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Speech and Language Therapy

Our speech and language therapy team supports children and young people with speech, language or communication difficulties. We also work with children experiencing eating and drinking difficulties.   

We support children and young people who find it difficult to produce the sounds needed for clear speech, understand what’s being said to them, or express themselves using appropriate words and sentences. We also help them with social communication skills and interacting with others, as well as specific conditions such as stammering or hearing impairment.

We help them develop the skills they need to learn, play and socialise with others, and express their wants, needs and thoughts.

In response to the pandemic and current situation The Children and Young People’s Integrated Therapies (CYPIT) service is having to work slightly differently. We continue to offer support via video/telephone call appointments and face to face visits where these are essential. If we have identified that your child needs our direct support, we will contact you to arrange appointments and/or make you aware of visits to see your child in school/nursery as relevant.

If your child/young person is already known to our service and you have a query, concern or need advice, or you need to cancel/re-arrange a scheduled appointment, please call your local administration team:

  • East Berkshire (Slough, Bracknell, Windsor and Maidenhead): 0300 365 0123 Option 2
  • Reading:                                          0300 3654000  
  • Wokingham:                                   01189 495093
  • West Berkshire (Newbury):         01635 273706

We continue to offer appointments in clinics, at home or in your child’s educational setting. We are following NHS guidance and will wear correct PPE for any face to face contacts. 

If you have a scheduled appointment with one of our teams and either you or a member of your family have symptoms of Covid-19, please call to reschedule your appointment on one of the contact numbers above.

If your child/young person is not known to our service and/or currently waiting to access the service, please contact our Triage team for advice and support: 

Triage opening hours are Monday 9am-1pm, Wednesday 12.30pm-4.30pm and Friday 9am-1pm. 

If you would like some advice from your local early years’ speech and language therapy team (for pre-school children), you can also send an email to the team: 

Please include your child’s name and date of birth or NHS number in the email so that we can access your child’s records, along with the best telephone number to contact you on. It is also helpful if you can let us know the best day(s) to contact you. We aim for all families to be called back by a speech and language therapist within a few weeks, but it can take longer if lots of requests have been received.

Optimum speech and language development has a positive effect on your child’s education, behaviour and ability to socialise so we work together with families, education staff and other professionals to achieve positive outcomes. We do this by working towards agreed goals that are functional, meaningful and important for your child.

We do this by:

  • Providing training and advice for parents, carers and other individuals (such as education staff) to support your child
  • Providing approaches and activities to be carried out by various people to support your child in different environments
  • Providing advice and recommendations for specialist equipment such as communication aids when needed
  • Contributing to Educational Healthcare plans and transition planning
  • Providing direct therapy with your child individually or in a group when needed. 

We work closely with you, your family, education staff and a range of professionals to help your child achieve the goals we’ve agreed with you.

To access our service, please attend a drop-in clinic (details below) where the child can be assessed and a referral made if necessary. For advice and strategies, and to gauge whether to attend a drop in clinic, please contact the Health Hub. There are no drop in clinics in Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead so please call the Health Hub for advice on whether an online referral should be made.

We work with school staff and families to give speech, language and communication support to children and young people attending mainstream schools across Berkshire from their entry into reception until they leave secondary school.

In Slough we offer this service to children and young people attending a mainstream school as long as they have an Education Health and Care Plan.  Referral to the service in Slough can currently only be made by Slough Borough Council. Please discuss any concerns regarding your child’s speech, language or communication skills with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at your child’s school.

We start by talking to you and your child’s teachers about concerns they might have about speech and language development, and the impact these difficulties have at home and school.

The support we offer might include:

  • Training and advice for school staff in how to spot when your child needs support, and the best ways to help them use their communication skills well to learn
  • Setting targets with parents/carers and school staff to make sure your child gets the best outcome
  • Designing programmes of activities.

We might also provide support to your child in small groups, in pairs or on a one-to-one basis.

If you’re concerned about your child’s speech and language skills, please speak to their teacher or Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). They’ll then discuss this with the speech and language therapist who visits your child’s school.

The exceptions to this are if your child is home educated or attending an independent school when you will need to complete an on-line referral form.

Please check our Support and Advice area of this website for any relevant self help techniques.

If you still wish to make a referral, please read the referral criteria so that we can ensure your enquiry is directed to the right area and follow the directions on this page.

If your referral is urgent, please call our HealthHub on 0300 365 1234.

Speech and language therapy resources