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, intervention with and management of, children and young people with communication and swallowing difficulties.
How can we help?
Before requesting help from us, if you think the child or young person has difficulties which we would be able to help with, please use the toolkits listed below. These toolkits will help you, and us, to establish your child or young person’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.
We work in partnership with children and young people, their families and other professionals to reduce the impact of these difficulties, recognising the importance of delivering interventions in the most appropriate environment for the child.
We recognise the importance of working alongside those who spend the most time with the child or young person. 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.
We work from a variety of locations around the county, and if a request for service is accepted we will offer the child or young person and their family an appointment at the venue closest/most appropriate for them. This might be a local clinic, the child’s school, nursery or children’s centre, and might in some cases be their home.
Guidance and helpful information
There are a number of tools and strategies that you should try to help/support the child or young person before making a request for service. These activities need to be tried for 2 to 3 months prior to making a request, with the exception of 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.
To ensure that your request is processed quickly, and the child or young person is accepted into the service as soon as possible, it is important that you give as much information as you can in the Request for Services form.
Among other things, we will need to know:
- What the impact of the difficulty is on the child or young person at home and at school
- What has already been tried to help the child or young person, with the supporting evidence as described above
- What goals you have discussed with the child or young person, or their parents
Forms that do not have sufficient information in them to allow us to undertake effective clinical screening will be returned to the requester indicating the additional information required.
The request criteria and forms for downloading are on the Speech and Language Therapy Request Criteria page.
What happens once you have made a referral?
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 the family and advise what the anticipated time frame for assessment will be. In the meantime, it can be helpful if you direct them to some of the links on our webpages for support while they are waiting, and that you continue to work with local sources of support/intervention available to you and the child or young person and their family/carer.
We work from a variety of locations around the county, and if a request for service is accepted we will offer the child or young person an appointment at the venue closest/most appropriate for them. This might be a local clinic, the child or young person’s school, nursery or children’s centre, and might in some cases be their home.