How to use SEN resources

Special needs teaching resources for speech and language are just that: resources. A resource should be chosen which seems to address a need. It should be presented very simply without too much talking.

  • Aim to show rather than explain – visual prompts are great. Do not take for granted that the child has necessary prior skills in place. E.g. it’s no good telling the child to put blue here and yellow there if he hasn’t got concepts of blue/yellow and here/there. Just having the visual prompt of a blue mat and a yellow mat to begin with might ensure failure-free learning.
  • Look for resources where there is a built-in checking system. E.g. instead of playing I went to market and just reciting the list of things you bought, use a pack of picture cards and make a row from left to right from the child’s point of view. Place each new item at the row end, face down. Then you can touch the back of the cards as you remember the list – and check/confirm with a quick peek if there’s any dispute! (This way of playing also provides lots of opportunities for referring to the beginning, first, and then, the one before, the last and so on. As in many other teaching situations, it is important to be sitting on the same side as the child so the orientation is shared.)
  • The principles of providing more visual aids, not talking too much and leaving longer gaps between instructions are applicable to all age groups with SEN (speech and language) – and also for EAL work.