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What is a Speech & Language Therapist?

A female Speech and Language Therapist works with a young boy who holds up four fingers on his right hand to show her
A Speech and Language Therapist at work

A Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT) is a healthcare professional providing support and care for people who, for physical and/or psychological reasons, have difficulties in speaking and communicating, and/or with eating, drinking and swallowing. A SaLT will have completed a graduate degree and must be registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). Many will also be members of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCLT).

Although SaLTs cover a very broad range of work, parents and carers most often encounter a SaLT in connection with children and young people who have learning difficulties; language delay; selective mutism; social and communication difficulties and/or developmental language disorder.

In an education setting a SaLT will work on developing a child or young person’s understanding and use of language. This can involve a variety of methods to enable them to develop maximum understanding and to communicate with those around them. Examples include the use of sign language, Makaton, PECS, and/or Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices.

A SaLT will devise interventions, such as direct individual and/or small group therapies, and recommend strategies, such as the use of visuals, information chunking and additional processing time, to support children and young people to improve their receptive and expressive communication skills.

At SEND Advocacy we can advise on whether input from an SaLT is necessary for your child or young person, and help you to make sense of any reports you obtain or already have. If you need someone in your corner to help you secure the education your child deserves, contact us today.


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