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Speech & Language Therapy (SALT)

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) work with children aged 0-16 years who have communication and/or feeding and swallowing difficulties. These children may experience difficulties in the following areas: 

  • Listening to and understanding words/instructions 
  • Talking in words and sentences 
  • Using clear speech 
  • Social communication and interaction 
  • Fluent speech (stammering) 
  • Eating, drinking & swallowing 

There are many reasons why children may have such difficulties and they can be as a result of conditions including language delay/disorder, speech sound difficulties, learning disabilities, stammering, autism, hearing impairment and physical difficulties. 

This leaflet called Small Talk produced by communication trust can help you understand how young people learn to talk (open PDF in new window).

Within Kirklees, SALT services are provided differently depending upon where you live:

If you live in North Kirklees, this service is provided by Locala

If you live in South Kirklees, this service is provided by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHT).

All About Us 

Our speech and language therapists (SLTs) work with children aged 0-16 years who have difficulty talking and understanding and some may also have difficulty feeding and swallowing. The children we work with may have difficulty: 

  • Listening to others 
  • Understanding words and instructions 
  • Talking in words and sentences 
  • Using clear speech 
  • Getting on with others 
  • Stammering 
  • Eating, drinking & swallowing 

We assess children and young people’s speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. 

There are many reasons why children may have such difficulties and we might offer support to children in clinic, schools or at home. 

Who is this service for? 

We support children and families living in the North of Kirklees which covers Batley, Cleckheaton, Dewsbury, Liversedge, Heckmondwike, Ravensthorpe and Mirfield. 

We support children and young people aged 0-16 with an identified or suspected speech, language and communication need and those with feeding and swallowing difficulties. 

We can provide advice and support for children who may require visual means to support their understanding and /or communication such as objects of Reference, Makaton signing, photos or symbols, Communication passports  

For children who may require a more complex communication system we can refer to and work with the Local Area Assistive technology Team in Barnsley.  More information can be found on their website (opens in new window)

How to access what we do? 

You can refer into our team via the Locala website (opens in new window) or contact us on 0300 304 5555. 

We have an open referral policy which means anyone can refer to the service including parents / carers. When we receive a referral it will be looked at by a Speech and Language Therapist before it is accepted. 

When a referral is accepted you will be contacted by letter and will then be invited to attend an assessment session with your child in clinic or sometimes in school / nursery.  

You are welcome to stay and take part in the sessions, but it would be better if you can manage it, to leave other children at home when you come to an appointment. 

Locala Speech and Language Therapy offers NHS services and there is no cost. 

We are happy to be contacted on the phone to discuss your child’s needs 

Criteria for a referral being accepted

It is important for parents and carers to know that Locala require evidence to be provided such as an IEP, Provision Map, ANP, MSP etc (more information about what these are can be found on this support plan Local Offer page - opens in new window).

These plans need to have been reviewed by the school twice and Locala state that they will not accept any referrals which do not have this evidence provided unless the referral is for a stammering or voice problem.

If a referral is sent in but it does not meet this criteria,  Locala may recommend that the school follows the Kirklees Quality First Teaching guidelines for working with children with communication difficulties.

This guidance can be found in this Kirklees guidance document for schools (opens PDF in new window).

 

Transition into the adult service 

Where a young person requires ongoing support as they move into adulthood, the Speech and Language Therapist will liaise with the adult team to make the move as smooth as possible for the young person and their family. This may be a move to one of the following teams, as is appropriate: 

Locala adult Speech and Language Therapy Team (opens in new window) 

We are a team of Speech and Language Therapists who provide a child centred and family oriented approach.

Working closely with our partner services in Health, Education and Social Care, we contribute our expert knowledge of communication, speech, language, and feeding and swallowing to the team of professionals working with the child and their family. 

We provide support for families and staff from a variety of settings, so that they can help the child to reach their full potential in their everyday lives.

We focus on meaningful targets, jointly agreed with families, which promote the child’s wellbeing and independence as well as supporting their learning.

What we do?

  • Provide general advice, support and information.
  • Provide specialist assessment
  • Agree and set joint goals
  • Provide specialist advice and support for families and ‘the team around the child’ to be able to implement strategies and achieve goals.
  • Deliver clinic-based individual and group therapy.
  • Support staff in educational settings to set up and run their own groups.
  • Provide specialist training for parents and staff in settings.
  • Provide training to develop the wider children and young people’s workforce.

Where do we work?

  • Child’s home
  • In mainstream school
  • In special schools
  • In nurseries
  • In playgroups
  • Children’s Therapy Department (clinic)
  • Hospital wards for feeding
  • CDU (clinical decision unit in a hospital)

How do we access this service?

Referrals can be made by GP’s, Consultants, Health Visitors, Parents/Guardians, Schools, and other Health Professionals.

Referrals need to be made through the CHT Children's Therapy Services website (opens in a new window).

Parents wishing to refer their children directly may telephone the department on Halifax 01422 261 340, and Huddersfield 01484 344299

Criteria for a referral being accepted

CHFT do not state what their criteria for accepting a referral are, however they do say that the referral must include:

  • Attainment levels (how well they are doing in school)
  • IEP/ANP (if available)
  • A completed questionnaire which is part of the referral form.

CHFT state that the answers to questions in the form will help to indicate if a referral to SALT is required or not.

The CHFT referrals webpage (opens link in new window) explains what happens after a referral has been made.

 

Transition into the adult service 

Where a young person requires ongoing support as they move into adulthood, the Speech and Language Therapist will liaise with the adult team to make the move as smooth as possible for the young person and their family. This may be a move to one of the following teams, as is appropriate: 

SWYT Learning Disabilities Team (opens in new window) 

Last updated: 12/10/2020

Useful links

The Communication Trust

Communication Trust

Afasic - Voice for life

https://www.afasic.org.uk/