At a panel discussion at our most recent networking morning, young person Jacob’s class teacher Charlie explained that Jacob has begun positively exploring vocalisations and sounds. And this led to what you can hear in this beautiful video kindly shared by his mum, Jade:

That's Jacob vocalising "mum" for one of the first ever times.

Mum Jade said: “We are so grateful to Prior’s Court for helping Jacob progress. He has never attended a placement either nursery or school until recently due to his autism and challenging behaviour so seeing him achieve things we never thought possible has been a dream come true and we are excited for his future for the first time in years.”

Autistic young person Jacob is benefitting from the language rich environment provided at Prior's Court which supports the use of Aided Language Stimulation within a Total Communication Approach. Total communication means accepting and responding positively to all attempts young people at Prior's Court make to communicate with us, whether it be verbal or by other means.

Many of the autistic young people we support will use a variety of ways to communicate, often using gestures, sounds/vocalisations, symbols and some verbal language.

However, most young people will also have a formal Alternative and Augmentative (AAC) communication system provided for them following assessment and implementation by one of our Speech and Language Therapy team. Staff support young people to learn how to use their system by using Aided Language stimulation, modelling the language in the system by pointing at the symbols and saying the words verbally to provide language input across the waking day.

We aim to empower all our young people to have a voice, allowing meaningful connections and participation as a basic human right.