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What to expect at your child’s first Speech and Language Therapy appointment

The aim of your child’s first appointment is to get to know you and your child and to determine whether therapy is required.

Before your appointment

You will be given a case history questionnaire to complete to learn more about your child’s overall development and your concerns. You may not know all of the answers to the questions and this is fine. Please bring this questionnaire to the appointment with you.

During your appointment

At least one parent needs to be present with your child and the therapist during the first appointment. The appointment can last up to 60 minutes but this is dependent on the areas that the therapist wishes to assess and on how engaged the child is with the assessment.

The therapist will discuss the case history questionnaire with you to gain an overview of your child’s strengths and areas of need. Be prepared to discuss your concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development. The therapist will also want to discuss your child’s birth history and the ages your child reached different developmental milestones in the areas of physical, social, and language skills. Don’t worry if you can’t remember them all!

The therapist will be use a range of techniques to assess your child’s current speech, language and communication strengths and difficulties. The therapist will play with your child, observe your child playing both independently and with you and will use formal/informal speech and language assessments to get to know your child. To your child, it will seem like play but in reality, the therapist will be working to identify specific areas of need.

For some children, it may take them a bit of time to warm up. This is normal. The therapist will use fun and motivating activities and toys to get your child engaged.

If Speech and Language Therapy is recommended, the therapist will discuss the findings of the assessment and the next steps.

After the appointment

As every child is unique, recommendations will vary depending on your child’s needs. Some of the recommendations may be:

  • To further assess your child in their educational setting to gain more insight into their needs.

  • Reassurance and advice to support your child’s speech, language and communication develop at home, without the need for another appointment.

  • A detailed programme of activities and strategies to be carried out at home and/or in your child’s educational setting and a review appointment with the therapist.

  • A block of 1:1 therapy sessions to work on specific Speech and Language targets.

  • Referrals to other professionals if your child has any other additional needs that would benefit from further assessment.

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