The service will let you know which team is most appropriate for your child to see at their first appointment.

Your child's speech, language and communication skills will be assessed by the speech and language therapist. This might be through a combination of formal or informal assessment, observation, and discussion with parents and others involved with the child or young person, such as teachers and child minders.

Once a referral is received and accepted, the following happens:

  • We ask the parents to contact the service within two weeks to arrange a suitable date and time for the appointment
  • Once contact with the service has been made a suitable appointment will be offered within six weeks of the referral being accepted
  • The appointment will be confirmed in writing and parents will be sent a case history form and patient registration form to complete and bring with them to the appointment.
  • After the appointment, a report is written including the findings and outcomes from the appointment and a care plan, target and strategy.

If parents do not contact the service to arrange an appointment within two weeks, the child is discharged and a letter is sent to the parent and the referrer to let them know. Similarly, your child will be discharged, if you do not attend the appointment and do not contact us to let us know you can't make it.

If you cannot attend the appointment or require an interpreter, please contact the CITS advice on 01895 488200 or email and we can rearrange the appointment to another date and time and/or book an interpreter.

Children with a hearing impairment will find it difficult to hear in environments with background noise or poor acoustics. Pre-school children will therefore be seen at home or nursery and school aged children in a quiet room.

During the appointment the therapist will:

  • Talk to you, the school, the nursery staff and anyone else appropriate about your child's general development
  • Discuss how your child communicates with you and other people, talk about your concerns and discuss why your child has been referred
  • Observe your child interacting with you and others
  • Assess how your child is communicating with you and their level of understanding
  • Discuss communication methods with you. For example, use of gesture and visuals
  • Assess how your child is developing their listening skills using their hearing aids or cochlear implants
  • Discuss your child's speech and language skills with their teacher of the deaf and any specialist centres.
  • Watch your child in a lesson or in the playground
  • Watch your child talking to a member of school staff or you
  • Work with your child.

Once the assessment is finished, the therapist assess and explain what they think would be the best therapy for your child. You will also be given a chance to put forward your views. The next steps will then be agreed. This will be your child's care plan.

Parents are expected to be heavily involved in their child's therapy because they are with them everyday. The therapist will give you ideas of what you can do at home to help your child. It is important that you follow this advice and start to make the small changes that are suggested because it will really help develop their child's speech and language skills.

If your child is school aged, the assessment session will take place in school.

Parents do not need to attend the assessment but will be given notice by letter when the therapist is due to visit your child at school.

The therapist will contact the parents after the session to give feedback on the assessment, ask them questions, answer questions from parents, listen to any concerns and offer advice. This will be done over the phone or in a meeting at school. You will be given ideas that will support your child at home.

After the assessment, the speech and language therapist will write a report. This report will contain the following information:

  • Your child's current speech, language and communication needs
  • A description of what will happen next (the care plan)
  • Advice on how you can help your child at home until the next therapy sessions.

This report will be sent to:

  • You, the parents
  • Your GP
  • The person who referred your child to the team
  • Your child's nursery or school
  • Any other professional working with your child.

We will ask for your permission before sending the report to the nursery/school and other professionals. It will be important for the nursery/school to receive this report so that they can follow the same activities for your child at school.

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