Alison, the Afasic Helpline Manager, recently had an interesting conversation with a retired speech and language therapist. She recalled how, in her day, most children with a diagnosis of speech and language impairments went to a language unit where a few years’ intensive help equipped them to continue their education on the same terms as everyone else – and often go on to university. She wondered how we had ended up in the current situation where children with speech and language impairments are struggling to keep their head above water in mainstream and language units seem increasingly to be focusing on children with more complex needs.
This is a good question. We know parents want the best for their children so what is happening? Are the constant reassurances that their child will ‘cope’ simply leading parents to accept that this is as good as it gets? If so, why are they allowing their expectations to be managed in this way?