What does this service provide?

Speech and language therapists are specially trained to help children with speech, language and communication needs, and/or difficulties with eating and drinking. Within schools we work collaboratively with specialist teaching and support staff to address the needs of the children across the school day.

Many children have significant speech, language and communication difficulties. Sometimes these are in line with their general learning difficulties and sometimes these are more specific difficulties.

Your child can be referred to the speech and language therapy service where there are concerns for an assessment, advice and/or ongoing support.

What happens at the first appointment?

The speech and language therapist will assess your child in school using formal and informal assessments, and/or observing your child in class or on the playground. They will also discuss with your child’s teacher how your child is functioning in the classroom and they will speak to you about how they are coping at home.

The assessment may take place over a number of sessions, the results of which together with the Education Health and Care Plan, information given by school and any concerns you may have allow us to plan the support your child needs.

What happens after the initial assessment?

Your child may need some or all of the following depending on their speech, language, communicaton, and feeding/swallowing needs:

  • Classroom strategies

There are many things that school staff can do to support speech language and communication needs within the classroom (e.g., providing visual support to help a child understand). For some children, this will be enough to help support their needs and they will not need to be on the speech and language therapist caseload, but can be referred back at anytime for further advice if required.

  • Extra support

In addition to classroom strategies, some children may require extra support usually carried out either individually or in a small group by teaching assistants.

  • Specialist support

Some children may require direct help from a speech and language therapist or assistant.

  • No additional support required

School staff are experienced at working with children with communication problems and the curriculum is adapted to ensure that children with language and learning difficulties are able to understand and learn more effectively. This means that some pupils may not require direct support from the speech and language therapist and will not need to be on the caseload, but can be referred back at anytime for further advice if required.

The speech and language therapists are also involved in providing training and advice for school staff on how to support your child.

How can I access this service?

This service can be accessed through the Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service.

How can I contact this service?

The speech and language therapist will see your child in school. You are welcome to speak to the speech and language therapist. Please contact your child’s school for further details.

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