How the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (SEN Code) can help parents
If you have any worries at all about how your child's speech is affecting his progress at pre-school then you are entitled under the SEN Code to express these concerns and have a helpful response from the pre-school. There is considerable emphasis now on the speech, language and communication needs of children after the Bercow Report (2009) stressed the need for education staff to receive training in meeting these needs. The government accepted this report so staff in any pre-school now should be sensitive to any issues you raise about your child's speech and respond helpfully.
The first step: Talking to your child's key worker about your concerns
You might want to ask the key worker:
Does the pre-school notice that my child is stammering and does my child appear to be anxious about his speaking?
If so has this appeared to be affecting my child's learning in any way or is he at the same level as the other children of the same age?
Has my child appeared to be affected by his stammering in any other way?
- Does he seem happy to talk in the class and at playtime with staff and other children?
- Has his behaviour changed in any way?
- Does the pre-school have Information about stammering for staff and are they using strategies to help?
- The BSA has been told by some parents that the new curriculum has led staff in their pre-school setting to observe the children playing for assessments, and avoid talking directly with the children. These may be isolated concerns affecting a few parents of children who stammer, but you do need to bear this in mind and mention this to the key worker if you are worried that your child is not being encouraged to talk to staff, and his stammer is not being identified and supported.
If staff are able to give you reassurance that your child's learning is not being held back by his stammer, then you simply need to keep an eye on his progress and be ready to take further action if you are concerned again.
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Text for this page: How the SEN Code can help parents
Text for this whole section: How to get support for learning for your child who stammers