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Paediatric speech and language therapy

We are a team of qualified speech and language therapists (SLTs) and SLT assistants who work with children, young people (CYP) and families.

What do we do? 

  • assess child/young person and discuss with parents and the child/young person what therapy might be needed
  • support parents, teaching staff and other professionals with activities to develop child/young person’s communication skills
  • train other professionals working with your child/young person.

Who are we? 

  • Speech and Language Therapists 
  • Speech and Language Therapy Assistants 

Who do we see?

We see children/young people from birth to 19 years who have difficulties with their speech, language, and /or communication or feeding, including:

  • unclear speech because sounds are muddled or missed out
  • slow or unusual development of spoken language
  • difficulties with chewing or eating and drinking
  • little or no spoken language
  • difficulties in understanding what people say to them
  • stammered (or stuttered) speech
  • voice difficulties.

Who do we not see?

  • whose first language is developing well but where English as an additional language is delayed
  • with written language difficulties where there are no other speech and/or language difficulties
  • who are selectively mute, unless there is evidence of speech and/or language difficulties
  • with socio-communication difficulties unless there is a specific speech and/or language difficulty.

How long will my child wait to be seen? 

  • A senior therapist will decide if the referral is to be accepted by the service or not. If not accepted a letter will be sent to the referrer explaining why. This could be because more information is required or more intervention needs to take place by Universal services before specialist treatment is required.’                                          
  • We aim to see all children/young people for an initial assessment within 18 weeks from receipt of a successful referral 
  • Referrals are accepted straight away as a general rule for stammering, voice, eating/drinking or unintelligible speech. 

Where will my child be seen? 

  • appointments will be offered in a variety of settings across the county and will be confirmed with you when your appointment is made 

What will happen at the first appointment?

  • we will look at your child/young person's speech, language and communication skills
  • an adult with parental responsibility is expected to attend the first appointment (or give consent if seen in an education setting)
  • if seen in a clinic setting and for younger children, we may watch you and your child play to allow us to hear a sample of natural language and speech, and/or ask them to talk about something that interests them to assess:
    • how your child/young person uses sounds
    • what type of words your child/young person uses and how they put words together 
    • how easy it is to understand your child/young person’s speech
    • how your child/young person communicates socially
  • After the assessment:

    • a report will be sent to you within two to three weeks with advice and activities to carry out at home
    • we will liaise with other professionals working with your child/young person and carry out any onward referrals as agreed
    • If your child/young person needs therapy, you will be contacted as soon as there is a vacancy.

Who can refer to our service? 

Anyone can refer to Speech and Language Therapy but the following guidelines apply:

  • For the under fives our referral route is via a Health Visitor or via The Early Years team using wellcomm or ELIM assessments
  • For over fives as a general rule our referral route is via school to using Language or speech link or other
  • For children in specific categories e.g. a voice issue referrals are accepted via specialist services ie ENT

Contact Us: 

  • Child Health Centre, Bury St Edmunds: 01284 741732 

  • St Helen's House, Ipswich 01473 321225. 

Your view matters: 

We aim to offer a good service to you and your child. We welcome your comments, compliments and suggestions. 

If you have any queries or concerns with any aspect of your child's care that cannot be resolved with your clinician please contact the team leader. 

If you feel unable to discuss your concerns in this way please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)