Special Needs Team

The Special Needs Team provide a service to Early Years children with complex needs and to children who have identified Speech, Language, and Communication Needs and/or eating or swallowing difficulties (known as dysphagia) as part of their Education, Health, and Care Plan. They work at the Child Development Centres at Redgrave Gardens in Luton, and in Kempston.

They provide information and advice to enable key adults to:

  • understand the language/communication difficulty and/or swallowing difficulty
  • gain skills to support the child at home and within the educational setting (preschools/schools).

They may provide individual sessions and/or group sessions to help develop specific skills and to review progress.

They aim to work collaboratively with parents/carers and other professionals; and to agree a plan which reflects identified targets to support development and management of the child’s speech, language, and communication skills and/or eating and swallowing skills as appropriate. This may include supporting:


  • Preverbal skills such as eye contact, joint attention and using gestures.
  • Attention and listening skills
  • Play skills
  • Receptive language– understanding what is said to them.
  • Expressive language– using words and sentences, in a variety of different ways and for different purposes.
  • Social communication such as turn-taking, staying on topic and using non-verbal communication appropriately.
  • Alternative methods of communicating e.g. signing, object exchange, picture exchange and symbols
  • Feeding