Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about speech, language and communication needs and accessing support for children and young people.

Get in touch with any other queries through the contact addresses here.

How can I help my child’s speech, language and communication at home?

Conversations are a great way to support your child’s language and communication development.

Have a look at the videos and resources on the Communication Hub, where you can find information about:

  • Visual Supports
  • Creating opportunities for communication
  • and lots more!

What language should I speak with my child?

Speak to your child in the language you feel strongest and most comfortable, whether this is English or your home language.

This will help your child to develop their understanding of language by giving them:

  • A basis for further development
  • Grammatically correct sentences
  • Access to a wide range of vocabulary.

Learning English as a second language will not impact or cause language delays or disorders.

It can be easier to learn a second language if you child has a strong foundation in their home language.

When will my child start talking?

Children develop their speech, language and communication skills at different rates.

Some children they will develop their skills as expected, others may take longer; and others may communicate using other styles of communication such as facial expressions, body movements and visuals.

Have a look at the typical development stages on the Communication Hub, to find out what is expected of your child at different ages.

How can I make a referral for my child if I am concerned about their Speech, Language or Communication Development?

If your child is between 0-5, you can refer to the Early Years Speech and Language Therapy Service.

  • Anyone can refer to the Early Years’ Service.
  • You can find the referral information here.

If your child is school age (5-18), you can refer to the Education Speech and Language Therapy Service by asking your GP to refer to SLT.

  • A teacher at your child’s school will also need to fill out a questionnaire.
  • A speech and language therapist will complete an assessment with your child which will provide information and advice about your child’s communication, and how to support them at school or home.

How can my child access support from a Speech and Language Therapist in school?

The Schools Speech and Language Therapy Team use a Whole System Approach to make sure all children and young people with communication needs can access support in their everyday environment.

All schools have a named Speech and Language Therapist who provides termly support to help schools:

  • Create a communication supportive classroom environment
  • Run small group interventions led by school staff which target language and communication development e.g. Lego Therapy or Language for Thinking
  • Ensure staff understand how to support children/young people with Speech, Language, and Communication Needs.

Some children and young people may need more specific advice or intervention from a Speech and Language Therapist and may access outcome focused blocks of support.

Once teachers and teaching assistants know how to use the right strategy for your child, they may not need further SLT.

What should I do if my child attends an Out of Borough School?

Have a look on the local offer website (WCC/RBKC) for advice and support on what you are able to access if your child attends a school out of borough.

Can I attend Speech Language Therapy sessions?

Yes, therapists seeing your child 1:1 are more than happy for you to attend a therapy session to support your child at home. Depending on your child’s abilities and the nursery/school’s preference, this may be face to face, or virtual.

Please contact your child’s named SLT directly to arrange this or ask your child’s SENCo for support to contact them.

If your child is younger and attends nursery or requires a clinic appointment, nursery/school staff will be happy for you to bring your child along to speech and language therapy sessions in our clinic.

Where else can I access support for my child?

You can speak with your nursery or school SENCo to find out what support they provide to children in attendance at their nursery or school.

You can use the Bi-Borough Communication Hub website to find out further information, access resources and find out what events are available to you.

You can access the local offer websites (WCC/RBKC) to find out about other services who are able to support your child.

When will a Speech and Language Therapist stop seeing my child?

Not all children need to see a Speech and Language Therapist all of the time.

The Speech and Language Therapist might share information with you, your child and their nursery/school so that you have the knowledge and skills to use in their everyday environment.

Your child might be discharged (not have sessions with a Speech and Language Therapist) if:

  • Parents/carers and nursery/school staff can carry out the SLT strategies recommended and are able to support your child’s needs at home or in their nursery/education setting.
  • Staff can access the training provided by the local offer to carry out the supportive strategies or interventions.
  • Your child’s language skills are appropriate for their age (we call this “within normal limits”).
  • Your child can manage their needs using strategies that have been worked on, and these strategies have been modelled and observed several times by the SLT.
  • Your child is unable to engage in direct sessions with the SLT, despite several adaptations in approach by SLT, and/or being out of class is impacting on their wellbeing.
  • Your child’s communication difficulties are best supported/being met by another professional, such as the Mental Health service, Occupational Therapy or the Advisory teaching service.

Get in touch

To find out more about the speech, language and communication support available, email: