The Specialist Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service provide evidence-based services that anticipate and respond to the needs of individuals who experience speech, language, communication or swallowing difficulties. Services are provided in clinics, schools, Early Years settings and in families' homes. Speech and Language Therapists often work as part of a multi-agency team providing prevention and training, assessment, diagnosis and intervention to children, young people and their families.
AGE RANGE AND ACCESS
TYPE OF PROBLEM
Speech and Language Therapy Services are available to children and young people where there are concerns about speech, language and communication and/or eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.
You can refer children and young people for the following types of problems:
This includes medical advice for Statements of Special Educational Need (SEN).
HOW TO REFER
Complete the Single Point of Entry form and send to the address on the form and attach any supporting information which would be of help.
There is always someone available for advice if you are not sure what is appropriate.
It is always expected that consent has been obtained from someone with legal parental responsibility for the child before a referral is made.
Young people aged 16 and above are able to consent to a referral in their own right. Some young people under the age of 16 who have the capacity to consent to a referral can also do so although it is essential that a person with legal parental responsibility accompanies the young person at least to the first assessment appointment so that a detailed childhood history can be taken. Rarely, a young person may want to attend an appointment with a paediatrician on her or his own. These cases would need to be discussed first with the Speech and Language Therapist. Although it is always usual to attempt to gain parental consent for a referral, we will see such young people on their own as appropriate. In such cases, the referrer should give careful consideration to any risks involved to the young person and assess the capacity of the young person to consent to the referral.
WHO CAN REFER?
Speech and Language Therapy operates an open referral system so anyone can make a referral with consent (see above), providing the referral information meets a threshold of concern described in the referral criteria for SLT. To support appropriate referrals please use guidelines set out in the WAHT referral guidelines in the SLT Toolkits and on the website xxxx
HOW TO DECIDE IF REFERRAL IS APPROPRIATE
It is appropriate to refer if the communication difficulty is causing significant concern to parents and/or other carer/professional and is affecting the child or young person's ability to function adequately within their normal environment.
WAHT guidelines in the Toolkit provides information and guidance on what is an appropriate referral
HOW TO DECIDE WHO IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE REFERRAL
Some children may be late in their development of speech and language but will not need to be referred to a Speech and Language Therapist. This includes:
WHAT WORK NEEDS TO BE DONE BEFORE MAKING A REFERRAL?
Check the child's communication against the guidelines in the Toolkits (available electronically from Therapies Secretary, Drove Road or ask Speech and Language Therapist).
Where referral is not indicated at that time:-
Employ strategies to enrich the child's communication environment. Generally increase the child's opportunities to communicate. This may include consideration of a rich communication environment such as a Children's Centre or other Early Years placement.
If the child makes no noticeable improvement in their communication skills refer to SLT.
WHAT INFORMATION IS NEEDED WHEN MAKING A REFERRAL via the SPE form?
Please note that we have a legal requirement to monitor ethnicity as defined by the child or young person themselves or by a parent with legal parental responsibility in the case of a young child. This means that the ethnicity section on the referral form must be completed please.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?