Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Service - Video

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Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Service

Short film about our Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Service provides support and advice for children ages 0-19 and their families who live in Greenwich and have difficulties with communication and/or eating and drinking.

Greenwich Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy service helps children ages 0-19 and their families who live in Greenwich and have communication problems or eating and drinking difficulties. Our therapists work to improve children’s communication skills through Speech and Language activities in three areas: Early years, mainstream schools and special schools. We work across a range of settings including children’s centres schools, community locations and people’s homes. We aim to see the child and their family in different settings to build up the best picture of the child’s strengths and needs.

Parent: “My son Johnny is 4 years old and he comes to speech and language therapy because his sounds are unclear and he often confuses his sounds. Johnny loves coming to the speech and language therapy session here and he often, he really does see it as fun, and as parents we are delighted with his progress.”

Speech and Language therapy services have been really critical to our joint vision of supporting children as soon as possible in their language skills and communication skills, and one of the things in particular that we’ve worked a lot on is actually supporting parents’ understanding of how important communication with their child is.

Children under five are seen by the Early Years team. Anyone can refer to the service providing we have parental consent. Children are seen for an initial appointment at their local health centre. Following assessment, children are supported to develop their full communication potential. This may be through working with the family, in individual or group sessions or working in the child’s early years setting to support their communication in a natural environment. Parents can also attend workshops or advice sessions to gain more information about what to expect in terms of their child’s communication development.

Parent: “Stanley is four. And he comes to speech therapy because he had trouble putting words together and pronouncing sounds. Stanley absolutely loves coming to speech therapy; its one of our weekly highlights. He enjoys the group sessions, he enjoys making new friends and interacting with other children who also have the same problems as what he does, and it’s a confidence builder for him, because he knows he’s not the only one that struggles with his talking.”

We also have a strong focus on providing information and direct input to children before any referral is made. Our successful bouncing babies programme has run in Greenwich for over five years. This exciting singing gesture and communication group for babies and their families can have a really positive impact on children’s future learning and development. We also offer sessions to support families new to parenting on how to develop communication in their babies right from birth.

“I would recommend bouncing babies to other mothers because it’s just a great introduction to communication with your child. From whatever age it’s all about making eye contact, expressing yourself; so we use the word, the sign, expressions on our faces and we get that response off of the child that they will try to copy you.”

Our special school team works in a number of schools in Greenwich. They support children and young people with physical and learning difficulties, sensory difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders, severe learning disabilities and emotional and behavioural difficulties. They work as part of a multi-therapy team which may include Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Music Therapy.

“I think the students do find it fun and I think that helps them a lot because they don’t really think that they’re doing work because it’s fun, but they are actually learning through the fun. It helps the teacher and it helps the therapist because you get more out the children that way.”

The schools in Greenwich are very inclusive schools, all of the schools provide for children who have really significant special educational needs, and a high percentage of those children have speech and language requirements, so having Speech and Language Therapists in the schools on a weekly basis allows the teachers and the LSA’s to be fully conversant with the speech and language needs of those children.

Every primary and secondary school in Greenwich has a Speech and Language Therapist who visits regularly. The Speech and Language Therapist focuses on developing communication skills, in areas including social communication, interaction, stammering, understanding and use of language as well as identifying and pronouncing sounds. Anyone can refer to the service, providing they have parental consent. Following assessment, the therapist will provide advice on how best to support the child’s communication needs.
“If my students hadn’t had speech and language therapy they would probably find the classroom quite a difficult place to be involved with due to their needs. Having structured strategies to be able to deal with everyday life in the classroom, allows them to achieve more.”