Speech and Language Therapy for Children - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
 

Frequently Answered Questions

My child has a stutter. Will she grow out of her stutter?
My child often doesn't seem to follow what I'm saying or asking him to do. How do I know if he has a problem with his understanding?
My child can't say some words properly. How do I know if my child's speech errors need therapy or are just part of normal development?
My child has literacy difficulties. Do Speech and Language Therapists help children who are finding it difficult to read and write?
My child's Teacher says that she is disorganised at school, and her behaviour is beginning to be challenging? She says that she would like her to be referred for a Speech and Language Therapy assessment. How can disorganisation and behaviour be linked to Speech and Language difficulties?
My child doesn't seem to be talking the same as other children his age. Is he just a 'late talker' and will catch up in time?
Can my child get Speech and Language Therapy services with the NHS?
What are the benefits of taking my child to a private Speech and Language Therapist if I can get services with the NHS?
   
 
My child has a stutter. Will she grow out of her stutter?
Some children do, but many don’t. It can be dependent on so many things, including the severity of the stutter. Language-for-Life uses the Lidcombe Program in stuttering therapy. This Program has the best results with children under 8. If you would like to find out more about the Lidcombe Program please click on the link here.
   
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My child often doesn’t seem to follow what I’m saying or asking him to do. How do I know if he has a problem with his understanding?
If a child doesn’t seem to follow what you say or ask him to do, it could be due to a difficulty with:
  • Hearing
  • Understanding, or
  • Attention

The only way to know which difficulty, or combination of difficulties, a child may have is to:

  • Investigate if the child has any hearing difficulties, or has a history of ear infections or glue ear. Glue ear can affect the way a child hears speech sounds – some say it can be like listening to someone talking under water. As many as 25% of children can experience some element of hearing loss at some stage due to glue ear or ear infections
  • Assess a child’s understanding of language to see if it is at a level expected for their age
  • Assess a child’s level of attention and listening. This is done by observation whilst the child is playing and/or during the assessment of understanding of language
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My child can’t say some words properly. How do I know if my child’s speech errors need therapy or are just part of normal development?
All children make speech errors as they are learning how to talk. Most children tend to make the same types of errors and correct them at about the same ages. However some children don’t seem to be able to correct their errors and some make speech errors that don’t follow a normal pattern of speech development.
Some children also have speech disorders that are caused by neurological difficulties. Examples are Dysarthria and Verbal Dyspraxia.

A Speech and Language Therapist can assess your child’s speech sound system and let you know if their errors are normal for their age or if they would benefit from speech therapy.

   
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My child has literacy difficulties. Do Speech and Language Therapists help children who are finding it difficult to read and write?
Speech and Language Therapists can help with phonological awareness skills (sound awareness), which are a pre-requisite for literacy development. Phonological Awareness consists of a child’s ability to:

• Recognise and generate rhyme
• Manipulate sounds such as blending, segmenting and deleting sounds
• Segment words into syllables
• Identify the first, middle and last sounds in words

Research suggests a strong link between a child’s phonological awareness skills and a child’s potential reading development. Consequently the UK’s National Curriculum’s Literacy Strategy currently focuses on phonological awareness skills in the development of children’s reading and writing.

There is evidence to suggest that a few hours of phonological awareness training can increase a child’s readiness to read by up to 2 years.

   
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My child’s Teacher says that she is disorganised at school, and her behaviour is beginning to be challenging? She says that she would like her to be referred for a Speech and Language Therapy assessment. How can disorganisation and behaviour be linked to Speech and Language difficulties?
Behaviour is communication. Often children that are ‘acting out’ are doing it because either they are frustrated. Frustration can be due to difficulties in understanding what is being said to them, and/or difficulties in being able to express their thoughts and feelings. It is actually quite common for children to appear ‘naughty’ in class when the reason they aren’t following the teacher’s instructions is simply because they haven’t understood what they’re being asked to do.

Children can also appear disorganised at school because they aren’t sure what they should be doing, or what is expected of them in an activity. They may try and copy other children or simply give a few things a try to see if they can get it right. They may miss important information like knowing what books they need to take home with them, and what activities to do for homework.

   
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My child doesn’t seem to be talking the same as other children his age. Is he just a ‘late talker’ and will catch up in time?
Some children are ‘late talkers’ and do catch up with other children of their own age, but some don’t. It really depends on the child and what type of talking difficulties he/she might be experiencing. If a child isn’t communicating at a similar level to his/her peers, it is always best to have the child’s communication assessed to see if there are any difficulties that can be helped.
   
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Can my child get Speech and Language Therapy services with the NHS?
Yes
   
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What are the benefits of taking my child to a private Speech and Language Therapist if I can get services with the NHS?
NHS Trusts usually have large caseloads and therefore large waiting lists. Private Therapists can often see a child more quickly.

Children of school age often receive a Consultative Service. This means that a Speech and Language Therapist assesses the child in school and then gives recommendations to the Teaching Staff on how best to manage the child’s difficulties in the classroom. By contrast, Private Therapists deliver a Direct Service in which the child receives therapy directly from the Therapist for as long as the service is needed / wanted.
   
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