Children's speech and language therapy

In this section

About us

Speech and language therapists are registered allied health professionals (a trained health professional who is not a doctor or nurse). They aim to help to develop the skills of parents, carers and other people who support the child in their everyday environments. This ensures that therapy can be non-intrusive, practical and the most effective for the child or young person.

The speech and language therapy service supports children and young people aged 0 to 19 years who have difficulties with:

  • understanding what is said to them
  • learning to talk
  • talking clearly (saying speech sounds)
  • stammering
  • swallowing (eating and drinking)
  • using language to interact with other people

Everyone can play a part, sometimes as part of a child’s therapy we will offer training to parents and other people working with the child. Some pre-schools and schools may already have attended training that will benefit children with speech and language needs and may be able to provide what your child needs without needing to contact to our service.

Not all requests for help will need to have a face-to-face appointment; after a telephone consultation some may get a pack of activities and/or may be given advice and clear criteria to meet before contacting us in the future. Others may be signposted to another service or group, or attendance at a training course may be recommended.

Speech sound errors

Between the ages of 2 to 6 years old it is common for children to have speech sound errors as their communication skills are still developing. Some children speak very clearly from the moment they talk. Others have lots of sound errors that gradually resolve as they get older. The speech and language therapy department do not need to work with all children with speech sound errors as many will develop their sounds as they grow.

Augmentative and alternative communication

We also have links with the Cornwall augmentative and alternative communication assessment team. This is a multi-agency team made up of professionals from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Cornwall Council. The team can provide an assessment to establish whether a young person would benefit from using a voice-output communication aid, up until their 18th birthday. Referrals to the team are through the student’s speech and language therapist only.

Request help

If your child is already open to the children’s speech and language therapy team or where a request for help has been made, and the child is currently awaiting an assessment, email the speech and language therapy team.

If you wish to get some general communication advice or discuss a specific child’s communication needs, please visit our request for help page for further information. Any transfers into speech and language therapy from services outside of Cornwall will need to be made through the request for help team.

For more information on how we process your information, read our privacy notice for patients.

Eating and drinking only and urgent requests

For eating and drinking only or urgent requests for help, for example inpatients, please call us on 01208 834 488 or send a referral form by email to our speech and language therapy team.

Survey

We would value your feedback, please take the time to complete our children's speech and language therapy service survey.