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Children's Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)

A service for children with speech language, communication, eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.


  1. Overview
  2. Support available
  3. Who can access the service
  4. How to access the service
  5. Contact details


A specialist service for children with: 

  • speech, language and communication difficulties
  • eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties

The service provides assessment and support for children and young people and works closely with families so the right service can be provided.

What speech, language and communication difficulties include

Speech, language and communication difficulties include: 

  • language difficulties - understanding words, sentences and instructions
  • speech difficulties - difficulties producing and using sounds in words
  • expressing / communicating using words, sentences and conversation as expected for age / development 
  • social communication difficulties - limited or atypical communication skills affecting interaction with others 
  • stammering ('bumpy talking') 
  • voice problems e.g. persistent breathy or strained voice 

What eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties include

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties include: 

  • choking and coughing or frequent gagging episodes when eating or drinking, especially where a child is presenting with frequent chest infections and / or poor weight gain 
  • limited ability to suck, chew or swallow affecting a child's growth and development 

Support available

The service will do an assessment which may include telephone and clinic appointments.

There are different specialisms within the Speech & Language Therapy service, and your child will be allocated to the most appropriate area for assessment.

An interpreting service can be used for all appointments. 

During an assessment, the team will ask about current concerns / difficulties and the impact of them on your child / young person.

They will decide what the best course of action is to meet the best outcomes for your child.

Following the assessment, there are a range of options including:

  • a report and recommendations for families to take forward 
  • visits in school or nursery to provide targets / activities 
  • visits to home / clinic appointments to review a feeding care plan
  • social communication assessment pathway to contribute to the multi-disciplinary assessment for Autism

The team can refer children and young people on to other agencies as needed. 

Support for people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Speech and Language Therapists are involved in the assessment and support of children with SEND.

This may involve: 

  • assessments and recommendations in identifying SEND
  • support through the early help process
  • assessment and therapy visits in nurseries and schools
  • providing written assessment advice for EHCPs and EHCP reviews
  • supporting children towards outcomes for speech and language and / or eating and drinking
  • training and signposting for staff / parents about particular approaches needed to support a child's needs

Speech and Language Therapists work with teaching staff to support children attending their setting.

Who can access the service

Children and young people aged 0 to 18 years.

How to access the service

Children and young people can be referred for assessment by parents / carers or any health / educational professional with consent. 

Young people aged 16 to 18 years can self-refer.

An assessment may include telephone and clinic appointments.

Before making a referral you can contact the team for advice.

Contact details

Telephone: 0191 283 2484 / 2485

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