The Children and Families Act 2014 makes clear that local authorities in England must have regard to the views, wishes and feelings of the young person and the parents. How do you ensure children and Young People are fully involved in decisions about their support and what they want to achieve? This blog describes how Talking Mats can be used to support the Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP).
A question like ‘What do you want to be able to do in the next 12 months, that you can’t do now ?’ is difficult for us all. For children and young people who struggle with communication, this is even more of a challenge.Talking Mats is an ideal tool to support the young person to consider this big question because it breaks down the dialogue into bite-size chunks, makes abstract concepts more concrete, and creates a visual record of the discussion.
The top scale can change depending on the topic and what the interviewer wants to find out. It can vary from
- things I like/ don’t like/ unsure
- things that are important to me / not important/ not sure,
- things I want to try/ don’t want to try/ not sure .
We have two resources that can be used to support conversations about planning :
- Health and Well being – this resource is based on the WHO ICF framework and allows you to have a topic focused conversation on the various aspects that make up well being
- Consulting Children and Young People this resource gives a much more holistic overview of how the young person or child is feeling about their lives
- Example from Health and Well being resource
Using the work/education topic from the Looking after yourself set in the Health and Well –being resource, this pupil is able to express what his aspirations are post school. Click on picture to enlarge.
- Example from Consulting Children and Young People resource
This example came from a primary teacher and demonstrates how the process of using Talking Mats can help a young person reflect on their lives and in this case make positive change . The teacher told us about a pupil aged 8 who placed the symbol for ‘being listened to’ in the position for something he liked, and the symbol for ‘listening to others’ in the position for something he didn’t like. ‘That’s not right’, he exclaimed.
There was no miracle cure she said. ‘But it was like a light bulb going on!’ He began to engage with work on his interaction and listening skills and ended up a playground champion.
We are holding a free half day seminar in London on the 20th October. The seminar is an introduction to how you can use Talking Mats to support pupil participation in planning . If you wish to attend please let us know by responding to our invite. We would love to see you. London Seminar Invite