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"I attended a workshop on TalkTools a year a half ago and knew immediately that this was the type of intervention my son needed if he was ever going to communicate verbally."

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Frequently asked questions

When you are ready, we look forward to hearing from you to discuss your specific thoughts and questions.

Q: What is Speech and Language Therapy?

A: The ability to communicate is central to all that you do, to who you are, how you learn and how you relate to others. Speech and language therapy is the process of enabling your child to communicate to the best of their ability and about maximising your skills in helping them achieve their potential. Speech and language therapy input may involve direct and/or indirect work with your child but will also (more than likely) involve ways that we can adapt the environment and our own communication skills.

The impact of communication can have far reaching affects on your child and the whole family. Kids Talk Matters will take time to talk through your main concerns, in addition to data gathered from either a formal or informal assessment when planning your best treatment plan. Please call us for an informal chat to see how we can help your family.

Q: How do you assess my child?

A: We will use a mixture of formal and informal tasks. Our biggest priority is to put your child at ease so that they are comfortable joining in with activities. Formal assessment tasks are generally table based and involve working one to one with your child asking them to listen to and follow instructions. It is important that you do not rephrase or help your child as this will not give an accurate picture of their skills. Informal tasks are more game/play based and may involve watching how your child interacts with you, peers, etc.

Q: How do I know which type of assessment my child needs?

A: I offer several kinds of assessment, some of these are specialist assessments that look at specific skills. Please call me to discuss the concerns you have about your child’s speech and language skills and we can discuss which assessment will be the best one for you and your family.

Q: What is Talk Tools?

A: Talk Tools is an oral placement programme. It assesses the underlying oral motor skills that are needed for speech clarity and feeding skills. Once assessed a hierarchical programme will be implemented to address and areas of need.

Q: What is PROMPT?

A: PROMPT is a tactile cueing system for speech and language development. It works by providing manual input to the muscles to form sounds in isolation and connected speech.

Q: How often will you see my child?

A: The frequency of sessions is determined by your child’s individual needs, taking into account your circumstances. We will always discuss the treatment options with you.

Q: What happens in between sessions?

A: Your child will be given activities to practice at home in between sessions. It is the frequent practice that will make the biggest difference to your child. 5 minutes practice a day will be more effective than an hour once a week. The aim of direct speech and language therapy sessions is an intense focus on a skill, problem solving difficulties and moving your child on at an appropriate pace. We try to make the homework as easy to fit in and as fun as possible.

Q: Who can refer my child to Kids Talk Matters?

A: We offer an open referral system. This means that anyone can refer your child for an assessment of their speech and language skills, providing that they have parental consent. The most common route of referral is parents calling us directly to discuss their needs and arrange an appointment.

Regardless of who makes the referral we will always contact the parent to have a chat about their concerns and to arrange a convenient assessment time.

Q: What are your fees?

A: All our fees are agreed in advance, so you’ll never be surprised by our charges. A full breakdown of our fees appropriate for your individual circumstances will be discussed with you during your free discussion appointment and will be provided in writing before your first appointment with us.

Q: Can we set a budget for fees for speech and language therapy?

A: We totally understand that speech and language therapy sessions can be a big financial commitment. As part of our discussion with you we will talk through various options for frequency of sessions and how these will work best for your family in terms of outcomes, time commitment and financial commitment. Please do not hesitate to discuss any concerns regarding budgeting with us.

Q: Will my private medical insurance cover the cost of speech and language therapy assessment and/or sessions?

A: Our best advice is to check with your insurer what your individual policy states. Each insurer varies slightly as to what they cover. If you have a specific “child health cover” these generally include the cost of speech and language therapy (up to a maximum amount), but please check your individual policy.

Most insurers will require that the therapist is registered/authorised by them. Please check with us as we are registered with several private medical insurers (and if we are not we can always call them to start the registration process).

Please be aware that you will need to pay Kids Talk Matters and then make a claim through your insurance for re-imbursement of the fees.

Q: If I use Kids Talk Matters will I still be able to access the NHS speech and language therapy service?

