SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY
Telephone: 01429 522712
Address: Hart Building, University Hospital of Hartlepool, Holdforth Road, Hartlepool, TS24 9AH
The Speech and Language Therapy Service works with children and young people from birth to 19 years old who have speech, language and communication needs or difficulties with eating, drinking and swallowing.
As well as occurring on their own, these difficulties are common in children who have other diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder, learning difficulties or cerebral palsy.
Speech, language and communication needs might include difficulties in:
- making the sounds needed for your speech to be understood by other people;
- putting words and sentences together to ask for something, tell a story or hold a conversation;
- making sense of what other people say to you;
- understanding and using body language and eye contact.
A child or young person might also be:
- stammering, where sounds or words are repeated or a lot of effort is needed to produce them;
- avoiding talking in certain situations;
- speaking with a persistently unusual voice quality, which might sound croaky, breathy or hoarse.
As well as working directly with children and young people, the service supports their families and carers, their teachers and other adults around them. The service aims to help children to develop their best possible communication skills, taking into account their individual abilities and needs.
The service also aims to help educate the wider population to understand and promote children’s language and communication development and provides training and support to a wide range of professionals who work with children.
How to refer
The service has an open referral service – this means that families can refer their child to the service without going through their school or their GP. However, if you have concerns about your child’s speech and/or language, we would recommend that you share your concerns with your child’s teacher. A referral can then be made collaboratively between the family, the teacher and the Clavering SENDCo.
Afasic is a charity that provides parents and families with information, advice and support about speech, language and communication needs.
The British Stammering Association offers help and information on stammering. The website has sections for young people, parents, teachers and health visitors.
The Communication Trust is a national organisation that aims to support children and young people to develop their best possible language and communication skills by providing resources and training to parents and professionals. The website has lots of resources that schools can download and use.
ICAN is a charity working in the area of children’s communication. Their website outlines the work they do and provides information and resources for parents, carers and practitioners.
The National Autistic Society provides information and support to people with autism, their families, and those who work with them. The website has sections for parents, carers and families, as well as for professionals.
The Raising Awareness of Language Learning Impairments (RALLI) campaign have produced a number of videos, which you can watch on their YouTube channel. The videos give background to the campaign and information to professionals on how to spot a language difficulty and what to do to help. There are also a number of videos aimed at parents and families, as well as children and young people themselves.
The Talking Point website provides information for parents and practitioners on how children develop their speech and language skills. It includes a progress checker to help you look at how your child’s skills are developing, and a database to signpost you to useful resources.
The Words for Life website has been developed by the National Literacy Trust for parents to give you an idea of what communication milestones your baby and child might reach as they grow. There are also ideas for activities you can do together to help your children develop their skills.