I provide a high quality speech and language therapy service to children age 0-5 across the south/mid Wales area, including Merthyr, Valleys, Cardiff and the Vale. Sessions are flexible to suit your needs, and can take place in your home, pre-school or school setting with weekday or weekend appointments. My services include initial assessment, individual therapy sessions, programmes for the home, nursery or school, and training to relevant staff, carers and family.
What is a Speech and Language Therapist?
Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) assess and treat speech, language and communication problems to enable people to communicate to the best of their ability. Therapists usually specialise in specific areas of communication difficulties.
SLTs are allied health professionals – working closely with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors. They work in settings including community health centres, hospital wards, mainstream and special schools, children’s centres and client’s homes. Therapists can work for the NHS and independently in private practice, sometimes in both.
How can I access Speech and Language Therapy for my child?
Your child’s Health Visitor or Teacher may have suggested that your child might need Speech and Language Therapy, or you may be starting to have your own concerns about your child and want further advice.
Speech and Language Therapy is available both through the NHS, and from therapists, such as myself, working in independent (private) practice. It is possible to have both at the same time.
To access your your local NHS speech and language therapy service you can ask your health visitor or school for a referral. Alternatively, you can refer your child yourself. To self refer, ring your local primary health care trust and ask for the telephone number of your local NHS speech and language therapy service. What happens next varies across different health authorities. At this stage ask what will happen next and how long you may have to wait for an appointment. In some places, demand for services is very high.
Many of my clients choose independent therapy because of concern about the lengthy waiting times and short intervention blocks offered by the NHS. They use my services for an initial assessment, and then to supplement NHS therapy, both while waiting for therapy, and to extend the support provided by the NHS.
Some people prefer independent therapy for the flexibility it offers – with quick appointments for assessment followed by therapy to suit you at home or at school.
Whether working independently, or for the NHS, Speech and Language Therapists are allied health professionals. We work closely in collaboration with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors, for the benefit of your child.
What speech, language and communication problems can you help with?
I work with with children age 0-5 who have difficulties with interaction, language development and/or speech difficulties, including:
- Sustaining their attention
- Interacting with others
- Communicating their needs – perhaps using very few or no words yet
- Producing and using speech
- Using sounds correctly in words
- Joining words together to make phrases and sentences
- Understanding language
What approach do you use?
The approach used in therapy will be depend upon your child’s age and the nature of their difficulties. For some children a more directive 1:1 approach is required, whilst for others working directly with the parents/carers to help their child, is more appropriate. The recommended approach will be discussed with you from the outset and aims agreed jointly.
If you have a child with a language delay or a social communication difficulty, the desire to take action and help them right away is great. Seeking professional help is the most important first step, but if you’re like most parents, you want to know what you can do to help your child learn.
One of the approaches I use was developed by The Hanen Centre, a world-renowned leader in early childhood language development, driven by the firm belief that parents can and should be their child’s most important language teachers. I work with both the child, and with the parents, showing you how you can make the most of every interaction you share with your child, whether during play or daily routines.
Speech and language therapy fees:
Initial consultation/assessment approx 2 hours: £130
- £55 per hour
- Travel is not charged within 10 miles of Merthy Tydfil. I see many clients across South Wales at pre-agreed mileage costs.
What can I expect?
1. First Contact
The hardest part is deciding to make the first move. When you first call me, you will have the opportunity to explain your concerns and questions. I’ll explain the process and guide you through the options, step-by-step from initial assesment to a therapy plan.
2. Initial Consultation /Assessment
I move on to observe your child in play with toys and also in more structured play, with myself. Sometimes a more ‘formal’ standardised speech and language assessment is also appropriate, involving both picture books and toys. It may also be necessary to see your child in both the home and school setting.
At the end of the session I’ll outline your child’s communication strengths and needs, and advise you of whether they would benefit from Speech and Laguage Therapy. We’ll explore core strategies and approaches to address the specific needs of your child, and ensure that you’re providing them with the best help possible
3. Agreeing a Therapy Plan
If your child does need therapy, I’ll discuss options and agree a plan with you, in liaison with any other professionals working with your child, including teachers and doctors. Aims and priorities will be agreed with you as the parent, and we’ll discuss the number, timings and locations of of sessions based on your individual needs.
Therapy can be held in your home, pre-school or school setting, as preferred, and is delivered in a fun and relaxed way, through play and structured activities. The child’s home is is a relaxed, quiet and distraction-free environment for the child. The following therapy options may be suitable:
- Individual sessions with me
- A home programme of strategies and activities
- A programme set up at nursery or school
- Training to relevant staff, carers and family
The following therapy options may be suitable:
- Weekly therapy, with week days or weekend appointments possible
- Fortnightly/monthly therapy
- Monthly monitoring to review and update advice
- Termly educational visits to review and update advice
A polish interpreter/translation service is available
4. What happens at a therapy session?
A typical therapy session will last 60 minutes and will involve structured play activities and strategies which develop particular skills in speech, language and/or communication.
Aims are set prior to the session and evaluated at the end of the session.
Following the session with the child there will be time for discussion with you as parents or carers. This will vary according to the amount of time spent working directly with the child. Parents, carers and staff, (if required) are supported to extend these aims through practise and by developing their own knowledge and awareness of the child’s speech and language profile, as well as their own communication skills.
My goal is to equip you with the knowledge, skills and tools you need to make speech and language learning a fun and natural part of your child’s day. I can provide you with a home programme with suggestions for games to play and general advice, strategies and resources which enable you to extend and build upon the therapy session. The programmes show you how easy it is to enhance your children’s learning opportunities simply by adapting the way you interact with them during everyday activities and routines. In this way the approach and strategies become a natural part of your parenting style.
5. Reviewing your child's progess
Please contact me for a no obligation chat regarding your child’s needs.