We offer support to children who experience speech, language, communication or swallowing difficulties through working on communication, understanding, talking, speech sounds and stammering.
This does not mean that others do not work within these areas, or that others do not have many skills that may overlap with or complement those of SLTs, but that SLTs have a greater depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding of these clinical areas and associated difficulties.
Speech and Language Therapists offer support to children and young people from birth to 18 years where communication difficulties are impacting on their ability to fully participate in daily life. We take the lead on the assessment, differential diagnosis and management of, children and young people with communication and swallowing difficulties.
We work in partnership with children and young people, their families and other professionals to reduce the impact of these difficulties. We recognise the importance of working with your child in the most appropriate environment.
How can we help?
We recognise the importance of working alongside those who spend the most time with your child. Much of our work involves training others and empowering parents, education staff and other health professionals to meet the child’s communication or feeding and swallowing needs within their everyday life.
Guidance and helpful information
Before requesting help from us, if you think your child has difficulties with speech, language or communication, please use the toolkits below. These toolkits will help you, and us, to establish your child’s level of need and collect information which will be useful when we first see them.
Please follow the instructions in the toolkit, implement the strategies suggested within them and keep a record of the results as we will require you to submit this information to us if you find that you do need assistance from the Speech and Language Therapy Service.
Check out the weblinks on the Speech and Language Therapy Request Criteria page for additional support. You might want to discuss some of these activities with your child’s health visitor or teacher.
These activities need to be tried for 2 to 3 months prior to making a request for Speech and Language Therapy, with the exception for requests for children or young people who are stammering, which should be made immediately. You will need to submit evidence that the appropriate strategies/activities have been completed, according to need, along with your formal request.
What happens once a referral has been made?
You will be notified as to the outcome of the clinical screening process. In the event that your request is not accepted we will inform you why – this might be that there is information missing from the request form so that we are unable to complete clinical screening, or there are activities that you can complete outside of the Integrated Services teams before a request can be accepted.
Once a request is accepted, we try and see all children and young people for assessment within 18 weeks. When this is not possible, we will contact you and advise what the anticipated time frame for assessment will be. In the meantime, it can be helpful if you use some of the links on our webpages for support while you are waiting.
We work from a variety of locations around the county, and if a request for service is accepted we will offer your child an appointment at the venue closest/most appropriate for you. This might be a local clinic, the child’s school, nursery or children’s centre, and might in some cases be your home.