Children

Childrens’ Speech & Language Therapy Services

Many people are very unsure about whether speech and language therapy is what their child needs because they aren’t very sure what a speech & language therapist can help with. Hopefully this page will help you understand more about Blethers’ approach to speech and language therapy for children and whether it is the right option for your child. In addition to communication support, Blethers provides highly specialist speech & language therapy for children with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and severe learning difficulties.

Who benefits from speech and language therapy?

Children who have genuine difficulties with any area of communication will benefit from speech & language therapy support. The child might have problems making friends, talking so that others understand, paying attention or understanding what other people say to them. If you are not sure, please contact Isla for a chat and she will give you some advice over the phone. A client who contacted me for advice was kind enough to leave me the following comment: ‘After visiting our paediatric medical team twice with regards to our 10 month-old being tongue tied, I decided to give Isla at Blethers SLT a call for a chat. In the space of 5 minutes Isla put both mine and my partner’s minds at ease. Isla’s professional and expert advice has been invaluable and we can focus on our daugther’s 1st words now!!!  I can’t recommend Blethers SLT highly enough.’

Have a read through the following statements and if any of them ring true for you, it is probably worth your while having a chat with a speech & language therapist:

About talking…

  • I can usually understand some of what my child is saying to me but most other people have a lot of difficulty understanding him/her.
  • My child has a lot of difficulty with reading and spelling even though he/she is generally doing fine with other things at school.
  • I’m worried that my child isn’t using many words compared to other children his/her age.
  • My child often seems to have difficulty using specific vocabulary. Sometimes he/she will go ‘all round the houses’ when trying to tell me something.

About understanding…

  • My child is often ‘off in a world of his or her own’ and often doesn’t respond in the way I expect when I speak to him/her.
  • My child gets really mixed up with little words like ‘he’ and ‘she’.
  • I’m worried that my child isn’t learning as fast as other children his/her age. I feel like he/she is ‘getting left behind’.
  • When I ask my child a question, I often get a strange answer or it seems like he/she just says the first thing that comes into his/her head.

About paying attention…

  • My child is easily distracted and often ‘flits’ between lots of different activities.
  • My child’s teacher says he/she is disruptive in group activities and independent work at school.
  • My child often forgets what I’ve asked him/her to do and gets into trouble at school for forgetting homework and things like PE kit.

About making friends and interacting with others…

  • My child prefers to play alone and gets upset if anyone else tries to join in. The teacher says he/she is a bit of a ‘loner’ and doesn’t seem to be making any friends at school.
  • Although he/she has friends, my child likes to be ‘the boss’ when playing with friends and gets excessively angry or upset when others don’t play along with the rules.
  • My child butts in to conversation constantly and talks about things no-one else is really interested in.

What Will Blethers Help you with?

Blethers offers specialist support for children and young people from about the age of 2 with a wide variety of communication difficulties. Together, we can work on:

  • Learning the foundation skills of interaction and speaking – cause and effect understanding, taking turns, enjoying being with other people.
  • Understanding and using eye contact and facial expression.
  • Using alternatives to speech to support the development of communication, for example, using pictures or sign language to communicate.
  • Developing attention and listening skills.
  • Pronouncing words and learning about speech sounds.
  • Putting words together into spoken sentences and using the right grammar.
  • Understanding certain words or groups of words. For example, many children don’t understand the difference between ‘he’ and ‘she’ or have problems with position words like ‘in’, ‘on’, ‘under’, ‘beside’.
  • Understanding specific kinds of sentence. For example, some children can understand very simple sentences like ‘Get your shoes’ but don’t understand longer or more complex sentences like ‘get your shoes and put your coat on’ or ‘Why did you put the goldfish in the toilet?’.
  • Remembering and using the right vocabulary or ‘word finding difficulties’. This is a bit like the ‘tip of my tongue’ feeling you get when you can’t quite remember a name or other specific word.
  • Developing friendship and social communication skills.
  • Understanding and using the ‘rules’ of conversation.
  • Developing skills in reasoning, problem solving and inferencing (‘reading between the lines’).
  • Getting rid of a hoarse voice.
  • Helping to understand the communicative element of ‘challenging behaviour’ and developing more acceptable ways to communicate.

Highly Specialist Services Available from Blethers

As well as providing specialised communication support for your child, Isla has highly specialist skills in Autism and Complex Needs. This means that she is also able to help you with:

  • Specialist assessment as part of multi-disciplinary diagnosis of autism and related conditions. I am trained in a variety of autism assessment techniques including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). Please be aware that, in line with recommended best practice, I will only work on a diagnosis of autism & related disorders in conjunction with other professionals.
  • Specialist treatment of communication difficulties arising from developmental disorders – I am trained to expert level in a wide variety of approaches including the Picture Exchange Communication System, TEACCH System and Intensive Interaction.
  • Social communication education for children and young people who have social communication difficulties alongside learning difficulties or a specific diagnosis like ADHD or autism/ASD/Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Support with setting up and using alternative and augmentative communication systems like picture exchange, symbol boards and voice output communication aids.
  • Communication with people who have very severe communication difficulties and challenging behaviours who can be described as ‘difficult to reach’.