The children at The Loddon School have the most severe and complex learning difficulties. Many children also have additional problems associated with autism and epilepsy, including self injury, aggression and disruptive behaviour.
These problems are complicated by such severe communication disorder that the children often do not understand words or gestures or even facial expression and on admission often do not respond to their own name. This difficulty often leads to problem behaviour as children seek to avoid contact or use challenging behaviour to demand attention.
Some children have well developed expressive skills using more than single words, and their conversation is often obsessional and echolalic. Some children are able to use a few single words, but most use PIC (Pictogram Ideogram Communication) symbols developed at the school, a few Makaton signs and early gestures.