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Speech and Language

Whilst we complete our own assessments on all children who attend the setting, occasionally we need to seek specialist support from the IOW Speech and Language Therapy service.


Who we are

The Children’s Speech and Language Support Service is dedicated to helping improve the speech, language and communication skills of all children aged 0–19 years on the Isle of Wight.


We work together with parents/carers to support children who have a difficulty with:

• understanding what is said to them

• expressing themselves

• talking clearly and fluently

• swallowing (eating and drinking)


The NHS Speech and Language Support Service has a particular responsibility for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and children in Reception at school who have been identified as having speech, language or communication needs or eating and drinking difficulties. Children (at the end of reception) will be closed to the NHS Service and if a child continues to have identified speech, language and communication needs the child’s school will need to discuss his or her needs with the School’s SLT team. However, some children may still be supported by the NHS; this can include children with complex learning difficulties, cleft palate, selective mutism, stammering, autism, hearing impairment, voice disorders and eating/drinking and swallowing difficulties.

What we do

We work in partnership with parents, carers and settings; to develop their skills to support the child in their everyday life, because evidence shows us that this is the best way to help the child make progress; for example, demonstrating to a parent how to practise at home with their child or with a support assistant about implementing the activities recommended by the Therapist. Our approach is centred on individual needs, based on research evidence (; and follows the communication development pyramid.


We offer a range of services including:

• Assessment and diagnosis of speech, language and communication needs.

• Advice, training and support for parents, carers and pre / school staff to facilitate development of the child’s speech, language and communication skills and eating and drinking difficulties. My speech and language skills start at the bottom and work all the way up but I might explore them all before I’m secure. 6

• Review appointments to monitor the child’s progress, either face to face or by phone.

• Direct Therapy – 1:1 or group

• Referral onto other agencies e.g. Audiology, Early Years Team, etc. Referral We have an open referral system, and welcome referrals from parents/ carers. We also receive referrals from GPs, early years and school practitioners, Health Visitors and other professionals always only with parental consent. To request a referral form, please telephone: 01983 534502 or 822099 ext. 4502, or email:


We use the information on the referral form to decide if an appointment is needed, and the best method of support, based on the impact of the speech, language and communication need or eating and drinking difficulty. Not all children referred need a face to face appointment with a Speech & Language Therapist; some referrals will receive an invitation to a group play session, they may be signposted to another service, or attendance at a training course may be recommended. Sometimes you may receive a pack of activities to complete with your child, and/or advice to support your child. If your child needs a face to face appointment, we aim to offer this within 12 weeks from the date the referral was received. If you are not able to attend an appointment offered to you this may mean that you will have to wait longer.


What to expect

After your first appointment, the Speech & Language Therapist will agree with you the next steps to support you and your child to develop their communication skills. This could be further assessment, advice and activities for you and your child’s educational setting to carry out, training, group or 1:1 therapy. This will depend on your child’s level of speech, language and communication need, or eating and drinking difficulty, and will be tailored to meet your child’s individual needs. For some children one or two sessions to offer advice and/or demonstrate activities or strategies are all that is needed. Sometimes as part of therapy we will offer training to all those supporting the child; some preschools and schools may have already received training that will benefit the child. For most children direct therapy is not needed on a weekly basis because to achieve the best progress the support needs to happen in a child’s daily life. This is why we value the important role that parents/carers play, and aim to empower you to support your child at all times. Sometimes it might not be the right time for you (or your child) to commit to speech and language therapy for your own personal reasons. Please be honest about this, so we can support you. Please be aware that if you do not attend appointments without letting us know, we will assume that you do not need our service and you will be discharged. Thank you for your support with this. Please contact us on the links below.

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