Local MP meets speech & language therapy heroes at school for the deaf

Lynne and Ahmed speaking about the students’ ICT workTo see how Haringey’s Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service is transforming lives for residents with communications problems, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday visited Blanche Nevile school in Muswell Hill.

The school for the deaf is a regular user of the SLT service, and the Liberal Democrat MP got to see how therapy work has made a world of difference to the communication skills of the school’s pupils. The Hornsey and Wood Green MP’s visit was part of an awareness campaign by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists called ‘Giving Voice’.

The SLT service across Haringey works with the whole age range from babies and children through to adults and the elderly, including adults with Learning Disabilities, to help them improve across a whole range of needs: interaction skills, communication, language, speech and quality of life, including eating, drinking & swallowing difficulties.

With over 1 million children and young people in the UK in need of speech, language and communication support, the equivalent of 2-3 pupils per class, there is a huge demand for support. With two thirds of 7-14 year olds with serious behavioural problems having a language impairment, and 60-80% of young offenders having a communication disability, the need for early intervention is essential.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“The visit to Blanche Nevile today has been a real eye opener. Speech and Language Therapists are real heroes and can truly be lifesavers, and the progress they have made with many of the school’s students is impressive.

“There are so many reasons why it is essential that children get early support with communication problems. Not least to help them interact with the world around them, but also because of the link between poor communication skills and both mental health problems and youth offending.

“Early intervention is necessary for prevention, and I was very impressed to hear of the service provided for residents here in Haringey.”