Speech and Language Therapy Services
We are a team of speech and language therapists and speech and language therapy assistants, trained to work with children and young people who have difficulties with language, speech, communication, eating and drinking.
What services are available?
We provide a wide range of services, including:
Advice and Health Promotion
Many speech, language and communication difficulties cannot be prevented. However there are lots of things that people can do to help to support the child/young person with these difficulties. We provide training to raise awareness of how children develop language and communication skills and the things adults can do to promote these skills. We have a range of leaflets and are happy to give talks and training to parents, carers and professionals.
In order to understand if and how speech and language therapy can help a child or young person we offer them an assessment. This involves speaking with the child’s parent’s/carers to find out their concerns about their child’s speech, language and communication needs. We may also with parental permission speak to other people working with the child, such as nursery and school staff to find out how the child is communicating in nursery or school. We also have specialist tests we use with the children to help us find out the things a child can do and the areas they may need help in developing.
If a child/young person will benefit from speech and language therapy it may be provided in a number of ways depending on the child’s needs. Some children may need to see a speech and language therapist or assistant on a regular basis to learn and practise new skills. These sessions may be on an individual or group basis.
Some children need to do speech and language activities in school, nursery and/or home. The therapists will show parents/carer’s and school staff how to do these and will keep an eye on the child’s progress. Some children need a
combination of approaches. We may need to refer a child to another professional e.g. Paediatrician or Audiologist for further investigations. This is always discussed and agreed with parents/carer’s before a referral is made.
Training and support
We provide a range of training and support about eating and drinking difficulties, speech, language and communication needs. Some of the training is free.
Some schools commission the team to provide additional services to complement our core provision. Please contact the department for further information.
Where are we based?
Kaleidoscope is the administrative base for the team. We also see children for their appointments at:
- Downham Health and Leisure Centre
- Honor Oak Health Centre
- Sydenham Green Health Centre
- Waldron Health Centre
We also see children in a variety of settings such as:
- Their homes
- Children’s Centres
- Nurseries/Early Years settings
- Mainstream Schools; primary and secondary
- Special Schools
- Resource Bases
Who are they for?
We see children and young people from birth – 18 years, who have a Lewisham GP or are residents of Lewisham who have difficulties in at least one of the following areas:
- Paying attention and understanding what is said to them
- Expressing themselves, making sentences and talking
- Understanding the rules of conversation, social interaction and playing with others
- Forming words and speaking clearly
- Getting stuck on words/stammering
- Using their voices appropriately
- Eating and drinking
We aim to work with the people who know the child or young person best, here is a list of some of them:
- Health Visitors
- School Nurses
- Teachers/Nursery staff
- Educational Psychologists
- Portage Workers
- Occupational Therapists
How can you get an appointment?
Parents/carers can make referrals by contacting the department or by coming to one of our Drop in Clinics. At our Speech and Language Therapy Drop-in Clinics parents, carers and people working with children can chat to a speech and language therapist or assistant. If a referral is needed then they will complete a referral form with you.
Professionals can also refer with parental permission. Please contact the Team for a referral form. The referral form will need to be signed by the parent/carer.
Once the speech and language therapy team have received your child’s referral we send an acknowledgement letter to the parents/carers and the person who made the referral. We aim to see the children within 18 weeks.
If your child is under 5 years of age they are likely to be seen by our therapists who work in the health centres. You will be sent a letter asking you to contact the team to book an appointment for your initial assessment. This appointment will usually be at one of the health centres where we work from.
If your child is over 5 years of age they are likely to be seen by our therapists who work in schools. The therapists will contact the School to arrange a time to visit your child at school. The therapist will also let you know when they plan to see your child so that you can attend the appointment if you would like to.
Who are the key staff?
All of our therapists and assistants are trained to work with a wide range of speech, language, and communication, eating and drinking needs. Many of the team have undertaken additional specialist training.
What else do you need to know?
Parking at Kaleidoscope is strictly limited and there are a few parking spaces for the disabled. Please note that parking in the surrounding roads are mostly permit holders only, with only a few ‘pay at meter’ spaces.
How can you contact the department?
We are available between 9.00 am – 5.00 pm Mondays - Fridays excluding bank holidays.
Our speech and language therapy administrators are happy to provide more information about the team and the services we provide. They can be contacted on 020 7138 1464.