We support children and young people who have speech, language and communication difficulties to develop the best possible communication skills that they can: for some, this might be spoken communication, and for others it might be learning to use a communication aid, or an approach based on signs, symbols or gestures.
You can check your child’s communication skills on Talking Point’s progress checker, and see below for detailed information, activities and resources about how you can support your child’s progress: pick the right area for you, and then tap left or right to find the right age range (check age ranges just above and below too, to find the activities that would work best for your child).
Early years settings
What is Speech and Language Therapy?
A Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) supports children’s speech, language and communication development. They do this by:
- assessing and treating speech, language and communication problems
- offering advice and support about speech, language and communication
- running speech, language and communication groups
- training other professionals and parents in identifying and managing speech, language and communication difficulties and
- sign posting to other services, groups, support networks according to a child’s needs.
Speech and Language Therapists also assess, treat and advise on eating, drinking and swallowing problems.
Where do we work?
As part of Oxford Health’s integrated service, we work in partnership with the occupational therapy and physiotherapy teams in:
- Community Health Centres
- Children’s homes
- Mainstream schools
- Resource Bases
- Special Schools
Who do we work with?
In Oxfordshire, Speech and Language Therapists work with children, young people and their parents or carers to provide advice, support and treatment for children and young people with a range of problems, such as:
- Social communication difficulties
- Hearing impairment
- Feeding and swallowing difficulties
- Language difficulties (understanding / use of language)
- Selective mutism (when children are able to speak in some settings but not others)
- Difficulties making the sounds used in speech
- Voice disorders
Sometimes these difficulties are alongside other problems such as learning difficulties, but this is not always the case. Children might have these difficulties from birth, or acquire them later in life (as a result of illness or trauma, for example).
We work closely with early years’ settings, school staff and other health professionals, such as health visitors, school nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dieticians and psychologists.
In Oxfordshire, the Integrated Speech and Language Therapy Service works closely with communication and interaction advisory teachers who offer advice and strategies to schools to support language development and social communication.
What do we do?
Depending on your child’s needs, a Speech and Language Therapist will try a range of different activities and work in different settings. This could include any one or a combination of the following:
- Reviewing your child’s skills and offering advice
- Observing your child in different settings
- Liaising with school/nursery staff, professionals and parents
- Input to target setting as part of the individualised education plan (IEP) process
- Informal/formal training of parents/staff/other professionals
- Group work
- Individual work
- Jointly planning activities with school staff
- Optimising access to the curriculum
- Creating and modifying programmes of therapy to be delivered by other professionals including families, settings and school staff.
The Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) team facilitate speech and language groups across Oxfordshire. These groups are for children and young people with a range of ages, abilities and needs: your Speech and Language Therapist will recommend a group that is right for your child
See below for our list of groups:
Within Oxfordshire, we currently provide training to school staff, parents, staff within children’s nurseries and early years settings, as well as others.
Training can cover areas range from how to adapt learning environments to support children with speech, language and communication difficulties, to specific skills such as the use of colourful semantics or signing.
Please do get in touch with your named speech and language therapist for more information or to book training, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently offer the following training sessions:
Purple File Training (For those working in Early Years settings)
– Identification of speech, language and communication needs
– Strategies to support areas of need
Green File Training (for primary school staff)
- For school staff working with children aged 5-11 years
- Identification of speech language and communication needs
- Practical strategies to support specific areas of difficulty
Blue File Training (for secondary school staff)
– Identification of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)
– Understanding the impact of SLCN on behaviour and learning
– Building profile or learning strengths and needs for young person
– Practical strategies to support areas of need
Specific training packages
Early Language Parent training
Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Support training
'All Things Autism' course for parents
Special School Training
We offer regular hour-long career sessions for people interested in following speech and language therapy (SLT) as a career: these sessions give general information about what speech and language therapy is, and you can ask questions too. People attending these sessions will:
- Understand communication difficulties in adults and children
- Understand what speech and language therapists do
- Get information about studying speech and language therapy
Please contact email@example.com if you’re interested in these career sessions.
We may also be able to arrange a shadowing session after you have attended a career session, but SLT undergraduate students will be given preference for these limited opportunities. In any case, University course admission tutors will generally look at your understanding of the profession and the needs of people with communications difficulties, and your ability to communicate with them, rather than whether you have observed therapists at work.
• A Career in Speech & Language Therapy (2004) by Jannet A. Wright and Myra Kersner
• The Man who mistook his wife for his hat (2011) by Oliver Sacks
• How to manage communication problems in young children (2002) by Myra Kersner
• Listen to your child: A parent’s guide to children’s language (1989) by David Crystal
• The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (1997) by Jean-Dominique Bauby
• Children’s Communication Skills: from birth to five years (2003) by Belinda Buckley
• Small Talk: simple ways to boost your child’s speech and language development from birth (2013) by Nicola Lathey and Tracey Blake
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us: 01865 904435
If you are concerned about a child or young person’s communication, or eating and drinking skills, you can request our involvement if you have the parent’s consent. See below to find the form that is right for you: please note that for children at school, both a referral and a school screening form needs to be completed. GPs should use the LMC-approved proformas, available via the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. *Office closed due to coronavirus. Until further notice, requests for involvement (SPORFI form) can only be sent via email, using Egress, to email@example.com Please email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Requesting our involvement
Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS)
If you are concerned about a child or young person’s communication, or eating and drinking skills, you can request our involvement if you have the parent’s consent. See below to find the form that is right for you: please note that for children at school, both a referral and a school screening form needs to be completed. GPs should use the LMC-approved proformas, available via the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
*Office closed due to coronavirus. Until further notice, requests for involvement (SPORFI form) can only be sent via email, using Egress, to email@example.com
Please email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Page last reviewed: 28 April, 2021