Speech & Language Therapy - What We Do
The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service aims to provide evidence based services that anticipate and respond to the needs of children and young people who experience speech, language and communication difficulties.
Speech and Language Therapy works in partnership with individuals and their families and with other professions and agencies to reduce the impact of these often hidden and isolating difficulties on people's wellbeing and their ability to participate in daily life.
Through cooperative working with children/young people and those around them, the Speech and Language Therapy Service will provide assessment, diagnosis, therapy, practical advice and equipment to support children in developing and achieving academically, socially and emotionally to reach their full potential.
In order to facilitate a seamless service Speech and Language Therapy staff work with partners from a number of organisations including Education, Social Services and the private and voluntary sector.
The overall care pathway for Speech and Language Therapy involves:
- Request for involvement
- Diagnostic assessment
- Discussion of short and long term goals with parties involved, where difficulties are identified
- Episodes of Speech and Language Therapy intervention with ongoing monitoring of progress towards goals
- Reassessment at key times
- Discharge or transition to self-management or other forms of care
Children may be supported through a specific, evidence based care pathway according to the outcome of the diagnostic assessment. Episodes of Speech and Language Therapy intervention may include any of the following direct and/or indirect interventions:
- Advice (face to face, telephone or written) - both preventative or therapeutic
- Direct intervention with the individual - either one to one or in a group
- Training others to carry out interventions with the individuals
- Training others in order to improve the communication or feeding environment
- Preparation of programmes to be undertaken by appropriately “trained” people
- Referral on post discharge e.g. for long term support from the voluntary sector
The aims of advice or interventions will be to:
- Enable clients to achieve and maintain their communication potential (and eat and drink safely, where commissioned to do so)
- Maximise the child’s/young person’s functional communication ability within their environment where further development or rehabilitation is not possible
- Empower children/young people, parents and carers by enabling them to understand the communication or eating and swallowing difficulty and how they can manage this
- Facilitate access to education, leisure and if appropriate, employment thus reducing social isolation
- Promote wider awareness and understanding of communication, eating and swallowing difficulties and empowering others in how to prevent and/or support these.