Does my child need a speech and language therapist?

Your child may need to see a speech and language therapist if:

  • Your child is slow to start talking

  • You/other people regularly find it difficult to understand what your child is saying

  • Your child regularly appears not to be listening

  • Your child is demonstrating behaviours of frustration

  • Your child does not appear to enjoy the company of others

  • Your child’s health visitor or teacher has suggested it

In addition, there are also various syndromes and disorders where a speech and language therapists’ input may be useful, including hearing difficulties and eating difficulties.

If you are unsure about the need for a speech and language therapist I always welcome a phone call to talk through your child’s communication needs and help you decide if a referral to a speech and language therapist is appropriate.

Do I need a referral from a GP?

No referral from the GP is required. Simply contact me by telephone or email if you would like to chat through your concerns about your child’s communication. During this contact I will take some basic details. I do not charge for this first contact.

If we agree that I could help I will then arrange a date to meet you and your child for an initial consultation.

Where do you see my child?

I have found that children settle much more quickly if they are in a familiar setting. Therefore, I will visit you and your child either at pre-school, school or home, whichever suits you.

What will happen during an initial consultation?

I will talk to you about your child’s development and what you have noticed and informally assess your child’s communication through observation, play and interaction. It can be necessary to carry out formal assessments to gain a comprehensive picture of your child’s communication abilities and needs.

This consultation usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. Sometimes a child needs to be seen both at home and in school for complete assessment of their needs.

What will happen after assessment?

After the assessment is complete I will write a full report outlining the assessment results and giving recommendations for future intervention. You will get a copy of this and, with your permission, I can also send it to anyone else involved in supporting your child.

What will happen in a therapy session?

Direct contact with the child will be for between 30- 45 minutes in length. It is helpful if a parent or member of staff can be present to work with me and be able to support the therapy in between each session. These sessions will be child-centred, fun and practical with opportunities for questions. Following each session I will record what work we have carried out, provide ‘homework’ and spend time preparing for the next session.

Will there be activities to do at home?

Yes, the best progress is made if there are lots of opportunities to practice therapy activities in different settings throughout the week. I will suggest games that will support and extend the work we have done in the previous therapy session.

How long will we see you for?

This will be dependent on your child’s difficulties and progress. I usually see children once every week or every fortnight working towards a stated goal.

Can my child see an independent therapist and an NHS therapist?

Yes, a child can have an NHS therapist and an independent therapist at the same time. It is important that the two therapists are able to liaise closely with each other to support you and your child.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

I do not operate a waiting list; I will endeavour to arrange an appointment as soon as possible at a time that is convenient to you.