What is Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy?
Speech, language and communication underpins everything we do. We often take these skills for granted but many children struggle to communicate. Children can present with many different communication problems, such as:
- Delayed speech and / or language development (e.g. late beginning to talk, delays in using the correct sounds in speech, etc).
- Difficulty understanding what others say (sometimes called a receptive language difficulty).
- Mixing up speech sounds in words, or other difficulties with pronunciation.
- Difficulties interacting socially with other children and / or adults.
A Speech and Language Therapist’s role is to help people with communication difficulties to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. A Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist can help children with communication needs by:
- Carrying out an assessment of the child’s speech, language and communication skills and diagnosing a variety of difficulties.
- Completing written reports that detail the child's needs and how best to support them, for the reference of parents / professionals.
- Providing practical advice to carers / other professionals about how to support the child's communication development
- Offering treatment sessions, which are often play-based and child-centred, to target the child's difficulties.
- Carrying out review assessments to monitor the child's progress and regularly update the child's targets and goals.
Most Speech and Language Therapists in the U.K are employed by the NHS and work in a variety of different settings such as hospitals, community clinics, mainstream schools, special schools, children's centres and client's homes. Some Speech and Language Therapists work independently.