The Role of the Speech and Language Therapist (SLT)
The speech and language therapist works with children who have communication and / or eating or drinking difficulties. This includes:
- Spending time talking to parents/carers to find out the specific communication needs of their child and the impact of the communication difficulty on everyday life.
- Assessing a child's communication ability. This assessment may occur in a variety of settings for example, at home, clinic or school.
- Deciding if therapy / support is appropriate at this time and discussing these decisions with parents/carers.
- Where therapy / support is appropriate, working jointly with parents/carers to devise agreed goals and discussing who is best to deliver the therapy. This could be SLT, education staff or parents.
- Working with other professionals and members of the multidisciplinary team involved in a child's care.
- Introducing other modes of communication, for example, the use of objects, pictures and signing as appropriate.
- Providing parents/carers with the skills they need to support the continued development of their child's communication.
- Evaluating the outcome of the intervention programme to determine if speech and language therapy has made a difference and if further therapy is required.
Speech and Language Therapy support may include:-
- Advice and information
- Parent training
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Home and / or school programmes
- Training of other professionals involved with a child
For children experiencing difficulties with eating, drinking or feeding (dysphagia) the Speech and Language Therapist will support children by:
- Carrying out a detailed assessment of a child's eating, drinking and swallowing skills in their home and where appropriate other settings such as school.
- Offering guidance to ensure safe eating and drinking, using appropriate strategies that promote safe and adequate nutritional support.
- Working with other members of the multidisciplinary team involved.