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Speech and Language Therapy

The Wiltshire Speech and Language Therapy team supports parents, families, teaching staff, child-minders and early years staff across Wiltshire.

We offer support to children who experience speech, language, communication or swallowing difficulties through working on communication, understanding, talking, speech sounds and stammering. We also support children and young people who may have problems with their voice.

How can we help?

Speech and Language Therapists offer support to children and young people from birth to 18 years where communication difficulties are impacting on their ability to fully participate in daily life. We assess, diagnose and manage children and young people with communication and swallowing difficulties.

We work in partnership with children and young people, their families and other professionals to reduce the impact of these difficulties, recognising the importance of working with your child in the most appropriate environment.

Before requesting help from us, if you think your child has difficulties which we would be able to help with, please use the toolkits listed on the services pages which you can find above. These toolkits will help you, and us, to establish your child’s level of need and collect information which will be useful when we first see them.

Who will my child see?

The young person will be allocated a named therapist who is a registered Speech and Language Therapist. They will work with other professionals who are involved with the young person’s care as required.

What to try before making a referral?

Before making a referral, you should try activities and toolkits with the young person as listed on the pages below.

These toolkits will help you, and us, to establish your child or young person’s level of need and collect information which will be useful when we first see them.

Please follow the instructions in the toolkit, implement the strategies suggested within them and keep a record of the results as we will require you to submit this information to us if you find that you do need assistance from the Speech and Language Therapy Service.

Click below to access toolkits, advice and for more information on:

Parents can speak to an SLT – ask questions or seek advice on 0300 247 0090 (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm).

How to make a referral?

Referrals can be made using the Request for support form. See the Single Point of Access (SPA) page for information on the referral process and what additional supporting documents are required.

What happens next?

Once a health professional, school teacher, health visitor, early years staff or parent/carer has made a referral for the young person, you will be sent an appointment. In the event that the referral is not accepted, we will inform you why – this might be that there is information missing from the request form so that we are unable to complete clinical screening, or there are activities that you can complete before a request can be accepted.

Once a request is accepted, we try and see all children and young people for assessment within 18 weeks. When this is not possible, we will contact you and advise what the anticipated time frame for assessment will be. In the meantime, it can be helpful if you use some of the links on our webpages for support while you are waiting.

We work from a variety of locations around the county, and if a request for service is accepted we will offer your child an appointment at the venue closest/most appropriate for you. This might be a local clinic, the child’s school, nursery or children’s centre, and might, where a feeding referral has been made, be your home.

If your child is of school age

You may be invited to sit in and observe your child’s assessment. Alternatively, the therapist may assess your child first by observing them in their classroom and then carrying out some formal and informal assessments.

The therapist will then meet with you and ideally a member of the school staff to discuss the results of the assessment. The SLT will give you advice as to how to support your child, strategies to help and activities to try out at home. The school will be involved too in supporting your child’s speech, language and communication needs.

The therapist may give you and the school targets to work on. These will be reviewed when you and the school request further support, resources or  have achieved the targets and are ready to move on.

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) video

In partnership with Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust we have created a short video combining a poem, cartoons and animations. The video expresses what it is like to have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), from the view of a child. DLD affects approximately two children in every classroom. The poem is voiced by one child from a primary school in Wiltshire, but it is a compilation of many children’s voices. It highlights how communication difficulties may present and the extent to which they can impact on learning, literacy, friendships and emotional wellbeing. The poem also focuses on the strategies which can be used by anyone to help.