Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What happens when I bring my child to a speech and language therapist?
The first visit will be an initial assessment. The parent/carer is generally present while the child is being assessed and the therapist will collect as much relevant information as possible. Once assessment is complete, the therapist will discuss the results with you. If therapy is indicated, the therapist will explain any options and provide you with an idea of the proposed therapy schedule.

Q2. Is there any difference between speech and language and what is it?
Yes. Language is a broad term which includes all forms/ modes of linguistic communication. These can be speaking, hearing, reading, writing or signing and includes several aspects such as vocabulary, grammar, and pragmatics (social appropriateness).

There are specific umbrella terms that are used to sub-group 'language'. These are "Receptive language" (how we understand language) and "Expressive language" (how we send messages to others). Some specific 'language' disorders include specific language impairment (SLI), aphasia and language processing disorder. Speech refers to the verbal means of communicating through the use of specific sounds.

There are further sub groupings of 'speech' that include articulation (how speech sounds are made), pitch, loudness, rate of speaking, voice (use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound) and fluency (the rhythm of speech). Some specific 'speech' disorders include articulation disorders or delays, phonological disorders or delays, motor speech disorders, apraxia of speech, dysarthria, stuttering and cluttering.

Q3: How do speech and / or language disorders affect learning?
Children with speech and / or language difficulties often have difficulties with reading, understanding (class activities and homework) and expression (writing problems, poor verbal communication with peers and adults). This can result in low academic performance.

Q4. What can Talk The Walk offer?
Talk The Walk offers a free, no-obligation, initial telephone or email discussion to establish any areas of concern and decide whether I can be of help to your child. If this is agreed, we would then arrange an initial consultation, followed by therapy sessions as necessary. These sessions would take place in the comforts and familiarity of your home or even your child's educational setting, once approval has been established.

Q5. Can my child still be seen by an publicly provided SLT if they start seeing a private SLT?
Yes! Having private speech and language therapy input will not affect the service you are offered publically. I will always endeavour to maintain contact with your child's public service SLT so as to achieve maximum possible benefits for the child.

Q6. Will the speech and language therapist liaise with the school teacher?
I can contact the school a child attends, but only where appropriate and with parental permission. This may only become necessary when a summary of the speech and language work undertaken is needed and when I am invited to give advice on what staff can do to help maintain progress.

Q7. How long does therapy go on for?
I usually arrange therapy sessions in 6 blocks. This may be weekly or fortnightly, depending on your child's level of need. We set a therapy plan for each of those six sessions. At the end of the sixth session I conduct a review, where we look at what has been achieved, and how to plan for the future.

Q8. Does your therapy always work?
I cannot guarantee that therapy offered by any professional will always be successful, however the methods and techniques I use are all aimed at enhancing and improving communication. I always speak with the client regarding what they wish to achieve out of therapy at the initial consultation. At that point, we set specific, mutually agreed upon, realistic and achievable goals. If at any point there is a concern regarding progress, I encourage open discussion.

Q9. When will my child be discharged from speech and language therapy?
Generally, children are discharged from my service when:

  • I feel my input is not required e.g. age appropriate communication skills have been achieved and further spontaneous progress is anticipated
  • The child is not ready for therapy due to ENT/hearing issues, maturity level, motivation, dentition etc
  • The agreed course of speech and language therapy has come to an end and no further input is requested.
  • Parents request an end to speech and language therapy input. This can be done at any time.