Things parents and carers often want to know before they contact us about their child's needs.
Should I be worried about my child’s speech and language
If you are worried, or your child is not making progress as you expect, then getting specialist advice is worthwhile. Your child may be:
Late to start talking.
Using fewer words or shorter sentences than expected.
Not listening, or having difficulty understanding what is said.
Using speech that people find hard to follow.
Your child may also have behaviours that are unusual or difficult to manage. These can be signs of difficulties with speech, language or communication.
What is the purpose of assessment
To get a clear picture of the situation and your concerns.
To understand your child’s strengths and difficulties.
To make recommendations and plan therapy.
What happens at assessment
Initial assessment usually lasts up to two hours and includes the following:
Talking with you to get your perspective of difficulties and concerns.
Taking a detailed case history.
Observation of your child especially with regards to communication and play.
Therapy interaction to assess communication strengths and difficulties; mostly play based, it may include specific or formal tasks.
Summary discussion, recommendations and planning.
What is a therapy plan
Together we will decide whether therapy will be useful. A therapy plan includes:
The programme – what we are working on (eg speech sounds; adult-child interaction; specific language targets; social skills, etc).
The schedule – how we are going to work (eg block of weekly sessions).
The goal(s) – what we aim to achieve.
Why is therapy given in blocks
To agree a clear commitment and contract.
To plan realistic and effective therapy.
To build skills and share strategies that you can use with your child.
To allow for learning and consolidation of skills between blocks of therapy.
What are the arrangements for home visits
Your first assessment usually takes place at home. This helps your child feel relaxed and comfortable with a new person, and helps me get a good understanding of your concerns and needs.
Do you work in nurseries and schools
I often work in nurseries and schools, in partnership with teachers, assistants or care staff, for example:
A single session for advice and support.
A block of sessions to implement a therapy programme and/or support learning needs.
Providing coaching or training in specific strategies and techniques.
Bespoke training to address school needs.
Do you offer help with additional education or health needs
I can offer:
Preparation, advice and support for meetings, including attendance if requested.
Contributions to IEPs and EHCPs, or other written submissions.
Liaison with other professionals.
Advice about accessing other services.
Please get in touch if you are worried or have any other questions.
Em has guided us through some murky waters over the last few years… — Chris, parent
Within a few sessions you will gain skills and confidence to help your child progress.
Appointments for assessment are usually available within two weeks. Don’t delay – early intervention matters.