Speech & Language Therapy

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are professionals working with people with communication or swallowing difficulties. They study at university for up to four years or more to qualify. Qualified SLTs must adhere to specified standards of work and a code of conduct. Some SLTs work for hospitals and community health clinics, nurseries, schools, education authorities, or children’s homes. Others work in private practice.

The First Visit to the Speech & Language Therapist:

To find out whether your child has a speech and language difficulty, the SLT wil spend the first appointment playing with your child and asking you questions. You know your child best of all, so the information you give about your child’s development and behaviour is very important.The first or later visit may also include one or more ‘formal assessments’ or informal assessment via play, which may involve the SLT showing your child a selection of toys or pictures, asking some set questions and recording the responses.

What Happens Next?

After the assessment, which may take several appointments, the SLT will recommend one of the following options:

A referral to another specialist, because the SLT needs more information, such as a hearing assessment, before making an informed decision about the child’s communication ability.
An appointment in a few months to see how your child is progressing; there may be some home activities to carry out with the child in the meantime.
Regular Speech & Language Therapy, individually or with children with similar problems. This can be weekly, but it may be less or more often.
Therapy or advice given at your child’s nursery, playgroup, or school.
Nothing - the SLT may not find a problem.

Copyright © 2015, Kathryn Tse-Durham