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Communication Q&As

On this page, you can find answers to your questions regarding speech, language and communication for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

All the questions have been submitted by local parents and answered by Local Authority staff. Click on a question to read the response.  

How can my child access speech and language therapy?

If your child is pre-school age they can access Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) support in a range of settings. Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH) provide drop in sessions at Children's Centres. This is a good opportunity to discuss any concerns with a member of the SLT team, find out more about speech, language and communication needs and the CLCH SLT service. A list of the dates and locations can be found on the CLCH website

Pre-school age speech and language therapy services operate an open referral system, so anyone can refer to the community early years’ service using the early years’ service referral form.

The Education Speech and Language Therapy Service works closely with schools to support children and young people's speech, language and communication skills. Many schools deliver interventions which support children and young people's skills in these areas. Please speak to your school's Special Educational Needs and/or Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCO) about what is happening in school to support them. If a referral to the specialist SLT service is required, please ask your GP to complete this referral form and email to

Following receipt of the referral form, the Child's school will be asked to complete a teacher questionnaire with details of the impact of the child's speech, language or communication needs. Following this information, if appropriate, the child can access the SLT assessment and advice service.

Will my child get support to develop social skills and build relationships?

Speech, language and communication needs include difficulties with social skills and building relationships. Speech and language therapists are part of a multi-disciplinary network of professionals who can support with difficulties in these areas. These professionals include - School SENDCOs, Education Psychologists, Autism Advisory Teachers and Speech, Language and Communication Advisory Teachers. 

When a SLT works with a child or young person (CYP) they consider the range of needs the CYP has. The SLT also considers the area in which they will have the greatest impact - this varies for each CYP. Often the SLT has a role of supporting the CYP to use strategies to manage difficulties they have in the area of social skills. To embed these strategies support is required from family, school and peers where possible.

Last Updated 09/04/2019

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