|What is the purpose of Speech and Language Therapy ?
||The purpose of Speech and
Language Therapy is to help children overcome their communication difficulties. The
benefits of early referral cannot be over emphasised. Identification and intervention at
an early age means help can be given prior to school entry and the early diagnosis of
other conditions (eg: hearing impairment, autism etc) will be facilitated.
|What is a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist ?
||A Paediatric Speech
and Language Therapist is specially trained to work with children who have communication
and/or feeding difficulties.
The Speech and Language
Therapist has detailed knowledge of how children develop and factors that can affect that
development. They have an understanding of the variety of therapeutic approaches that can
help children develop their communication skills.
Speech and Language Therapists have an important role to
play in explaining and teaching parents / guardians how to help the child. We will work in
partnership and fully involve parents / carers in the child's therapy programme.
|Who does the Speech and Language Therapist work
||The Speech and Language
Therapist works as part of the health care team looking after the child. We work closely
with doctors, teachers, physiotherapists, nurses, health visitors, nursery nurses,
dieticians and psychologists. We have a holistic approach to therapy which means e look at
the child's overall development.
|Where will the child be seen ?
||We will arrange to see the
child in the most appropriate setting - this may include one or more of the following :
- Health Centre
- Play Group or Nursery
- Child Development Centre
|How is a Referral made ?
||We operate an open
referral system. This means that anyone can arrange a referral to Speech and Language
We receive most referrals from Doctors,
Health Visitors and Teachers. This does not mean, however, that parents / carers cannot
refer the child themselves although we do suggest that they discuss their concerns with
the doctor or Health Visitor first.
In order to make a referral - a referral form should be
completed as fully as possible and this is then forwarded direct to the local Speech and
Language Therapist or to the Department's Central Office at Airedale General Hospital.
|How long will it be before the child is seen ?
||This depends on the number
of clients already receiving therapy and on the number waiting for an initial appointment
and will vary from clinic to clinic.
We aim to see a
child within three months from receipt of the initial referral.
Referrals relating to feeding difficulties are given a high
priority and are usually seen within 48 hours of the referral being received.
|What should be expected at the appointment ?
||At the first appointment
the Speech and Language Therapist will carry out a thorough assessment of the child. A
therapy programme will then be developed in partnership with parents / carers, the child
and other relevant people (eg: school and nursery etc).
The number and frequency of visits varies greatly according to the
individual needs of each child.
Speech and Language Therapy may be offered in the form of
individual therapy sessions, group therapy or a programme of activities which can be
incorporated into the child's normal routine at home or at school.
The Speech and Language Therapist will of course discuss any
changes to the timing or frequency of visits with the parents / carers as the need arises.