter holiday.
Advice has been sought from the EP concerning the need for further assessment with transition into Year 1 and it is the school's intention to liaise with Yewstock School to seek further practical advice as required.
The SENCo and TA attended an Asset Course (Autism-Specific Support, Education & Training) in Practical Strategies for Supporting Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Mainstream Primary Schools run by Ros Flack (Speech and Language Therapist) and Phil Roberts (Teacher). Ideas and practice from this course have been used.
N was introduced to his new teacher and shown his new classroom before the end of the summer term and plans for transition into Year 1 were discussed with his parents at a consultation evening.
He was provided with a Widgit Calendar/task board and sentence maker through the summer holiday, to count the days until school started in September and to record interesting events to share with his new class teacher on return.
N continues to have 1-1 TA support for Literacy and Numeracy. The Widgit visual timetable was adapted for Year 1 routines and this enabled him to settle quickly impressing all concerned. A social story was written for home time routines and now that all the children are collected by parents at the Reception entrance N is less anxious. A Widgit task board with key vocabulary, is used as part of the home/school liaison record.
At the last review the Speech and Language Therapy Service was very pleased with the progress N has made, undertaken in school with his TA on a regular basis. He has been referred through the Schools Medical Officer (SMO) for Occupational Therapy support and while we await a specific programme N's needs are being targeted through our school 'Fun Club'.
At Parents' Evening in November all concerned were pleased with the progress N is making.
Van Brember SENCo.