Starting a new school

When your child starts school, it is always a challenging time.  For children with speech, language and communication needs we know that transition to a new school, or starting a new activity or club, can be very difficult.  There are however lots of things that can be done to make these changes as successful for your child as possible.

Talking

Talking about your child’s difficulties is always absolutely essential.  So, this means telling their new teacher about their difficulties and ways to support them as soon as possible.  And don’t forget the staff that don’t work in the classroom, like lunchtime supervisors; they need to know how they can support your child too.

Sharing

If your child sees a speech and language therapist, or any other professional, make sure that the school (or wherever your child is starting) have the most up to date report to help them understand their strengths and areas of difficulty.  It is really important that everyone involved with your child knows and understands the strategies that have been identified to support them.

Preparing

Help your child to prepare for their new school by talking to them about it and showing them photos of the building and the staff they will be working with, if possible. Give them as much information as you can, to help them understand what their new school will be like. If you can, make a visit together beforehand so you can talk about things you saw when you were there.

And don’t forget, parents have a really important role in transitions, so involve yourself as much as you can and ask the school for information so you can support your child at home.

With careful preparation and planning, transitions can be made much easier, and schools can prepare to make sure they offer your child the best support they can.  So, plan ahead, prepare carefully, and share information as widely as you can to make sure your child makes the best transition possible.

Written by I CAN speech and language therapist, Mandy Grist

Further Information

The Talking Point website contains useful information on the sorts of things Primary and Secondary schools can do to support children with speech, language and communication needs.

If you have any questions about your child’s communication, please call 020 7843 2544 to book your free and confidential call-back from a speech and language therapist or for an email response, email your enquiry to enquiries@ican.org.uk. For more information visit the I CAN Help page.