Speech and language therapy
We are a large team of speech and language therapists and support workers, all of whom have a consistent range of skills and experiences to provide assessment and support for children and young people with speech and language impairments or feeding difficulties.
Our team work with children and young people with the following needs:
- Language delay
- Speech and Language Impairment
- Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Phonology disorder
- Complex needs
- Verbal Dyspraxia
- Hearing Impairment
- Swallowing and feeding difficulties
We work hard to involve parents, carers and young people in decisions about how to support the young person during the assessment process. We may also discuss the needs with parents with GPs and other health professionals working with the family and plan a joint way forward, in partnership with young people and their families.
We work with children and young people and their families to identify the outcomes that are important for an individual's speech and language needs, including:
- To identify communication difficulties early and provide targeted interventions for as long as the child needs
- To contribute to a child's positive self-esteem, confidence and emotional maturity by addressing issues of social communication and interaction
- For children to reach their communication potential and experience a quality communication environment
A quality communication environment is one designed to enable a young person to communicate to the best of their ability. For example, this might mean teachers modify their language so a young person is able to understand them, there may be language jigs, visual timetables and signing used so the young person can access communication in their environment.
Children and young people are eligible to access our service from birth-18 years (up to 19 if required for a child with a My Plan).
Our team usually work with young people registered to a Wiltshire GP.
Wiltshire Preschool aged children (i.e. from birth to the start of the academic year in which their fifth birthday falls) are eligible to receive the service:
- If they require the service due to a health need regardless of access to any Early Years setting
- If they attend an Early Years setting in Wiltshire
- If they attend a pre-school in another local authority but live in Wiltshire, then support may be commissioned through another Speech and Language service
Wiltshire School aged young people, with and without statements of SEN specifying speech and language therapy, are eligible to receive the service:
- If they require the service due to a health need regardless of access to any school setting
- If they attend a Wiltshire maintained mainstream or special school
- If they attend a maintained or special school outside of Wiltshire but live in Wiltshire, support may be provided directly by our team or commissioned through another local authority's service
- If they attend an independent special school then the service would usually be provided by that school as part of their placement. In some cases the Wiltshire speech and language therapy service might be required to provide advice, for example, about the quality of provision.
The service is available throughout the year, across Wiltshire, to families of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs living within Wiltshire. Our service operates during week days in a wide range of settings.
Support is delivered in the setting most appropriate to the child's needs. This might be an early years setting, school or clinic.
Each Early Years setting and school has a named Speech and Language Therapist responsible for supporting children and young people with speech and language needs in that setting. Their objective is to work with the SENCOs to make sure speech and language needs are met that staff are appropriately prepared to support these individuals. They work with individual young person and design goals for them to achieve with the support of the setting staff.
Our team has a single point of entry, which means there is one place all families come for advice and assessment and there is one central point of contact for all those using the service.
Our single point of contact is our advice line:
Our advice line is available for service users to speak directly to a speech and language specialist, between 4pm and 5pm Monday-Thursday (Telephone 01225 761 126). Our specialists have an extensive knowledge of speech and language difficulties in children and are happy to provide this service to support families.
How long will I need to wait?
- Most young people are seen after between 8 and 13 weeks.
What will happen when I see your team?
- We will assess a young person's individual needs and goals and work with them and their families to develop a set of outcomes, or goals, to work towards. We will capture this information and progress in their speech and language report. A speech and language report identifies their skills and needs, as well as a future plan to support them. It also captures who will support them, when and how.
Who can refer?
- Parents can self-refer their children by calling the advice line
- Children may be referred by their GP, Health Visitor or Early Years Inclusion Officer
- Calling the advice line
How do children access equipment they need to support their communication at school?
Where there is an assessed need, we may support the provision of low tech alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) system. This is an umbrella term for something that supports a young person to speak or write. Where relevant, we will use speech and language reports to identify how and where these technologies will be used and how they will support individual young people to achieve their speech and language outcomes.
Wiltshire Council, working with the Speech and Language Therapy service assess the young person and once a decision is made about how to best support them, an application is made by both parties for funding of any equipment needed.
We link closely with the adult Speech and Language Therapy services and we have developed a clear pathway for transferring cases. In rare cases when a young person is transferred to the adult service a discussion will take place between professionals, with the agreement of parents if they have the responsibility for the young person. The conversation would be about the present speech, language and communication needs and possible future needs. A report will be shared with professionals and the young person involved so that everybody involved has the same information to support the young person.
Service users are transferred in to the service via the single point of access and those transferring out will be transferred to their local Speech and Language Therapy service with their most up to date Speech and Language Therapy report.