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Additional presenting needs

Additional presenting needs

These additional presenting needs could occur as a result of some of the previous speech and language difficulties. 

Strategies to support difficulty with reading

Difficulty learning phonics where there is a speech sound disorder. The child's inventory of sounds may be small, vowels may be distorted together with many other features. There may be difficulty marrying letters and speech sounds together. When decoding or sounding out, the child cannot blend and hear the words they are producing. 

  • Address the underlying difficulty. 
  • Give tailored support. 

Difficulty learning phonics where there is no speech sound disorder but difficulty perceiving the speech sound structure of words, or phonic patterns such as rhyme. 

  • Address the underlying difficulty. 
  • Provide additional phonological awareness programmes. 

Difficulty with holding the sound pattern in memory.

  • Imitate the sound pattern of a word they have decoded to keep it alive in their memory. 

Conceptual difficulty interfering with the ability to marry speech sounds and letter symbols together. Fleeting abstract sounds and the wide range of phonic symbols (letters/letter patterns) overwhelm. 

  • Address the underlying difficulty. 
  • Focus on the speech sounds. Teach explicitly all the characteristics, how the sound is made, voicing, provide a mouth picture for each sound to make it less abstract and use cued articulation signs. 
  • Limit what is being taught. 
  • Provide a tailor-made programme. 

Conceptual difficulty where there is confusion between speech sound and alphabetic letter names. For example, there is an 'I' letter and an 'Ie' sound). 

  • Address the underlying difficulty. The child sees that speech sound knowledge conflicts with a possibly over-learnt alphabet. 
  • Work in just sounds initially. 
  • Explicitly teach the concepts needed to understand the relationship between letters and sounds.  

Difficulty understanding complex sentence structure and failing to make sense of complex grammar. 

  • Address underlying grammatical difficulty verbally 
  • Teach to understand and use different grammatical structures in writing. 
  • Support simplifying and understanding texts. 
  • Provide reading material that will stretch but not overwhelm. 

Presenting as an ability to decode and read fluently, but struggle to make sense of what is being read. 

  • Analyse the barriers to understanding such vocabulary or difficulty drawing inferences (reading between the lines), or a combination of these difficulties. 
  • Address these underlying difficulties with separate programmes. 
  • Develop specific skills 
  • Pre-teach vocabulary that is going to come up in specific texts and support with visuals. 
  • Use highlighters to emphasise keywords that are crucial to drawing inferences. 
  • Break up text with supportive images. 

Difficulty writing in a descriptive and generative way 

This may be presented as an ability to follow sentence patterns in written exercises which can disguise higher level difficulty. 

  •  Be aware of this ability to successfully complete written work by following a formula. 
  • Address underlying difficulty by working on generative language tasks verbally and in writing. 
  • Encourage independent thinking. 
  • Help children to organise their own thoughts for written tasks. 
  • Support at the planning stage. 
  • Provide visual templates. 
  • Encourage the child to generate vocabulary lists. 

Difficulty in demonstrating learning

Presenting as being overwhelmed by the enormity of the demands of a written language task. 

  • Provide multiple options for children with language difficulties to demonstrate their learning. 
  • Provide choices. 
  • Give sentence starters. 
  • Provide frameworks and visual structures to enter limited amounts of information. 
  • Provide images to annotate. 
  • Show your recognition of their learning even if they are unable to present it in the same way as their peers. 

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