Speech and Language Therapy - Our Clinical Process
Here at Step Up Speech & Language we specialise in working with children who have unclear speech, difficulty understanding instructions and who struggle using sentences. We also help children with communication difficulties such as autism and global delay.
As registered healthcare professionals our work follows a clinical process which we are often asked about by parents seeking help for their children. This is the process we are sharing with you today.
Step 1: listen & advise
The first part of our clinical process is to listen to parental concerns and consider whether their child needs help. At this stage we advise how to help a child at home or we recommend the specialist intervention of a speech and language therapist. If intervention is needed we will arrange for an assessment to take place at the child's home.
Step 2: a relaxed assessment at home
Although the word 'assessment' can sound quite serious and scary, it really isn't. Our approach involves playing games with your child while listening to their words and how they respond when talking. They won't know they're being assessed at the time. We've even completed assessments while bouncing on a trampoline, which was quite fun too.
Why an assessment is so important
An assessment is important for a number of reasons, even if you don't want to continue with private treatment. Having your child assessed will help you to understand their strengths and what their needs are. If your child is already having some support at school or through the national health system, our assessments can help you understand their progress. A clinical assessment with us can also be used as justification for an onward referral in the health system.
Step 3: written feedback
Following the assessment you will receive written feedback about your child's difficulties. Our report provides detailed information explaining why your child might be struggling in a particular area. This is valuable to a lot of parents because it helps explain the full impact a communication difficulty might have on your child. We will also let you know if we have right skills and experience to support your child with intervention.
Step 4: offer of intervention
If intervention is the best course of action, we will show you a programme of work that will be used to support your child. This course of action also includes the targets we set ourselves for your child's progress. At this point you will be offered potential dates for the programme to begin, so you can start at a time that suits you.
Step 5: intervention begins
Once the intervention starts we normally visit children at school. This is to provide a three pronged approach regarding the support they receive. We work closely with schools and also provide their staff with training which they find very useful. Our training also helps them to support your child in everyday classroom activities.
Step 6: feedback durning intervention
After the initial session we provide you and the class teacher with feedback and resources. They enable you both to provide regular support between sessions at home and at school.
You will receive written feedback about your child's progress at several points over the term. We will keep in touch with you regularly to help explain how to carry out certain activities or to answer any questions you might have.
Our therapy service is heavily focused to supporting you and your child, that's why we have such excellent customer reviews on Google.
Step 7: transitioning away from intervention
As your child achieves their targets and develops skills that are age appropriate, we will work with you on strategies to help your child consolidate their learning. We will also talk about reducing our interventions while your child continues to make gains on their own and grow in confidence.
Step 8: final session
At the end of therapy we then provide you with a summary of the input we have provided for your child. During your child's final session they are given a card and a gift. We celebrate their fantastic progress and success.
After therapy has ended, many parents keep in touch with updates on their child's progress, which we love to hear. For us as a team it's really rewarding know that our help instills life long changes for children that were once restricted in their learning.
We hope you found this article about our clinical process useful. If you have any concerns about your child's speech, communication or learning abilities, please get in touch, we're here to help.
If you would like to speak to the Step Up team about anything discussed in this blog please don’t hesitate to contact us for a chat.
And for any parents with concerns about autism, we launched our new service, the Plymouth Autism Team in early September 2022. You can read more about it here.