The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Team work with children aged 0-19. We can help you support your child's speech, language and communication development. We can also help you support your child if they are having eating or drinking difficulties.
Your child may be having difficulties with:
- early communication skills including making eye contact, pointing, babbling, responding to you
- learning and remembering new words
- learning new sounds
- joining words together to form sentences
- understanding what people say to them
- interacting with others
- voice quality
- using alternative and augmentative communication (hi and low tech AAC)
- eating and drinking
The Communication Pyramid below shows the different areas of speech, language and communication development.
Children and young people are developing their skills in all areas at the same time. Skills at lower levels support skills further up the pyramid.
A child or young person may need support in one area or across levels.
Please select a box to access resources.
Attention and Listening
We will talk with you and your child to find out what goals or outcomes you would like to achieve. Our service will work with you and other important people in your child's life. This might include your child's school, nursery or other people already supporting you and your child.
Together, we’ll make a plan about how best to help your child. We will work to reduce the impact of your child's difficulties on them.
The Speech and Language Therapy team offers a range of support to help children meet their goals:
The speech and language team can help with general advice to help you support your child. We also offer coaching to help you and those working with your child to use strategies which will help. This might be all that your child needs to help them progress.
Your child might need some more specific speech, language or communication activities. We will work with your child’s nursery or school to plan and deliver this together.
Your child may need very specific help from our team. This would include direct work with a Speech and Language Therapist or Assistant.
We might need to carry out some assessments to help us understand how best to help your child.
Assessment might include:
• observing your child at home or in their setting
• playing games
• looking at assessment materials
• having a conversation
• observation at a meal time for swallowing difficulties
Our service works with children and their families in a range of settings including:
• nursery/Children's Centres
• health centres and hospitals
We will identify with you where the most appropriate venue will be for you and your child.
We will continue to support your child until their difficulties impact them less. We will make sure other people helping your child feel confident in continuing to help them.
Our support may be at the universal, targeted or specialist level or a combination.
Children can come back to our service at any point. We will make sure you know when and how to contact our team.
Your child or young person may be having difficulties with their speech, language, communication or eating and drinking. We will work with you and other people already helping your child or young person. We will agree together what support your child needs to help reduce the impact of their difficulties.
We will also work with colleagues in other health and education teams to help your child reach their desired outcomes.
We work with children and young people aged 0 to 19 who may be having difficulties with:
• early communication skills including making eye contact, pointing, babbling, responding to you
• learning and remembering new words
• learning new sounds
• joining words together to form sentences
• understanding what people say to them
• interacting with others
• voice quality
• using alternative and augmentative communication (hi and low tech AAC)
• eating and drinking
Our team will look at your child’s referral. We may be able to give you advice and support over the phone to begin with or we may need to arrange to see you and your child.
If we need to see you and your child, you will receive a letter to let you know your child is on our waiting list. You will receive a further letter inviting you to opt in to an appointment slot.
We can meet with you both together for the first appointment. If you would prefer, you can come alone for the first session. Please let us know when you call to arrange your appointment.
Every child will have their own specific set of needs and support systems in place. We will work with you and those already working with your child. Together we will identify how best to enhance what is already helping them. We may work with the adults in your child’s environment or we may work directly with your child. Your child may have periods where we need to see them regularly. There may be times when we are monitoring their progress. Your child will have fewer appointments during this period.
Your child will continue to receive support from our service until the impact of their difficulty has reduced. Some children will have ongoing needs. Our aim is to enable you and the people around your child to feel confident in supporting their needs.
We will talk with you about what you are hoping for from the referral to our service. We will agree what a good outcome from this will look like for your child. We will constantly review the progress we are making towards this outcome.
Their may be times when our service has an active role to play in supporting your child. There may also be periods when you feel you are managing and do not need our input.
Your child may need input from another team to support their ongoing needs. We will discuss this with you and make any referrals that are necessary.
Children and young people can re-access our service at any point. We will make sure you know when and how to contact our team. We have an open referral system meaning that anyone, with consent from the parent/guardian, can make a referral. It is most beneficial if this is the person who knows the child best.
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