Speech and language therapy - Children (Hounslow)

Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) provides services to support children and young people with their: 

  • swallowing and safe eating and drinking
  • understanding and use of language
  • social interaction and communication
  • speech and voice
  • stammer

What does the Speech and Language Therapy service aim to do?

Our service aims to:

  • provide information, assessment, advice and treatment for children and young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
  • provide information, assessment, and management of Dysphagia (unsafe swallow)
  • provide training and support for families and other people involved in the care of those with SLCN.
  • provide training for professionals who work with children and young people with SLCN.
  • carry out general and targeted supportive work in the community to prevent or reduce communication difficulties from developing.
  • participate in research and development and student therapist training.

We achieve this in different settings – clinics, special schools, primary and secondary schools.

We work with other professionals in health, education, and social care services as well as with voluntary and charitable organisations.

Our Team:

Children’s Therapy Clinical Services Manager: Uma Saimaruhan
Team lead – Preschool: Katharine Long
Team lead – Mainstream: Helen Downing
Team lead – Specialist Centres and Units: Jenny Kneale
Autism/Social Communication: Anna Michel
Dysphagia: Emma Brown
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Lara Bentley
Youth Justice Service (YJS): Megan Woodley
Business Manager: Samsul Alam

 

Find out about our teams and current waiting times here:

Preschool Team

Speech and language therapists from the Pre-school Team work with children who are under statutory school age (Reception class age) and their families who present with a range of speech, language and communication difficulties.

Therapists will complete an assessment of the child’s needs and provide tailored advice and strategies to their families and other caregivers to support their speech, language and communication development. This maybe face to face or virtually.

Current waiting times:

  • Initial appointment = 3 months
  • Follow-up appointment = up to 7 months

We apologise for the impact this wait may have on your child and family at this time. Please be assured that we are working hard to reduce these waiting times. These delays are due to issues with staff recruitment.

Pre-school Special Needs Team

We also have a small team of therapists who work with children who have complex and specialist communication needs. Input may be delivered in 1:1 sessions, in groups, or by providing tailored advice, strategies and training. This may be face to face or virtually.

Current waiting times:

  • Initial appointment = 3 months
  • Follow up appointment = up to 7 months

 

Speech and language therapists from the Mainstream School Team provide a consultative service to children and young people (CYP) who are over Reception class age.

They work with CYP who present with a range of speech, language and communication difficulties. Therapists will complete an assessment of the child’s needs and provide tailored advice and strategies to support families and education staff to support their speech, language and communication development.

Current waiting time:

  • Initial appointment = 10 months
  • Follow up appointment = n/a

We apologise for the impact this wait may have on your child and family at this time. Please be assured that we are working hard to reduce these waiting times.

These delays are due to:

  • demand exceeding capacity – we are liaising with commissioners

Speech and language therapists work with children and young people who stammer. Input may be delivered in 1:1 or group sessions or by providing tailored advice, strategies and training. This may be face to face or virtually.

Current waiting times:

  • Initial appointment = 6 weeks
  • Follow up appointment = 6 months

We apologise for the impact this wait may have on your child and family at this time. Please be assured that we are working hard to reduce these waiting times.

These delays are due to:

  • demand exceeding capacity – we are liaising with Commissioners
  • staff recruitment

 

Speech and language therapists work with children and young people who have difficulties with speech sounds (pronunciation) or voice where this is affecting their communication skills.

Input may be delivered in 1:1 sessions or by providing tailored advice, strategies and training. This may be face to face or virtually.

Current waiting times:

  • Initial appointment = 8 weeks
  • Follow up appointment = 8 months

We apologise for the impact this wait may have on your child and family at this time. Please be assured that we are working hard to reduce these waiting times.

These delays are due to ​​​demand exceeding capacity – we are liaising with commissioners.

Speech and Language Therapists work with children and young people who have an Education, Health and Care Plan and attend a Hounslow Specialist Centre/Unit.

Due to commissioning arrangements in Hounslow, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRCH) Education Speech and Language Therapy no longer provides therapy input (communication needs) for the Special Schools, including Oaklands, Lindon Bennett, Marjory Kinnon, Cedars and Woodbridge (including specialist nursery settings).  

Speech and language therapists work with children and young people who have an unsafe swallow (dysphagia) and associated difficulty feeding.

Input may be delivered in 1:1 sessions or by providing tailored advice, strategies and training. This may be face to face or virtually.

This is not an emergency service, and if you have any immediate / serious concerns, i.e. if your child/ infant is presenting with any of the signs below when feeding you are advised to contact your GP to seek help and advice or attend your local A&E (emergency department):

  • coughing/ choking
  • changes to colour
  • changes to breathing pattern
  • eye watering

Current waiting times:

  • Initial appointment = 2 working days to 6 weeks (clinically urgent cases are prioritised)
  • Follow up appointment = as clinically indicated on an individual basis

Speech and language therapists work with children and young people who have speech, language and communication difficulties as a result of moderate to severe bilateral, sensori-neural hearing loss.

Input may be delivered face to face or virtually in 1:1 sessions, in groups, or by providing tailored advice, strategies and training and in close liaison with the Teachers of the Deaf.

