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Case Study C - Delayed Speech
Child C has been attending Jabberjacks for nearly two years at a local Leicestershire private school. The child has delayed speech and is currently being observed to see if they are in fact on the spectrum.
The school were keen to improve Child C’s speech and in turn build their confidence and social interaction with other children in the school year.
Each week the structure and routine of the sessions followed the same format providing a familiar environment for Child C who doesn’t respond well to change. A mat was used so that Child C knew where to sit at the start of each session and return to after each activity.
Attendance to the group was kept small as Child C doesn’t react well to noisy situations. Lots of interactive and tactile activities were used over short periods of time carefully planned to ensure the right amount of time was spent on each one.
The sessions contained lots of puppetry work to provide a third party for Child C to interact with and yet not having to rely solely on verbal communication. An activity called ‘Sharing Time’ was used where Child C was required to accept or pass on a toy to another child giving social interaction amongst peers.
Child C responded really well to the ‘Ready Now ‘song which was often repeated back in the school environment helping with language development. Also, Child C would ‘role play’ often performing some of the Jabberjacks activities to the teacher to demonstrate it to peers.
At the start of the Jabberjacks session Child C would sit on a ‘key workers’ lap and then gradually used arm movements to the song, then week by week the words became clearer. This led the school to realise that this was an ideal way of getting Child C to participate at circle time… using songs and rhymes more. This definitely had a positive impact on verbal skills, and was a breakthrough for the school.
At first Child C would keep running around, but gradually began to approach the puppets and interact by feeding them, and so encouraging his language development. Child C also found this continuity of returning to the mat helpful in building confidence within the sessions.
Jo Jo the puppet was a favourite with Child C and in the early stages would often show the puppet emotions e.g. hugging. Over time, the puppets encouraged Child C’s attention and involvement and ‘sharing time’ helped with turn taking and motivated Child C to communicate and interact with the teachers and children.
By the end of the sessions Child C’s verbal communication and improved significantly was starting to demonstrate indicators of reaching the EYFS expected level for the age.
"Jabberjacks as an extra curriculum has been extremely helpful in the fact that within the sessions it incorporates the Seven Areas of Learning which compliments the settings planning." Child C's Year Teacher, March 2017