What to expect from a Speech and Language appointment

Your child might be referred to the Speech and Language Therapy Service by their Health Visitor or another health professional. They might be referred by their teacher at school. Alternatively, you might call us yourself to refer your child to our service.

First appointment

We could see your child in school, come to visit you at home or invite you to come to us at one of our clinic bases. If you need an interpreter during your appointment, please let us know and we can arrange for this.

If you are present at the appointment, we will ask you some questions about your child. If we see your child in school and you are not present, we might contact you afterwards by phone to ask you these questions. We will ask things like:

  • Whether there were any difficulties during the pregnancy with your child or their birth;
  • Whether you have any other concerns about your child’s development, such as their walking and feeding skills;
  • When your child started to make sounds and when they said their first word, if these things have happened yet;
  • What worries you about your child’s speech and language skills.

Based on the information you give us and the information on the referral we have received, we will then carry out some assessment with your child. Depending on their age and the things you are worried about, we might assess your child by playing with them. We might ask them to look at some pictures and assessment books. We might ask if you will play with your child so we can see how they respond with a familiar adult.

After the assessment

When we have assessed your child, we will discuss the next steps with you. We might:

  • Give you and your child’s school or nursery some advice and arrange to review your child at a later date to check on their progress.
  • Discharge your child from our service, if we feel they would not benefit from our involvement at this time.
  • Put your child’s name on a waiting list for direct therapy sessions, which may be delivered by one of our Assistant Practitioners.
  • Arrange to see your child for further assessment on another date.

Please don’t worry if you think your child will be very shy during their appointment. We are used to this and will do our best to make the appointment a fun and relaxed session!