The Speech and Language Therapy Service is dedicated to helping children reach their maximum communication potential.
Our team of Speech and Language Therapists have expert knowledge in speech, language and communication development. Whatever your child’s age, we specialise in helping them overcome difficulties with speech and language, as well as helping babies and young children who have problems with eating and swallowing.
Our expert team has the skills and experience to support:
- newborn babies and children/young people with feeding or swallowing difficulties
- pre-school children who have difficulties regarding their speech, language and communication skills
- school-age children and young adults whose speech, language and communication difficulties are affecting their education and/or social development
- children with a stammer
If your child has been referred to our service with speech and language difficulties, you’ll likely be seen by one of our Speech and Language Therapists for an initial assessment appointment.
What will happen during this first appointment?
- You and your child will spend between 45 minutes and an hour with one of our friendly therapists.
- The therapist will ask about your child’s development and any concerns you may have. Please bring your parent-held record if you have one.
- This is very much a two-way discussion. You’ll be asked for your views on your child’s speech and language, and what you think is important for them. Feel free to ask any questions.
- There’ll be toys for your child to play with while we talk and you’re welcome to bring along your child’s favourite toy or book.
- The therapist will play with your child or use books and pictures if they’re older.
- Don’t worry if your child is shy at the first appointment. We’re used to this and it won’t affect any of our decisions.
- It’s helpful to bring some notes of what your child says or an audio/video clip of them.
- If your child is in nursery, it’s helpful if you ask staff about your child’s speech and language and share their views with us.
What will the Speech and Language Therapist look at?
Depending on why your child has been referred, the Speech and Language Therapist will want to find out about some of the following areas of your child’s speech and language development:
- their attention and listening skills
- their understanding of words and sentences
- the words they use
- how they put words together
- their speech sounds
- their play skills
- their social skills, e.g. eye contact, taking turns
- what their voice sounds like
- how fluently they speak
What happens after my initial assessment appointment?
Towards the end of the appointment the therapist will discuss their findings with you and together you’ll decide what should happen next.
This may be a monitoring review in clinic, a discussion with school staff, a school/setting visit or being invited for further therapy sessions.
It’s important to attend any appointments offered. Please let us know if you’re unable to do so. If you miss an appointment without contacting us, your child will be discharged from the service and you’ll need to start a new referral.
For children not yet at school we accept referrals from parents, early help practitioners, 0-19 service, GPs and early years providers. You can find the referral form on our dedicated website.
If your child is school aged, you should in the first instance approach your child’s class teacher or the school SENCO who’ll discuss your concerns with the school’s Speech link.
To ensure the very best support for children, we work closely with a variety of professionals both inside and outside of the Northern Care Alliance:
- community paediatricians
- 0-19 service
- schools and early years settings
- educational psychologists
- early help service
For advice and guidance about supporting a child in Salford with their speech and language, please visit our Speak Up Salford website.