£10,000 award made by the Allan Wates Family Committee

Most people take for granted the ability to communicate and do not recognise the importance of this fundamental life skill. However, there are over 1 million children in the UK who have long-term, persistent communication difficulties. Equally it is under reported that language disorders are seven times more prevalent than Autism. I CAN is the UK’s leading children’s communication charity, who work to ensure that no child is left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding.

I CAN run two Ofsted-rated outstanding special schools – Meath School and Dawn House School that support children aged 4-19 with severe and complex communication difficulties.

At Meath School, in Surrey, I CAN’s Bill Harrison Assessment Centre is an independent service that provides families with a holistic picture of a child’s speech, language and communication difficulties and the type of educational support that will best meet their needs. The children are assessed by expert speech and language therapists, an educational psychologist and a specialist teacher. The assessments take place over two days which enables the assessment team to fully understand each individual child’s needs. Parents are then provided with detailed feedback and one integrated written report outlining their child’s specific problems and educational needs. Teaching strategies, learning approaches and therapies are identified that will enable the child to progress. Furthermore, the report provides an authoritative basis which is used by parents to secure the statutory help their child needs. It also gives excellent signposting to local services that can provide support. The average time from assessment to report completion is three weeks. To enable the centre to provide affordable assessments the Allan Wates Family Committee have granted £10,000 to I CAN

Website: http://www.ican.org.uk