Speech Sounds and Safeguarding
We need to have a serious talk about speech sounds and safeguarding.
Specifically, how a child with unclear speech can have their safeguarding needs impacted.
Years ago, I worked with a little girl over the summer holidays who came in with her grandmother for a speech therapy session. They had been away to the seaside for a little holiday and this little girl had gotten lost.
She was unable to say her name clearly to the lifeguards and grown ups who tried to help her so they were unable to call out over the tannoy for the family of this girl to come and collect her.
Luckily it all worked out and she was found by her family very soon after, but...
It caused a huge amount of anxiety for the child and her family, and she was reluctant to say her name after that as she knew she couldn’t.
With some gentle coaxing and my superhero Speech Therapist ways we managed to work on this over a few sessions and then she cracked it!
But it’s a big problem, isn’t it?
If a child is unable to tell you their own name, let alone recall an event, tell you what happened or to tell you what is wrong then how are you able to meet the safeguarding needs of that child?
Within your setting, it is vital that you have a list of children who have unclear speech (or any speech & language difficulties) and to make sure that you and all of the staff members are able to understand which sounds are tricky and what sounds they are using instead.
If you’re struggling a little bit with this and you realise that you need some more information and training for you and your colleagues, have a look at the Speech Sounds Steps to Success Course.
It’s around 2.5 hours of condensed information and demonstration videos which tell you all about speech sounds and how to work on improving the speech sound difficulties of the children in your setting so that they are no longer difficult.
You may also be interested in the Speech Sound Screener which helps you to identify what sounds the children are struggling with and whether that’s age-appropriate or not.
Wouldn’t it be great for the child or children in your setting who have unclear speech to work on these sounds so that they are no longer difficult?
✔ So that they will be able to say their own names clearly.
✔ So that they can tell you about an event.
✔ So that they will can articulate their wants and needs clearly.
✔ So that they don't have any more speech sound difficulties.
😊 No more frustrations.
😊 No more barriers to their learning.
😊 No more slowing down of their progress.
Let's make sure each child in your setting can use their voice and make themselves understood.
At the very least, be able to say their own name clearly.