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Speech and language therapy triage appointment – what to expect

Clock with red circle to the left of it, meaning before something happensBefore the appointment

Please think about any important things you might want to tell us about your child’s speech, language or communication skills.

If you have examples of your child’s speech or communication, you might want to write them down to bring along to the appointment.

It can be a good idea to bring some short video recordings of them communicating at home to show the speech and language therapist.

Please don’t worry about how your child will be during the appointment. It can be a bit strange and overwhelming for some children and our speech and language therapists are used to this.

A clock with part of the clockface coloured red and an arrow pointing around the outside from 12 to 4, meaning during an eventDuring the appointment

The speech and language therapist will talk to you about your child’s speech, language and communication skills and complete a case history. They may ask about:

  • your main concerns
  • your child’s first words
  • developmental milestones such as first steps
  • any difficulties with hearing
  • any difficulties with feeding
  • any family history of speech, language or communication difficulties

Your child will also have an opportunity to play so the speech and language therapist can observe their skills and carry out informal assessment including:

  • play
  • social interaction
  • attention and listening
  • understanding

Sometimes the speech and language therapist will do some formal assessment or activities with your child but this often depends on their age. This might be looking at how they follow key word instructions or use different speech sounds.

The speech and language therapist will talk to you about the most appropriate way to support your child’s speech, language and communication needs. This will often be through one of the services provided by Speech and Language Therapy, but may also involve referral to other agencies.

If your child has made lots of progress since they were referred they may be put down for a review, or it may be agreed there is no role for Speech and Language Therapy service at this time.

A clock with a red circle on the right of it, meaning after an event After the appointment

If your child’s hearing has not been checked since birth the speech and language therapist will often make a referral to audiology for a hearing check.

You will be given some ideas of how you can help your child’s speech, language and communication skills at home.

A report will be sent home for you and to the person who completed your child’s referral.

Your child will be added to the waiting list for further assessment and support from one of our Speech and Language Therapy pathways below (as discussed at the appointment):

You will receive an appointment from the allocated speech and language therapist in due course – please note that there is likely to be a waiting time before your child’s next appointment.

Contact us

For more information please contact the Speech and Language Therapy Service at Flockton House on 0114 226 2333.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: SL50

Resource Type: Article

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