SEND Local Offer for Coventry - Speech and Language Therapy - Children and Young People

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What is Speech and Language Therapy? 

Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) provides assessment, advice and intervention for children who have difficulties communicating (understanding and/or expressing their needs) or have eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

How do I know if my child has a difficulty with speech, language or communication? 

Children typically develop certain skills at certain age ranges. However it is worth noting that all children are different and that there is a very wide range of ‘typical’ development.  You may be concerned if your child has:

  • unclear speech
  • a stutter/stammer
  • difficulty understanding you
  • difficulty using the right words or making sentences
  • an unusual voice quality
  • difficulty talking in certain social situations or environments

What can I do if my child has a difficulty with speech, language or communication (SLC)?

There are lots you can do to encourage development of SLC.  Have a look at the Coventry Children's SLT website for some great ideas.

If you are concerned that your child has a difficulty, in the first instance you should speak to your health visitor, school or nursery staff. They will have had specific training in order to offer advice and some intervention.

When may a child need to see a speech and language therapist? 

Many children will experience difficulties with their communication or eating and drinking at some point in their life. Most of these children will make progress naturally, others may benefit from advice and support from their health visitor/ nursery/ school.  Some children however will need some specific support from the Speech and Language Therapy service.

We offer appropriate levels of support to meet a child’s needs in the following ways:

The universal offer

Communication development is best supported through a child’s everyday routine and experiences and by those who spend the most time with the children (ie parents/ education staff).

This way they get more opportunities to practice the skills they will need to use in the environments that they use those skills. 

Children who attend a special school often have a range of more complex difficulties, which may include communication.

The Speech and Language Therapy team aim for these children and young people to have access to a total communication environment, where spoken language is supported by objects, signs and symbols if appropriate. 

The specialist offer

Some children need input from the Speech and Language Therapy team for a period of time following on from the universal support. If this is the case, a child can be referred directly to the Speech and Language Team. The person making the referral will be asked to provide details on what universal support has already been offered to the child . This helps us to understand what support has been put in place already.  

Please use the referral form to refer a child into this service. Anyone who knows or works with a child/young person can refer to our service (with parental consent), the referral system is open to all including parents/carers.

All referrals are looked at by a qualified speech and language therapist to ensure the most appropriate management is offered to the child. All children/young people accepted to the service will be offered an assessment with a speech & language therapist. If we need to carry out an initial assessment we will contact the family/carer directly to arrange this. The initial assessment may be offered in a variety of settings (school/ nursery/ home/ clinic).

Following the initial assessment the therapist will discuss the findings and next steps with you. On some occasions, the therapist may need time to score the assessments before contacting you to discuss the outcome. The Speech and Language Team provide evidence-based intervention and support for a number of specific difficulties.

All interventions continue to require support from parents, carers and education colleagues to be successful and the Speech and Language Team work in partnership to achieve this. Following assessment, advice will be given and children/young people may receive intervention as appropriate. To achieve the best outcomes, the Speech and Language Team work together with:

  • The child/ young person
  • Their family/carers
  • Their nursery or school
  • Other important people in a child/young person's life.

Intervention can be:

  • 'Indirect' where advice and activities are suggested. These are carried out by families/carers and other professionals such as school staff.
  • 'Direct' where the child is seen more regularly by a speech & language therapist or speech & language therapy assistant with follow up work to be carried out at home/ school/ nursery.

Parents/carers are invited to all assessment and intervention sessions. The speech and language therapists set their speech and language therapy targets along with the child / young person and their families. 

Some children have very specific needs which require our input urgently. This includes children with swallowing difficulties or those who have recently had a major head injury or surgery, leading to sudden onset speech, language or communication difficulties. These children tend to be referred directly to us via their doctor. 

The service is based at City of Coventry Health Centre (4th floor) Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry CV1 4FS


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