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.