Speech and Language Service: Plymouth Autism Team
Welcome to our new speech and language service: Plymouth Autism Team. Our primary aim is to support parents of children with a range of needs including:
Children who aren't yet talking in a meaningful way .
Children who prefer objects to people.
Your child may have additional complex needs.
Or you may be concerned they have autism.
You've come to the right place!
Plymouth Autism Team specialises in supporting pre-verbal children to work towards speaking.
Pre-diagnostic assessment service - all you need to know to move forward with your child.
Clinical report writing service - to strengthen the evidence you provide about your child
Specialised intervention - through our Step Up to Speaking therapy sessions as well as direct intervention services.
These services are designed to develop the speech and language skills of children with reduced social communication who are not yet talking in a meaningful way.
You can receive our help with, or without, a diagnosis and we can help you wherever you are on the journey. For you, this may mean:
Having concerns about your child and wanting to speak to a skilled clinician before moving forward
Waiting for your referral to be accepted on the autism pathway
Being on a waiting list but wanting help now
Having received a diagnosis but wondering, ‘What happens next?’
Having completed your 6-12 sessions with the NHS but still wanting support and intervention
No matter how much knowledge you acquire concerning autism, and how it relates to your child, there is always something new to learn. It’s a minefield of evolving acronyms and terminology. How are parents supposed to keep up with all this information? How quickly can you get the answers you need?
It’s hard work and confusing.
Parents often describe how difficult the journey has been for them so we decided to act. This is why we are so excited to offer our new speech and language services through our Plymouth Autism Team.
Autism Diagnosis: We can help
For parents seeking an autism diagnosis for their child, it is often a long and sometimes difficult process to navigate. Parents can provide examples of repetitive behaviours and their child's special interests, but it’s difficult to pinpoint which aspects of communication or interaction their child specifically has difficulty with.
Describing your child’s unique perspective and challenges to a GP is not easily achieved during a fifteen-minute appointment. There isn’t a formula that will help you tick the right boxes or communicate your concerns about your child and it can feel like an impossible task.
We can help. We use the ADOS assessment which is considered the gold standard assessment for use in the diagnosis of autism.
Difficulties Accessing Autism Services?
It’s becoming increasingly clear that a high number of parents who come to us are having difficulties accessing autism services. Parents need help with evidencing their child’s unique challenges with communication and their difficulty to interact with others.
They also need our help to give their child the best chance for speaking.
As accredited assessors of autism (ADOS) we are able to offer a pre-diagnostic assessment and report writing service which you can use as part of your child's diagnosis journey. We work with you and your family to provide the additional support needed when you need it.
Pre-diagnostic Assessment = £120
This is a relaxed, yet detailed assessment at your home. Here a highly skilled Speech and Language Therapist observes your child’s behaviours within their familiar surroundings. There are fewer sensory issues to overcome which creates a calm and comfortable environment. This is key so we can observe your child's responses based on new activities and play tasks within on the ADOS assessment (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule).
The Clinical Report is optional and provides evidence against the diagnostic markers for autism. It can be used to support the referral and diagnostic process, as well as provide evidence for additional services and funding.
Step Up to Speaking = £80 per session
Regular online sessions to support your child’s communication at home and increase their understanding of language and the world around them. Over six sessions we provide support and guidance to you - helping to improve your child's attention and ability to communicate in new ways and for new reasons. Sessions can be delivered on a weekly, or fortnightly basis - to suit your needs.
Direct Intervention = £80 per session
We visit your child at their preschool or school setting to deliver direct 1:1 therapy sessions to move your child's communication forward. We support your child's interaction skills with their peers and supporting adults and develop their word learning opportunities further. Staff within these settings will also be provided with up-to-date training, and resources, so they become skilled to deliver key communication-enhancing activities in between our sessions and you child can boost their progress.
Speech and Language: Early Intervention
Here at Step Up Speech and Language, we are passionate about early intervention because we know how effective it is. We regularly speak with parents who waited for an NHS diagnosis for their little ones but wished they had taken control of their child’s delay much sooner to help them start speaking.
You know your child best and we equip you with the right skills to support your child’s communication. You might not believe it, but you will become an accomplished and responsive therapist to your child. You take that unique ability to ‘tune in’ to your child and hold their hand gently as they develop their understanding and use of language.
Parents are often surprised how implementing the small adjustments and new strategies found in the Step Up to Speaking Course can bring great change to their children’s ability to communicate so quickly. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can develop your child’s speech and language skills together.
Why not face-to-face to start?
Online therapy provides you with the best setting; the home, where you can observe and reflect on where your child is having difficulties. You can make small changes that all build toward a larger goal while in a familiar space.
Why does therapy start with me at first?
As your child’s communication partner, you can help them gently build skills without putting undue pressure on them. Together we plan bespoke activities that support your child based on their individual strengths and needs. You know your child best. After your child has worked with you, other adults can help them continue to develop their communication skills further. This is when direct intervention is the best approach moving forward.
Will my child talk?
Any autism intervention or approach cannot guarantee this. However, at Step Up we use approaches that have been researched and evidenced to give your child the best possible chance to get speaking.
What changes might I see in my child?
Our intervention is aimed to respond to your child’s specific needs identified during the assessment. We support children to gain new skills such as maintaining eye contact, turn-taking and using communication in new ways.