Speech and Language Therapy
The Speech and Language Therapy Department offers a service to both children and adults with a wide range of communication difficulties.
If you are concerned about your child's speech or language development check the following:
Have you discussed your concerns with your health visitor/school nurse or school staff?
They will be able to give you advice about normal development and some strategies to try. They are also trained to make decisions around referrals to a wide range of agencies.
Have you followed the advice and tips on the Stoke Speaks Out website?
Have you taken your child to local groups which support language development? eg Children's Centre, toddler group, library, museum.
Have you helped your child (over 12 months old) to get rid of dummies and bottles?
Do you have quiet times at home where there is no TV/music on whilst you play with your child?
Do you regularly read stories to your child? (from birth)
Do you listen to your child and give him/her time to talk?
Does your child have opportunity to play with other children of a similar age?
How do I refer my child for a Speech and Language Therapy appointment?
If you have tried the advice above but are still concerned about your child’s speech or language development, contact your child’s Health Visitor, School Nurse, Teacher or Nursery Practitioner, discuss it with them and ask them to refer your child to us.
Why has my child been referred?
Your child will have been referred to Speech and Language Therapy because there are concerns about your child’s speech, language or communication skills.
What will the Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) do?
At your first appointment the therapist will ask you questions about your child's development. This is to find out how your child has been developing and what your concerns are.
The therapist will also observe and play with your child. This is to decide if there are any difficulties and how best your child can be helped. From here, the therapist will suggest further assessment, provide advice or see your child for some therapy.
If there is no specific speech or language difficulty your child will be discharged from the service. S/he may recommend other services to support your child.
Your child may be seen for some therapy on a regular basis or the therapist may give you some advice or a specific programme of work for you to try over a couple of months.
Communication happens all day, every day, and everyday routines are excellent opportunities to try the ideas you've been given!
The therapist will arrange to see you again to go over how this has worked. If your child has been given a speech and language therapy programme, you can find some helpful videos here.
The therapist may also discuss referral onto other agencies, such as audiology, to gain further information about your child’s development. It may be useful for the therapist to talk to your child’s teacher or nursery to see how they get on at school but this will be discussed with you before they contact the school.
What is a delay?
The speech and language development of your child is following the normal pattern of development but at a slower rate compared to the majority of children.
What can I do whilst waiting?
While you are waiting for an appointment with Speech and Language Therapy have a go at some of the activity ideas on this website. Have a look at our tips & advice and activities pages. There are also lots of community sessions in and around Stoke-on-Trent e.g. library story telling, playgroups, sessions at children's centres and leisure facilities that you could attend.