The Speech and Language Therapy service provides assessment, diagnosis, advice and treatment for children with a range of speech, language and communication and swallowing difficulties. Treatment may be offered on an individual or group basis or through programmes of advice. The NHS service is for children with a Stockport GP up to the age of 16 years or 19 years if they attend Heaton Special School. The NHS SLTs may also be funded by a child’s school/local authority to meet a child’s needs under an educational duty as described in Special Educational Needs and Disability code of practice.
The service is divided into teams depending on your child’s age & needs.
See structure chart.
What should you do if you are concerned about your child’s speech, language or communication skills, when is the right time to refer?
Pre-School children: The health visitor will carry out a number of checks on your child between 0-5 using Ages & Stages and you can speak with them about any concerns you may have at this time. You can also talk to your Health Visitor, Nursery Staff or GP if you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development. If you are concerned about your child’s development in more areas than just communication, call your health visitor for advice/information, also look in your red book. They can make a referral to any service they feel is appropriate for your child.
School Age Children: Therapists work in schools and hold meetings with the school special educational needs co-ordinator each term to discuss any child they / parents have concerns about. If you are concerned ask the school to discuss your child with their therapist and to complete the triage form, you will need to sign a form to allow the SLT to observe/discuss your child. Following this a referral may be taken for the NHS school team.
What will happen next?
What will happen next depends on the difficulties your child is having. These may be with speech, language or social communication, dysfluency (stammering) and / or feeding / swallowing skills.
Parents/carers may be asked to carry out speech and language activities with their own child.
Your child may be offered intervention from the health visiting team, school or nursery staff. The Speech and Language Team can offer further support and advice as needed.
Your child may be taken on by the speech and language therapy team and offered a range of therapies such as group sessions or individual sessions with the speech and language therapist.
Children may be given a programme of activities that school support staff would carry out with them and the therapist would see them again to review their progress.
The Speech and Language Therapy service can also offer direct therapy to children with the most severe communication difficulties.
The level of service and support will depend upon the specific needs of your child’s speech and communication difficulties.
The Speech and Language Therapy Service take referrals to assess children’s speech, language, communication and swallowing, for a range of communication related difficulties. Children should be referred to Speech and Language Therapy as follows:
- Children with severe speech or language delay including stammering. Severe usually means children with a delay in their language of over 12 months.
- If a child is stammering they should be referred immediately.
- Children showing signs of being selective mute should be referred immediately.
- Children whose language has regressed, ie they have lost language they previously had.
- Children with complex social communication needs including Autism Spectrum Conditions. These children will be seen for specific work on social and conversational/communication skills.
- Children with language delay or disorder which is so severe they have a Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
- School age children with severe speech sounds and other difficulties including stammering.
- Children with feeding and swallowing difficulties, referrals should be to Child Development Unit.
What you can expect from us
Your child will work with a member of the speech and language therapy team who has the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to manage your child’s speech and language problems, whatever their level of difficulty. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and you will receive coordinated care and feedback to meet your child’s needs.
If you would like to speak directly with the Speech and Language Therapy Services, you can contact the team on 0161-204 4153 or 0161 419 2052 for child development unit to discuss the specific needs of your child.
Parents can refer children directly themselves if needed by calling the Speech & Language Therapy Service although the service may ask for supporting information from school/nursery or other health care professionals before accepting a referral.
Referrals from practitioners need to be on an Early Help Assessment / referral form
Referrals will be accepted if the child meets the criteria for the service.