Over the years I have taught many pupils – some of which have a variety of SEN needs. Most commonly Dyslexia, sometimes Dyspraxia, occasionally a cocktail of many diagnoses. Attending a Speech and Drama lesson – either in a small group, as a pair or on a one-to-one level has been a choice for them and a natural outlet in a safe environment.

Recently I have experienced this closer to home through the diagnosis of 4 needs in my eldest son(KS2), Marcus: RHS weakness, Dyspraxia, Anxiety and ASD. Also my youngest son (KS1) Maxi’s best friend Oliver has Downs Syndrome. Both boys attend my KS1 or KS2 LAMDA Speech and drama classes after school at Widmer End. For Marcus this is natural outlet for his love of English and words. He feels safe working in a small group which doesn’t get too noisy(!) and has a controlled structure to it. He takes instruction well and can absorb the learning, developing his technique. Oliver is thrilled he can attend an after school club with some of his friends. He is superb at copying and keeps up with nature of the class – which can be quite fast-moving to keep younger ones engaged. He talks about what he has done the following day – The Magic Carpet being a favourite!

We are planning a LAMDA Assembly this term where both KS1 and KS2 pupils can showcase their achievements and ‘spread the word’ about Speech and Drama classes. Marcus will enjoy this – being a natural orator and it will fuel his self confidence. Oliver will finally have the opportunity to present (with his friend Maxi) a poem they have learnt to the whole school which he loves to attend!

Katie Thorpe June 2019

June 2019 Article – SEN and Speech and Drama