Our Liverpool community service work with children from the Liverpool area, in collaboration with parents or carers and an educational setting like their school. Our evidence tells us this approach leads to the best outcomes for the child.
Children learn from parents, teachers, friends and family so it’s really important we work collaboratively with everyone in the child’s life to get the best outcomes.
A referral to the Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Service is a request to work collaboratively. This means the SLT service working in partnership with parents/carers and educational settings to achieve the best outcomes for your child.
To be seen by a Speech and Language Therapist from the Liverpool community team, your child will need to have a Liverpool G.P and you will need a referral for your child to be completed by one of our designated referrers.
Children can be referred to the Liverpool Community Speech and Language Therapy Service by:
• Health Visiting Team
• Child Health Practitioners
• SEN Disability Link Workers (Children's Centres)
• Schools and Nurseries
• Paediatricians (Children's Doctor)
• Educational Psychologists
• Other Speech and Language Therapists
It is important that you talk to a designated referrer first if you have concerns about your child’s speech, language and communication development. They may be able to offer you advice and strategies which answer your questions or resolve your concerns so you don’t need to see us. If, however, you have tried lots of ideas and are still worried, your child may need to see a Speech and Language Therapist.
A designated referrer can talk with you and complete the referral form. This is the first stage in gathering information about your child’s communication and development and any concerns you or the setting might have. We also need to know what you have tried already; what is worrying you the most; and how you think speech and language therapy could help.
How can I help my child?
If you are worried about your child’s speech and language or communication skills, there are lots of ways you can help before a referral is considered.
Family/Children’s Centres run lots of early listening and language activities. It might be useful to speak with the SEN Disability Link Worker or the Children’s Centre manager.
If your child is in school, you can talk to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) about your concerns. The SENCo may have some ideas about what help is available to support your child’s needs, This might include additional school activities, school support, advice on things you can do at home, and general information on how your child’s language and communication skills can be developed alongside their general learning in the classroom.
If your child is not yet at school, your Health Visitor can also give you some advice about speech, language and communication development
Where are you based?
We are based at Liverpool Innovation Park, next to Edge Lane. It is a large building we share with a number of other organisations and you can access it from Digital Way. Car parking is available:
Liverpool Innovation Park
For general information and to contact us, please call 0151 295 3990.
We also have a fax number: 0151 295 3991.
What will happen at my first appointment?
Children are usually seen for their first appointment in a community clinic. We have lots of venues across the city. This is so we can talk with you about what worries you have about your child’s speech, language and communication and how we can work together to make a plan to help.
This plan may or may not include direct sessions with a speech and language therapist. We may talk with you about other people in your child’s life who could help. We may also direct you to other agencies, local groups etc that can offer advice.
In working with you to develop the plan for your child, the speech and language therapist will talk to you about:
- What has prompted your visit to speech and language therapy
- What worries you have about your child
- What you have tried already to help your child – did this work?
- People in your child’s life who can help support your child’s speech, language and communication
- What your child can do and what they may find hard
- How you think a speech and language therapist can help your child and what changes you hope to see
- How your child's difficulties are impacting them at nursery, school or home e.g. what is stopping them/getting in the way of not doing what they want to do
- What your child was like as a baby and a toddler – you may want to bring your red book
At the first appointment we may also want to:
- Watch and listen to your child as they play
- Look at how they follow instructions
- Listen to how they say words and sentences
- Look at how your child tells you what they want, for example pointing, signing
- Look at your child’s eating and drinking if we have been asked to do this by the referrer
At this appointment the Speech and Language Therapist will talk to you about how we can all work in partnership to best support your child’s speech and language development. We will also talk with you about how long we expect to be involved with your child; what we can do; what you can do; and what their school or nursery can do. We may also have suggestions of other organisations and groups in the wider community that can help.
Although sometimes the speech and language therapist may work directly with your child, the main part of our role is to work collaboratively with parents, teachers, and those in the child’s life.
Our intention is to share knowledge and demonstrate strategies so that you and the people closest to the child, can make the changes. For children to have good outcomes they need everyone in their immediate environment to be involved.
What will happen after the appointment?
- We will talk to you about how you can help your child and whether we need to see them again for further assessment
- We may ask if another person can see your child, for example an educational psychologist
- We may recommend your child needs an episode of speech and language therapy or we may agree they don't need to see a speech and language therapist at this time so they may be discharged with advice
Where will I have to go for my appointment?
Children are usually seen for their first appointment in a clinic. Clinics are available across the city, so we always aim to provide a venue close to your home or your child’s school.
If it is felt your child needs a further appointment with us it may be considered that a different venue is better. This may be a school visit, a visit to their nursery or children’s centre, or your home.
When will I get an appointment and what if I can’t come?
Our service is really busy and we have a waiting list for a first appointment. This means we have to have to be strict with appointments to make sure people who need them are able to get one as soon as possible. When your child is near the top of our waiting list you will be sent a letter asking you to call us to book in a suitable day, time and clinic.
Your child will be discharged and you will need to go back to your referrer and ask them to make a new referral if:
- You don't call us within two weeks of us sending you an appointment booking request letter
- You have an appointment you do not attend, or an appointment you cannot attend but do not cancel beforehand
- You cancel two consecutive appointments
If you cannot attend your first appointment but have cancelled beforehand, we will arrange a new appointment for you. Please make sure you can attend this rearranged appointment.
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