A: Yes, seeing an independent speech and language therapist does not interfere with your entitlement to see an NHS provider at the same time. However, we would ask that you let both us and your NHS provider know that you are seeing more than one therapist. The reason for this is so that we can provide complimentary care, in the best interest of your child. Generally one therapist will take the lead role and this can be discussed with you. It is especially important in terms of assessing your child as assessments done too close together will invalidate the results and may mask some of the difficulties your child is having.

The speech and language therapy profession have guidelines called “Working in Harmony” which set out best practice for collaboration when there is more than one therapist involved in your child’s care. Please contact us if you would like a copy of this document.

Q: At what age should I seek out help for my child?

A: Our Speech and language therapists work with children from infancy to adolescence. If you are concerned about your child's communication skills, please call to find out if your child should be seen for a communication evaluation and/or consultation. The early months of your baby's life are of great importance for good social skills, emotional growth, and intelligence!

Q: Is my child developing speech and language at a normal rate?

A: There are differences in the age at which an individual child understands or uses specific language skills. The following list provides information about general speech and language development. It is not an exhaustive list and if you read through the list and are still concerned then do call us. You know your child best and if you are concerned then call us for a chat.

If your child is not doing 1-2 of the skills in a particular age range, your child may have delayed hearing, speech, and language development. If your child is not doing 3 or more of the skills listed in a particular age range, please take action and contact us to find out if an evaluation or consultation is necessary.

Birth to 3 months

4 to 6 Months

7 to 12 Months

12 Months

15 Months

18 Months

24 Months

2 to 3 Years

3 to 4 Years

4 to 5 Years

Q: What are the warning signs of a communication disorder in my young child?

Here are some of the common warning signs by age range. If you have any concerns then, please, do call us to discuss.

Birth to 6 Months

6 to 12 Months

12 to 18 Months

18 to 24 Months

2 to 3 Years

3 to 4 Years

Q: What is a receptive language disorder?

A: Receptive language includes the skills involved in understanding language. Receptive language disorders are difficulties in the ability to attend to, process, comprehend, and/or retain spoken language.

Q: Is my child showing signs of a receptive language disorder?

Some early signs and symptoms of a receptive language disorder include:

Q: What is an expressive language disorder?

A: Expressive language includes the skills involved in communicating your thoughts and feelings to others. An expressive language disorder concerns difficultly with verbal expression.

Q: Is my child showing signs of an expressive language disorder?

Some signs and symptoms of an expressive language disorder include:

Q: What is a Social Pragmatic Language Disorder?

A: Children with social pragmatic difficulties demonstrate deficits in social cognitive functioning. They may have difficulties in reading social cues and situations. This means that they may misunderstand non-literal language (pull your socks up) and find group situations and friendships harder.

Children with a social pragmatic language disorder may also have the following: Asperger Syndrome, hyperlexia, High Functioning Autism, Semantic-Pragmatic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorders-Not Otherwise Specified and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities.

Q: Is my child showing signs of a social-pragmatic language disorder?

Children with social-pragmatic deficits have significant difficulties in their ability to effectively communicate and problem solve. Some signs and symptoms may include:

Q: What is an articulation disorder?

A: Articulation is the production of speech sounds. An articulation disorder is when a child does not make speech sounds correctly due to incorrect placement or movement of the lips, tongue, velum, and/or pharynx. It is important to recognise that there are differences in the age at which children produce specific speech sounds in all words and phrases.

Q: What is a phonological disorder?

A: Phonology refers to the speech sound system of language. A phonological disorder is when a child is not using speech sound patterns appropriately. A child whose sound structures are different from the speech typical for their stage of development, or who produce unusual simplifications of sound combinations may be demonstrating a phonological disorder.

Q: What are some signs of an articulation/phonological disorder in my child?

Signs of a possible articulation/phonological disorder in a preschool child may include:

Signs of an articulation/phonological disorder in a school age child may include:

Q: Is my child's "stuttering/stammering" normal?

A: Non-fluent speech is typical between the ages of two and six years. It is typical for non-fluent speech to last up to six months, improve then return. A speech and language evaluation may be in order if your child exhibits any other speech and language difficulties or was a late talker. Any child who is demonstrating any "struggle behaviors" (e.g., facial/bodily tension, breathing disruptions, blocks, grimacing) should be referred to a speech and language therapist immediately.