Read the section on communication difficulties that applies across subject areas and levels for an explanation of the main issues.

The challenge with maths concepts are largely language-based, so it’s hard for a child with limited speech to grasp them and to show their understanding.

You can:

  • Make tasks as practical as possible, using simple and consistent language. Make the resources fun, relevant and memorable. Aim to reinforce concepts in as many different ways as possible – an ‘over-learning’ effect.
  • Ensure any communication devices are placed within the child’s reach and are functioning well, and pre-recording ready to use, if relevant.
  • Support paired work by preparing the child’s buddy or others in the group. Help the buddy with strategies for working with their partner.
  • Keep up to date with targets set by the speech and language therapist; reinforce the necessary work to achieve these and try to find a way of including this in classwork.
  • Allow plenty of time for the child to respond or reply: they will take much longer than other children to process what has been said, and work out how they should respond. Be patient but don’t rephrase your question unless they are clearly struggling.

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