I'm not sure if my child needs to be seen by a Speech and Language Therapist?

This website has a lot of information regarding both typical development and when to consider a referral.

For pre-school children, please contact drop-in@nelft.nhs.uk and your child can be seen at an advice session where you can discuss your concerns.

For school aged children, we would always advise discussing your concerns with your child's teacher/SENco.

Where will my child be seen by a Speech and Language Therapist?

The venue will be determined by the age of the child.

For pre-school children and children where there are concerns regarding early communication development, speech sounds and stammering, they are likely to be seen in a local clinic. It is expected that parents/carers will attend these appointments.

For school aged children with concerns regarding language development they may be seen in their school. The therapist will inform you of where the appointment will be.

What will happen at the initial assessment?

The therapist will discuss with the parent/carer their concerns and complete a case history to gain further information (this may have been completed alongside the referral).

Assessment will vary depending on the age/needs of the child and could include all or some of the following:

  • Observation through play
  • Observation in the class
  • Informal assessments
  • Standardised and formal assessments and discussion with the child/young person

At the end of the assessment, you will be provided with feedback and advice.

English is not my first language

The service can be arranged for a professional interpreter to be present. We require this person to be booked by our service rather than a family member interpreting.

Will further speech therapy be required?

Some children may need further sessions to support the development of their speech, language and communication. This will be determined by a number of factors such as:

  • Area of need
  • Service criteria
  • Child's readiness for therapy
  • Child/Parental engagement

Why has my child been closed to the service?

Children are often discharged following assessment. A care plan will be provided with specific advice. This will also include information on when and how to refer if further support is required.

Other reasons for discharge include:

  • The child/young person no longer requires intervention
  • They no longer meet the service criteria
  • Their speeech, language and communication needs can be met via universal and targeted approaches within the setting
  • The family or setting are unable to carry out the activities at that period of time
  • The child/young person is not ready or motivated for therapy
  • Family have moved out of area
  • Non-attendance

If further advice or support is needed following discharge, please call the advice line on 0300 300 1818 on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1-3PM.