When Matilda first met Lola in Nursery, she had some difficulties with her speech articulation and her self-confidence. Additionally, the teacher felt that mum could benefit from some extra support.

We commissioned Launchpad for Language, a programme developed by Hackney’s speech and language service, to work in the school. Kerri, the therapist, met with mum and Lola, and discovered that Lola’s speech issues were primarily due to her use of a dummy. Removing the dummy therefore became a priority, and Kerri and Matilda worked with mum to develop a reward chart programme to support mum with this.

Willingly giving up the dummy became Lola’s main goal in her Individual Support Plan, and Matilda met with mum weekly, to assess how the reward chart was going, make any changes and to ensure that mum felt supported. Mum and Lola’s Link Worker had a really positive and trusting relationship, where she was able to talk to Matilda about her own anxiety. Matilda also had weekly ‘reward sessions’ with Lola, in order to motivate her to persevere with her goal.

This process continued when Lola went into Reception, and her teacher felt that Lola would benefit from some extra academic support, so her Link Worker included her in twice-weekly Maths and Phonics intervention groups. Lola has become much more confident in these sessions, and very motivated to engage in support.

In the second half of Autumn term, Matilda worked with mum to develop a plan to remove the dummy entirely, involving Lola posting the dummy off to Father Christmas in exchange for a unicorn toy.