Speech and language therapy

Communication development starts from the moment a child is born and is a process that never stops. Speech and language therapy aims to help all children to communicate as well as possible.

How does speech and language therapy help?

It aims to develop:

  • communication skills that may include receptive language (what your child understands
  • expressive language (what your child signs or says)
  • speech skills (how your child pronounces words) and
  • interaction skills (how your child uses language in conversations, for example, by asking questions).

Alfie and sister

For deaf children, speech and language therapy is most effectively provided by parents working with their child’s therapist to help their child’s communication skills during everyday life. Your child’s speech and language therapist will also work closely with other professionals who may be involved with your family, in particular your child’s teacher of the deaf.

Whatever communication choices you make for your child, speech and language therapy may be able to help your child to further develop their communication skills. Speech and language therapists provide a service that takes into account the needs and wishes of both you and your child.

Speech and language therapy may be specified in a child's statement, but if you're worried about your child's communication or feel it's causing behavioural or emotional difficulties, you can speak to their teacher or GP/health visitor, or make a self-referral.
For more information, including how to get speech and language therapy for your child, download our factsheet.