The Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Service works across the whole county of Bedfordshire and Luton providing help in both the community, i.e., health centres, schools, pre-schools, and hospital settings. We treat children up to the age of 16 years (up to 19 years in special education), who have a difficulty with communication or swallowing.
The Service is provided in a number of ways, depending on need. This may include individual or group treatment, parent/carer workshops and training for education staff. We may see a child or young person, or their parents/carers, or linked education staff in a range of face-to-face settings, e.g., one of our clinics, in schools / pre-schools, in hospital etc., or virtually via video appointment or online training.
What does our service do?
Following acceptance of a referral, a Speech and Language Therapist will:
- Provide full assessment of the child’s Speech, Language and communication needs
- Dependent on the outcome of assessment they may:
- Provide and if necessary deliver a defined therapy package appropriate to the child’s need
- Liaise with SENDCos, class teachers and support staff regarding the implementation of communication strategies to support the child.
- Provide support and advice regarding appropriate communication targets for the child
- Provide training specific to that child’s communication needs if appropriate
- The possible outcomes above are known as a ‘package of support’. Every child’s package of support will be different and may change along the way.
Following a package of support the child’s needs are reviewed. A Speech and Language Therapist will look at the impact the intervention has made and also identify any areas which need to be targeted further. This means the child may receive more than one package of support if needed.
Alternatively, the presenting need may have improved or is being well managed and so the package of support for that target may be closed.
Some children will have long term speech, language and communication needs and will need support strategies to be embedded and ongoing within their daily lives at home and school. At this stage the Speech and Language Therapy service may not need to be involved.
A further referral can be made if there are specific concerns that require specialist involvement or if a new need arises.
There are 3 teams who work together to form the wider Speech and Language Therapy team. Your child will usually be seen by 1 team but may move across teams.
Special Needs Team
Early Communication Support Team
You might be supported by Speech and Language Therapists as well as Speech and Language Support Practitioners. Support practitioners are specialist practitioners who deliver programmes of support and can help you embed the strategies at home or school.