Current waiting times:

  • Initial appointment = 6 weeks
  • Follow up appointment = 6- 8 weeks

 

Speech and language therapists across the service support children and young people with social communication difficulties or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Social Communication Pathway

For individual queries on waiting times for assessment for autism, please contact the Social Communication Pathway Coordinators:

Email: hrch.socialcommunicationpathway@nhs.net

Telephone: 020 3771 5983

Useful links

NHS: Help for families of autistic people 

This website has useful tips, advice and further links from the National Health Service.

National Autistic Society 

For safe, accurate and up to date information on autism, including support, guidance, and advice, as well as information on campaigning for improved rights, services and opportunities to help create a society that works for autistic people.

Hounslow Youth Justice Service (YJS) conducts routine screenings of young people's speech, language, and communication skills. If a young person presents with speech, language, and communication needs they are offered tailored support during their time with the service.

Input may be delivered directly by the Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT) in 1:1 sessions or groups. Support is also given by providing tailored advice, strategies and training to families, case officers, and other YJS specialist staff as well as external organisations such as schools, CAMHS, and social care.

The aim of the YJS SaLT service is for young people to be able to access the important work delivered within the YJS service, and to take away effective skills and strategies to support them to be capable and confident communicators.

We have an open referral system – anyone e.g., Parents, Health Visitor or School Nurse, GP, School, Nursery or Children’s Centre staff can refer a child or young person.

Referrals will only be accepted if the child has a Hounslow GP and consent is obtained from the parent or main caregiver.

Schools must include a Language Screener alongside the referral and information on the targeted interventions that have been implemented over two terms to support the child or young person’s language and communication needs. Please note, only a language screener is required for children with speech/dysfluency as primary need.

Hounslow SaLT School age Referral Form

Referrals to the Dysphagia Service are only accepted from medical professionals.  Referrals should be made where there are signs of an unsafe swallow.  Referrals relating to issues with texture progression during weaning or with rigid and restrictive texture/ taste preferences do not meet the criteria for accessing this service. 

If you are concerned about your child’s swallow safety and they are showing signs of:

  • Coughing/ choking whilst eating/drinking (happening regularly i.e. several times every day)
  • Changes to colour (face going red or pale) when eating/ drinking
  • Eye watering
  • Wet voice immediately after eating/ drinking
  • Changes to their breathing pattern during and after eating/drinking

Please contact your GP to request a review and discuss referral to the Dysphagia service. 

Please explore the links below for resources, advice, and videos

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The High 5 Pack includes a Parent Information Presentation and some Family Activity Ideas to inspire you to do some everyday activities a bit differently.

We share some strategies to help you focus on your child’s speech, language and communication development while you have fun together as a family.

Watch our video presentation to find out more

 

High 5 Pack resources

International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative

The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) is a global standard with terminology and definitions to describe texture modified foods and thickened liquids used for individuals with dysphagia of all ages, in all care settings, and for all cultures.

The IDDSI framework consists of a continuum of 8 levels (0-7). Levels are identified by text labels, numbers, and colour codes to     improve safety and identification.  The standardised descriptors and testing methods will allow for consistent production and easy testing of thickened liquids and texture modified foods.

Click here to download the PDF - International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative

 

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Download the Developmental Language Disorder general advice handout.

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) – Hounslow SALT 

 

 

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Useful links

The Communication Trust

The Communication Trust is a collaboration of charities who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication. This website has resources for parents with suggested activities to support children’s speech language and communication development.

Afasic Voice for Life

Afasic is a parent-led organisation to help children and young people with speech and language impairments and their families. They provide information and training for parents – and professionals – and produce a range of publications. Members meet in local groups in many areas of the UK. Parents can access useful practical advice with games and activities to help children develop skills and language within the ‘Help at Home’ section.

ICAN 

ICAN is a charity whose mission is that no child should be left out or left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding. Their vision is a world where all children have the communication skills they need to fulfil their potential.

NAPLIC 

National Association of Professionals concerned with Language Impairment in Children (NAPLIC) is an association for all professionals concerned with children who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

RADLD

A campaign created to raise awareness of developmental language disorder

Tiny Happy People

Tiny Happy People, to help you develop your child's language skills. Explore  simple activities and play ideas and find out about amazing early development.

The British Stammering Association 

This website provides information, resources and support to those who stammer as well as those close to them such as family, friends, educators, employers and colleagues. A webchat and free confidential and anonymous helpline are available for advice on 0808 802 0002, open weekdays 10am-12pm and 6pm-8pm.

There is also a ‘Your Voice’ section which includes stories from parents of children who stammer, some who stammer themselves and others who don’t.

Michael Palin Centre for Stammering  

This website offers information and help for children, young people who stammer, their families and their teachers. It offers top tips on ways to support fluency.

A helpline is available weekdays, 9am-5pm on 020 3316 8100

Mommy Speech Therapy Blog

This blog/website has lots of information, resources and ideas on how to support a child’s speech sound development, as well as s for other speech, language and communication needs.

National Deaf Children's Society

“We’re here for every deaf child who needs us – no matter what their level or type of deafness or how they communicate.” 

On this website you can find a range of information and activities, including how to support your child’s speech and language and information on glue ear.