Communication is an essential life skill and one every pupil that comes to us has difficulty with. As such, our speech & language therapists work closely with each teaching team to support pupils by embedding a ‘total communication approach’ into every classroom. This involves creating a visual environment, which enables pupils to access every lesson throughout the whole school day. Pupils can access speech & language therapy either through class groups, small groups or individual therapy, both in and out of the classroom.
(Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display Communication Tool) TherapyPODD
Many of our pupils have severely challenging language and communication difficulties so our staff use PODD, which is a tool used to help develop talking (expressive language) and listening and understanding (receptive language). PODD works through the use of a multilevel communication book, which learners can quickly become familiar with. The symbols offer a vast vocabulary and allows for spontaneity in their use of language, which pupils find very motivating. PODD can also be used in conjunction with other communication approaches such as PECS, helping them to grow in confidence day by day. Indeed, many of our pupils have found their voice and their humour, often for the first time.
Occupational therapists support learners to function effectively in their everyday activities and to learn about being safe in their environment. They work with them in their self-care, schoolwork, their play and social communication and their independence. Through assessment, therapists are able to determine where pupils are struggling and are able to put appropriate programmes in place to support them. Our therapists also assess pupils’ physical abilities – their gross motor skills, and can support them to improve their strength, muscle tone and posture. Improvements in fine motor skills, such as threading, buttoning and pencil grip, can be live changing so individual programmes of support will be provided where required. Therapists assess every pupil for sensory processing issues, as they are extremely common in autism. They work to improve their ability to modulate sensory experiences in their daily lives and to learn to respond to sensory information from their bodies and from the environment.
The Behaviour Support Specialists and Assistant Psychologists are responsible for implementing the school’s Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) policy. This includes:
- Understanding a pupil’s interests as a basis to motivate engagement in learning and reward prosocial behaviour.
- Functional Behaviour Assessments of challenging behaviour to develop Behaviour Support Plans. These plans identify the appropriate skill to teach and proactive strategies to ensure consistent response from staff.
- Targeted training for Learning Support Assistants in Applied Behaviour Analysis, overseen by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA).
The team works to support each learner to understand their strengths and difficulties to promote their wellbeing and confidence. The Assistant Psychologists deliver individual sessions with pupils that focus on positive mental health awareness and strategies. Training is delivered to staff on comorbid mental health conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression. Liaison and referrals to external agencies occurs on a needs basis.
Our music therapist is trained by the nationally renowned Nordoff Robbins, who endorse the belief that everyone can respond to music. Through improvisation and creating music together, a relationship is built as the music therapist helps the pupil to engage in active participation personalised to meet their individual needs and capabilities. Our therapist provides opportunities for our pupils to enjoy creating music in an interactive and fun way.
Schools' Business Office
Eagle House Group Ltd
Ground Floor Suite
St Nicolas Way
Schools' Business Office:
020 8770 7788
Eagle House School (Mitcham):
020 8687 7050
Eagle House School (Sutton & POST 16 Department):
020 8661 1419
Eagle House School 6th Form (Strawberry Lodge):
020 3745 8760