“My Son is in the final stage of his second year in the Language Class in Drumcondra. Prior to him starting in this class, he had spent Junior and Senior Infants in a mainstream class environment. He is a bright child however this initial schooling period was extremely difficult not only for him but for his teachers and for me as a parent. His difficulty in understanding instruction and/or expressing himself significantly affected his confidence and caused a lot of frustration. Once he was diagnosed with SLI, his teachers tried to help however in general, there is not a good understanding about SLI in mainstream schools and it is not possible to deal with a child with SLI if you do not have a very strong understanding of this very complex condition.
Within weeks of him starting in the Junior Language class, his increased confidence was very noticeable. He would come home from school able to tell me about his day whereas previously he was so frustrated and completely stressed, he could not even begin to explain or talk about things because he just spent most of his day trying to make sense of language he simply didn't understand.
Over the past year and a half he is literally a different child. He loves school and loves to learn. It hasn't been an easy road and there are times when as a parent it can be very frustrating but the rewards are the benefits that can be seen in a child that is coping with a condition that previously he was unable to cope with. As a parent I have learned so much about SLI and the Teacher and Speech & Language Therapist in the language class are extremely inclusive which has been a huge help to me.
It is so important that teachers and parents understand that SLI is a language barrier not a learning disability. Once the language barrier is broken down, children with SLI are as capable as any other child. Simply keep in mind that it is like speaking French to someone who only has pigeon French - they are only understanding parts of what is being said and trying to fill in the gaps which is very hard for any child. The key is to try and break down the language barrier and this is something that the Language Class in St. Pat's has succeeded in doing for my child.”
“It has been a fantastic opportunity for my son, attending the speech and language class. He is so much more confident in approaching new people and making friends. He thoroughly enjoyed his time there and as a result is a happier child, now that he is able to communicate and express himself better. It was important for me to attend the speech and language therapy sessions regularly as, the homework needed to be done a certain way. It is by no means a quick fix but, the teacher and the speech and language therapist work tirelessly on the specific language difficulty whilst making it an enjoyable experience for both parent and child and the results speak for themselves. We are very grateful to both the teacher and the speech and language therapist for all their hard work throughout the time our son spent with you.”
“The speech and language class in St Pats is brilliant. Both parents are invited and welcome to attend their child's individual session once a week but if only one parent can attend that is absolutely fine. Attending every week is great for your child and you know exactly what to do at home. All homework is explained and written down so you know what you’re doing. My child enjoys his sessions and likes doing the work at home”.