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Molly makes her way

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Student Molly
Age 6
Year 1
School Primary

Molly is lots of fun. She prefers one-to-one attention from an adult at activities and will often leave an activity if other children come near or try to join. Molly loves music and movement and enjoys using the computer.

Molly started school this year and attends her local primary school. She is in a classroom of 16. Molly’s strengths are her fascination with numbers and letters and her strong interest in books. Her school receives ongoing and reviewable resourcing schemes (ORRS) funding for Molly. She has global developmental delay and autism. Molly has motor planning difficulty, which means she needs support to work through a series of steps to complete a task. Molly has hyperlexia (a precocious ability to read words) but difficulty in understanding verbal language.

Molly began to talk when she was four years old. She has a speech-language therapist working with her at school to develop her vocabulary and clarity of speech. Molly communicates by gestures (pointing), sign, vocalisations, and some words, and one- to two-word utterances. Molly’s use of sign to aid her communication has reduced as her speech has developed. Molly uses a BIGmack communicator (a single message voice output communication aid). She has made some astounding progress with her speech and language development in the past 18 months. There is a dyspraxia element to her speech, which means it is hard for her to produce some words and she sometimes squeals or mimics others. Molly’s speech is not always clear and her sentence structure is disordered.

A key learning goal for Molly has been to develop spontaneous and functional communication with others. Molly has difficulty interacting in social situations as she does not always understand the body language and facial expressions of others. She requires support to interpret these and to respond to others in the classroom.

Sensory profile assessment shows that Molly finds some sensory experiences (such as loud noise or large numbers of people) very difficult to cope with. When Molly is overwhelmed by too much unexpected activity or noise she becomes stressed. She will squeal, engage in repetitive activities, or cover her ears to block out the noise. Molly has difficulty processing multi-sensory information and having a busy environment will make it more challenging for her to filter unnecessary stimuli and be open to learning.