We are one of the very few schools in the UK where teachers are specially trained to deliver intensive interaction – a technique designed to help pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties.
Through repetitive familiar social exchanges with an attentive, interactive partner, we work on improving pupils’ social interaction and non-verbal communication skills, and encourage them to engage with others.
Over time, we find this approach makes a huge difference to childrens’ overall happiness, as well as their ability to get along with others.
J is a pupil at St Piers with epilepsy and severe learning difficulties. After a number of incidents where she’d been found hitting staff and other children, we referred her to one of our play specialists.
The specialist carried out individual intensive interaction sessions with J and discovered that she was gesturing for clapping games and activities that involved pressure being applied to the palms of her hands and fingertips.
Devising a number of interactive games, we were not only able to give J the sensory input she needed, but provide residential staff with a way of interacting with the girl in a more positive way.
Within a few weeks, the hitting had stopped and J was much happier as a result.
One student's experience of intensive interaction
Interacting and communicating are key for many students here, which is why our sensory therapy gives students the chance to express themselves.