Speech and language therapy for children and young people

What is speech and language therapy (SLT) for children?

Some children find talking and listening harder than others. They might find it hard to understand what words and sentences mean. Some struggle to find the right words or sounds to use and put them in order. These children may need help from a speech and language therapist to develop good communication skills. Speech and language therapists are trained to help children to develop their communication skills. Speech and language therapists offer assessment, advice and support in close partnership with families and other professionals. Some speech and language therapists also help children with eating and drinking difficulties.

In Brighton & Hove the speech and language therapy service for children and young people is part of the Integrated Child Development and Disability Service.

Who uses the Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service?

Our speech and language therapists work with children from 0 to 19 years who have been identified as having some speech and language and communication needs.  This might mean they need help to develop:

  • attention and listening
  • play skills
  • understanding and using spoken language
  • recognising and producing speech sounds
  • using language socially
  • other ways of communicating, e.g. using signing and symbols
  • voice production
  • fluency
  • feeding, eating and drinking

What does speech and language therapy involve?

Speech and language therapy (SLT) is delivered in a variety of locations including children's centres, health clinics, special education and mainstream schools, hospitals, and pre-school settings. Services may differ in the way they are delivered according to the child’s age and needs, but include:

  • assessment and advice on the management of a child’s speech and language difficulties
  • direct or indirect therapy
  • regular monitoring of the child’s progress
  • specific training (as required) for parent carers and/or professionals working with the child such as teachers and nursery nurses
  • referral to other local services, where appropriate

For full details of how each part of the service works, read the leaflets below:

Pre-school Community SLT Service (PDF 257kb)
Pre-school Complex Needs SLT Service (PDF 275kb)
Mainstream Schools SLT Service (PDF 211kb)
Mainstream Schools Complex Needs SLT Service (PDF 277kb)
SLT Service in Special schools and units (PDF 280kb)

For more information on the service and some helpful fact sheets, you can visit the Sussex Community NHS website information on speech and language therapy for children 

How do I get a speech and language therapy referral for my child?

Parents and carers who have a concern about their child’s speech, language and communication needs can contact us directly, call us on (01273) 242079. Professionals such as GPs, health visitors, teachers and social workers can also refer a child to our service with a parent or carer’s consent.

Working with parent carers

We will give parents and carers  information and reports about their child’s difficulties and progress. We may work directly with you to help you understand your child’s difficulties and how best to support and develop their communication. For example through training. Parent carers are also encouraged to contact the service with any questions they may have.

The Sussex Community NHS website has useful information for parents and carers of children with speech and language needs, including downloadable fact sheets about issues such as stammering or feeding and eating difficulties, as well as links to useful websites. 

How to contact us

For more information or to make a referral call us on (01273) 242079 

The Children and Families Clinic
Ground Floor, Dyke Building
Brighton General Hospital
Elm Grove
Brighton
BN2 3EW
Tel: 01273 242079
Email: SC-Tr.BGH-seasideview@nhs.net

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