The Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) service provides a service for children and young people from birth to 19 years with speech and language delays and disorders. See below for more information on referrals and eligibility.
Paediatric Speech and Language Therapists work with children with a wide range of speech, language and communication needs, as well as children who have difficulties with eating and drinking. Team members work collaboratively with parents, education, early years and health colleagues.
The service operates from a range of settings, including children’s centres, nurseries, health centres, clinics, mainstream and special schools, and specialist units.
The service is delivered on the principle that all children and young people’s communication skills are best developed through interaction with the people who are most familiar with the children and young people and their everyday situations and environments.
Speech and Language Therapists work with children and young people by providing therapy in the form of one-to-one sessions or small group work, training parents and key staff, and working alongside others in the children’s workforce to support child/children. The service considers that for the majority of children, their speech, language and communication needs are likely to have an impact on access to the curriculum and early identification and interaction is important and timely.
Children and young people have clear criteria for the support of their needs at the point of referral, during their clinical care and the decision for when a child should be discharged from the direct care of the Speech and Language Therapist is made in close consultation with parents.
The service aims to ensure that children and young people reach their speech, language and communication potential, whatever their level of ability and preferred communication method. This may include use of Total Communication (use of sign, symbol and alternative and augmentative communication) where necessary.
Who is this service available to?
Early Years’ Service
This service is available to preschool children (0 - 5 years), who have speech, language and communication needs. This team supports children who are not yet at school. A training package is available at early years settings for parents also.
The service mostly takes place in clinics, children’s centres, nurseries and nursery classes attached to schools. Support provided includes assessment of needs, group and individual therapy for children and close links with parents. Parental training is also offered.
In addition therapists support early year’s practitioners to ensure that children’s centres and nurseries/schools can also help develop children’s speech, language and communication. This is achieved by training staff, sharing resources such as language focused games, and ensuring the child’s environment promotes language and communication. The focus in early years SALT is on prevention of communication concerns and on early identification and support of needs. Access to early year’s SALT is available to children resident in Kensington and Chelsea or those attending early years settings in the borough.
A specialist feeding service is available to assess and support children and parents who have children with eating and drinking needs. When a feeding referral is received the Therapist will contact family within two weeks of referral. Support consists of advice and a programme, which is reviewed in 6-8 weeks.
Primary mainstream schools
SALT services to primary mainstream education work in very close collaboration with schools.
This includes meetings with parents at schools and key school staff involved in a child or young person’s speech and language therapy needs. Children who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans will have their speech, language and communication needs met through whole school universal strategies delivered by the speech & language therapist in collaboration with school staff.
Some schools also buy in additional Speech and Language Therapy whole-school training for staff or support time for students attending their schools.
Secondary mainstream schools
The SALT service to secondary mainstream schools is for children and young people with EHC plans attending Kensington and Chelsea schools. Some secondary schools are now buying in additional SALT services to address the needs of students without EHC plans as well as whole school training for staff.
Special Schools and Units
Within Special Schools and Units, SALT work as part of the school teams. The needs of students’ Education Health Care Plans are delivered in the school setting and Therapists work alongside class teams to support the development of the communication skills within the school community. SALT will work with school staff and families to support children with eating and drinking needs where this is required.
Out of borough schools
Children attending schools outside the borough will usually access therapy at their school. If funding is required for this therapy from a child’s home education or health authority this can be organised.
For children attending independent / private schools the service will assess children who are likely to have a significant need level of need, as happens in state schools. Assessment appointments are offered during the school holidays. Additional support and training can be arranged in these settings should the school decide to purchase it. Independent schools will be asked to demonstrate evidence of how they have tried to develop a child’s speech, language and communication, as we do for pupils in state schools.
All referrals for children and young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs are referred to the Child Integrated Referrals Pathway (CHIRP) Service by professionals working with them. The contact email address is CLCHT.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children and young people can be referred if there is any concern about their speech, language and communication. Children are usually seen within 8 weeks for initial assessment and within a school half term if already in a maintained school or nursery. There is no charge for the service.
Children and young people can be referred if there is any concern about their speech, language and communication, and the Speech and Language Therapist assessing their needs will make recommendations about interventions to achieve the best outcomes. We work in collaboration with children, young people and parents, giving choices about types of support where appropriate.
Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s assessment and ongoing care, and we use interpreters to support families where needed. We ask children, young people and families to comment on their experience of the service, so that we can make improvements to the service to make it better. We provide parents written reports after assessment, and annually if appropriate, which details their child’s strengths and needs and outlines the plan of care that has been agreed for the child.
Trainings and workshops
For parents or carers
- Workshops for parents dates
- Workshops for parents who have children under 5 with autism or social communication difficulties
- 'Understanding ASD after diagnosis' workshops for parents
- Workshops for parents who have children under 5 with developmental language disorder
- Foundation Training - for practitioners working in Early Years educational settings with an overview of speech, language and communication (SLCN) development from birth to 5 years old
- Advanced Training - for practitioners working in Early Years educational settings who have attended the Foundation Training (see above)