What Is Speech And Language Therapy For Children?

What is Speech and Language therapy?


Speech and language difficulties are common. Many children grow out of them, but some children may need support improve their speech and language skills. A Speech therapist provides children with support to develop and improve their speech and language abilities.

Who do Speech and Language Therapists help?


Children’s speech should be formally evaluated by an a NHS or private speech therapist and speech therapy or language therapy should be commenced as recommended and continued for as long as is required. Speech and language therapists help children with a variety of difficulties, which include:

* Language delay
* speech problems
* having trouble understanding spoken or written words
* difficulty learning sounds, letters, syllables or words
* difficulty learning or using new vocabulary
* dyspraxia

How do Speech therapist work?


3 main stages:


  • Assessement
  • Profile
  • Therapy



The main purpose of the assessment stage is to explore the child’s language and communication skills using the following methods.

  • Observation & interaction with the child during play activities.
  • Use of recognised clinical assessments, which investigate core language skills
  • Oral motor assessment
  • Information gathering from parents and other professionals



At this stage, the therapist analyses the data gathered from the assessment. A personal profile of the child’s skills and abilities is also constructed and used in three main ways:

  • Devise a plan of intervention, which reflects the indiviudal needs of the child.
  • Set goals which are specific measurable, attainable and time based (SMART).
  • Write a detailed report of the child’s strengths and needs for parents and other professionals

There is a strong ethos for working in collaboration with parents & significant others during the sessions. This ensures that the skills learnt in therapy can be generalised to other environments. This is achieved by using two main therapy approaches:

Direct therapy

Working with the child directly using recognised therapy techniques e.g Narrative Therapy.
Provide training and activities for parents, so therapy activities can be carried out at home.

Indirect therapy


  • Provide detailed written advice, so that clinical programmes and strategies can be carried out at school or nursery.
  • Provide written targets, which can be incorporated into the child’s Individual Education Plan at school/nursery.
  •  Offer consultations sessions for Teachers & other Professionals in schools.

What kind of therapy should parents expect?


Children’s speech and Language Therapy includes a wide variety of language activities and Speech activities. Children will engage with a variety of activities such as sound or word repetitions, rhymes, tongue twisters, clapping and rhyming. Depending on the age of the child involved, playtime activities or given schoolwork may also be undertaken regularly in sessions. Therapy can be carried out by parents, teacher and Speech and language therapy assistants. The therapist will provide the parent with Speech and Language Therapy resources.
Where do Speech and Language therapists work?

Speech therapists work in a wide range of setting including london these include:

* schools
* clinics
* homes
* hospitals
* child development centres

What can private Speech Therapy offer?


  • Offer flexible working patterns to ensure professional support at a time convenient to the school.
  • Administer therapy on an individual basis, group or through a whole class approach.
  • Implement consistent blocks of therapy for individual children and/or groups of children with key school staff who work closely with child.
  • Provide clear and concise classroom advice and strategies.
  • Individual/group therapy programmes & targets for Individual Education Plans.
  • Provide comprehensive clinical reports with recommendations for future management.
  • Private speech therapists work in all of the above places %LINK%2

If you suspect you have a Speech and language problem contact a qualified Speech therapist or ask your Dr for a referral in the first instance.

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