Samina and Raffia

Background

Samina and Raffia are sisters. They come from a large family. Their mother has a 16yr old son and 14yr old daughter from a previous relationship, and 2 younger boys, Samina and Raffia’s biological brothers, aged 1yr and 7mths. Samina is 3yrs old and Raffia is 2yrs old. They were both referred to the Talking Together (TT) programme through their health visitor (HV) and we carried out a 2yr visit on Raffia.

Assessment

When the Language Development Worker (LDW) carried out the initial checklist with Raffia’s father, he said he didn’t have any concerns as she was speaking appropriately. As both girls were referred through their HV, we carried out the TT programme with the mother and have never seen or heard from the father since.

Action(s)

As there were 4 children under 5yrs at home the LDW carried out the TT programme with a colleague. Initially both girls would sit on the floor and wait for others to initiate interaction and conversation. The children appeared very quiet and did not appear to have an understanding of the activities provided, so we had to start with the basics. Both girls struggled to express their enjoyment and to respond to praise. Mum struggled to engage and needed lots of encouragement and guidance to do this. The visits were inconsistent as Mum would not be at home or ring to cancel them. We contacted their HV and the local children’s centre (CC) to express our concerns. Samina was referred to speech and language therapy (SALT) but had missed the appointment. After lots of persevering with Mum and a Team Around the Child meeting (TAC) in tandem with other agencies, Mum took part in the sessions regularly, although she continued to struggle to understand the importance of them.

Outcome(s) & Impact(s)

Both girls have made slow progress in all areas of their language and social development. During the TT, the LDW was contacted by children’s social care and was asked to attend a case conference. The whole family are now under the support/care of social care and have many agencies (Families First, Perinatal, HV and CC) working to support them. The LDW has carried out Additional Language Support (ALS) with both girls and they are making slow progress but are still not at the appropriate developmental stage socially, with the language development. Mum is gradually seeing the importance of the sessions and now participates with the children and has confirmed improvements in their language and social skills. Both girls are now expressing their feelings and respond to praise and encouragement.

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