About our St Helens Children’s Speech and Language Therapy service

St Helens Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Team

About our serviceWhat is Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapists are leading experts in speech, language and communication development.

Our Therapists work in close partnership with families and carers, as well as other professionals, to provide the best possible help for children with communication needs.

What can you expect from Speech and Language Therapy

  • Expert assessment.  It is important that we gather as much information about your child or young person’s communication skills as we can to help understand their difficulties.
  • To be fully involved in the development of a management plan for your child
  • That the plan will contain clear measurable goals and expected outcomes
  • That the goals will link to communication strategies for families and others to implement on a daily basis
  • Families can expect communication programs that they, and others, such as nurseries and schools, can use on a daily basis.
  • Families can expect that they and important others, such as teaching staff, develop their own skills in using the appropriate strategies to support their child on a daily basis.
  • Families can expect support and guidance from us. This may include some coaching sessions with the child individually or in a group or a training package
  • That all who work with the child have written information which is always copied to the family
  • That Speech and Language Therapy staff will contribute to Education, Health and Care plans and reviews for children and young people with additional needs
  • That we will signpost you to other agencies and services where appropriate and when families consent to this beneficial support
  • That Speech and Language Therapy advise and provide support for technology where relevant and clinically appropriate

How we communicate with you and your child

We normally communicate with children and families face to face, in written format e.g. letter and reports or by phone. Email between parent and therapist may be used with parental consent.

Parents/carers and child are involved in setting goals and will get a review report to inform of child’s progress. Parents are always invited to contact us if they have any queries about their child and their progress.

All who work with the child have written information which is always copied to the family.  In order to work in your child’s best interest, we will routinely contact other people.  We will ask for your permission before we do this.  But it is important to know we do this only to support your child in the best way.

Where required, interpreters can be made available on request.


Discharge

It is always the aim of our service to work with your child and the adults who support them to improve their skills to the best of their ability.

We aim to discharge your child when:

  • You, your child and the important adults in their life (nursery, teachers etc) have the skills and strategies to support your child’s communication needs.
  • Your child’s communication difficulties no longer have significant impact upon your child’s development.

When we come to make the decision to discharge your child, we will always be discuss this with the child or young person, their family and other relevant professionals.


How we can help your child

Some of the things we can help with are:

  • listening and following instructions
  • playing and talking with other children
  • understanding what people say to them
  • saying sounds and talking clearly
  • using words in sentences
  • eating and drinking.

We work very closely with other professionals too.

We work with Children’s Centres, Health Visitors, Nurseries, Schools, School Nurses and Paediatricians.

If you have been sent a letter, it is important that you contact us and arrange an appointment.


Outreach Service

This service, for children with significant additional needs, offers Speech and Language Therapy management in the child’s home and educational setting, in order to meet their speech, language and communication needs consistently.

The service is for children who are already known to the Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service, but who have been assessed to benefit from further specialist support, through the provision of bespoke training for the child’s family and one-to-one support in school.

This may also include advising staff/parents on environmental adaptations in school and at home to provide a ‘communication-friendly’ environment.

We aim to empower staff and parents to feel confident and informed in supporting children in mainstream settings with severe-profound difficulties, through a Total Communication approach.

Please see our information leaflet for further information. If you have any further queries, please contact the Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service on 01744 646 548 and we would be happy to discuss the new Outreach service with you.


Information for parents

If your child has been referred to one of our Therapists you will be sent a letter asking if they still need an appointment.

It is important that you get in touch or they will not be offered an initial appointment.


Information to help your childs speech, language and communication

View this quick guide to children’s speech and language development.

Remember all children are different and this is a guide.

If you have concerns speak to the Health Visitor, Children’s Centre or School.


Child having difficulties?

If you think your child is having some difficulties you can view and download our extensive list of advice sheets:

About to Start School Attention & Listening Difficulties
Difficulties Understanding Language Dummy Use
Feeding and Swallowing Difficulties Little or No Speech
Social Communication Difficulties Stammering
Useful Resources Using Alternative Communication
Voice Difficulties

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