I CAN is the children’s communication charity. We are experts in helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills they need to thrive in a 21st century world. Our vision is a world where all children have the communication skills they need to fulfil their potential. Our mission is that no child should be left out or left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding.

To achieve this, we:

• Run two residential special schools to support children and young people with the most severe and complex SLCN.
• Offer practical help for parents concerned about their child.
• Empower early years and school professionals through training, support and information.
• Run outreach programmes in the community and influence policy and practice across the UK.
• Develop intervention programmes for delivery in over 5,000 nurseries and schools across the UK.
• Manage a consortium of over 30 organisations that support children and young people’s communication needs.”

Training and Resources:

 Talk Boost Interventions

What is Talk Boost?

Talk Boost are targeted interventions for children with delayed language helping to boost their language skills to narrow the gap between them and their peers.  Differentiated for children between the ages of 3-10 years, the programme aims to accelerate children’s progress in language and communication by an average of six months, after a nine-week intervention. In addition, all of our Talk Boost interventions can also be used to demonstrate to Ofsted how you are focusing on developing staff skills.

Why is Talk Boost needed?

A report showed that up to a third of children are struggling to engage with schoolwork and children from the poorest families have been left behind classmates. Along with the lack of opportunity to socialise during lockdown, this could have serious effects not only on children’s speech and language development but also their emotional wellbeing.

How Talk Boost will help?

A well-known and popular resource, the Boosts are being delivered in 1000’s of settings around the country and cover age ranges 3-10 years. Delivered in 3 sessions a week for 8-10 weeks, Talk Boost interventions are proven to help children with delayed language boost their language skills to narrow the gap between them and their peers.

The Talk Boost approach supports children to work in groups to develop their speech, language and communication and will boost not only those core skills, but also support their social interactions with other children. The structured, differentiated approach with an emphasis on underlying skills for learning and social emotional development can help ease children back into the school environment.

Further resources

·         Case study from North Ayrshire using Talk Boost – https://ican.org.uk/media/2775/case-study_talk-boost_scotland-1.pdf

·         SENCo article about helping children with SLCN – https://ican.org.uk/news/helping-children-with-speech-language-and-communication-needs-catch-up-at-school/

Recent Talk Boost Webinar Video:

The Progression Tools, created by The Communication Trust, aim to support teaching staff to identify children who may be struggling to develop their speech, language and communication skills. They can also be used to track progression of these skills over time or following interventions.

The Tools are based on theoretical information on typical language development and also the Universally Speaking booklets. They aim to provide a relatively quick way of determining where children are against where they should be for their age and provide more information about how these vital skills are progressing.

Early Talk is I CAN’s highly successful training and accreditation programme aimed at the early years workforce in partnership with parents to support the communication needs of children from birth to age 5. The Early Talk 0-5 training programme has been independently evaluated as enhancing the learning environment for all children, with a long-term positive impact on staff and practice. Early Talk 0–5 years provides a suite of three training modules that enables you to support all young children’s communication skills through a range of strategies and techniques.

Early Talkers Boxset

The Early Talkers Boxset includes fantastic activity cards to help parents and carers support children’s communication from ages 6 months to five years.  The Early Talkers Boxset won the 2017 Early Years Excellence prize for communication, language and literacy resource and continues to be a brilliant communication tool. The Early Talkers Boxset includes the beautifully illustrated activity card sets, Babbling Babies, Toddler Talk and Chatting with Children.

Information for parents and practitioners:

Free Enquiry Line

The I CAN Help Enquiry Service gives parents/carers and practitioners a chance to discuss questions or concerns about a child’s speech, language and communication development with one of I CAN’s speech and language therapists. As this service does not include meeting and assessing children, the speech & language therapists cannot comment on topics such as diagnosis or the provision the child is receiving, but will aim to signpost to services and organisations that can help further.

Talking Point Information for Parents and Practitioners

Talking Point is your first stop for free information on children’s communication. Talking Point is here to help parents who are concerned about their child’s development. We also provide information to help the children’s workforce support children with speech, language and communication needs.

Free EY SEND Early Years Training

I CAN is providing free training on SLCN in Early Year Settings. The training is provided at two levels – core and in-depth.  You may choose to start with the core training and move to the in-depth, or if you have had previous SLCN training, you could move straight to the in-depth training. This project has been extended and new webinar places are now available on the website.

Free DLD Guide

Developed in partnership with nasen and Whole School SEND, and funded by the Department of Education, I CAN has created a practical guide to give teachers and other school-based professionals on how to identify and support children with DLD in mainstream primary and secondary schools.

Free Staff CPD Course – Introduction to SLCN

Our online short course is free and a great place to start learning about children and young people’s speech, language and communication development. It looks at how you can support the development of these skills on a day-to-day basis in your setting, and how to spot children and young people who might be struggling to develop these important skills.

We have re-developed this course so it is now tailored for the needs of practitioners working across all the different education phases. You have the option to access four different pathways – early years, primary, secondary or further education so you can choose which pathway is most relevant to your area of work.

If you work across more than one educational phase, you will only need to complete the phase which you predominately work in as the key principles are transferable across all the age ranges. The course takes approximately half a day to complete.

Free Ages and Stages Poster Download

This hugely popular poster acts as a clear guide for parents and practitioners. It outlines the stages of a child’s development from birth to age 5 in a concise, easy way and contains essential information for anyone working in an early years setting.  It can be downloaded as a free PDF or purchased as an A3 physical copy.

Reports and Newsletter:

You can see I CAN’s Impact Report for 2020 here and our most recent newsletter I CAN Communicate here.

Want to find out more?

If you think your setting or school could benefit from any of these resources or would simply like to find out more about how I CAN can help, please contact Neil Everett or George Tabakov in our Social Enterprise team at info@ican.org.uk or 020 7843 2515.

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