Speech and language therapy
Please be aware that this section contains information prepared in 2009 and may now be out of date. Some links may no longer work. We are reviewing this section.
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What is speech and language therapy?
Some children have difficulty saying or understanding sounds or words. This is common in children who have autism or Asperger syndrome. Speech and language therapy can help these children learn to understand and say sounds and words better. A person who does this is called a Speech and Language Therapist.
Here are some of the things a Speech and Language Therapist might be able to help you with:
- Articulation: some children have trouble saying some sounds or words correctly. For example, ‘run’ might sound like ‘won’ or ‘say’ might sound like ‘thay’. Lisps are a common articulation disorder.
- Fluency: some children repeat some sounds or have trouble saying complete words. For example, the word ‘story’ might come out sounding ‘st..st..story’. A stutter (or stammer) is a common fluency disorder.
- Resonance: some children talk in a way which makes it difficult for people to understand them. For example they may sound like they are talking through their nose, or might start saying a sentence in a clear voice but trail off into a quieter mumble towards the end.
- Language: some children find it very difficult to understand what people are saying to them as they don’t understand the meaning of words. Also, some children might have trouble making themselves understood as they find it difficult to put words into sentences correctly.
Speech and Language Therapy is known to really help some children and young people but there are not enough Speech and Language Therapists in the country to go round. Parents of children and young people who need speech and language therapy can become very frustrated with waiting for an available therapist, as this could further delay the development of a child’s speech and language skills.
If you are worried that you might have speech or language difficulties and would like to find out more, visit some of the links below for more information.
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Childline 0800 1111 UK wide free and confidential helpline for children. You can talk to ChildLine about anything – no problem is too big or too small.
MyLife4Schools from The Children's Society A fun and interactive website for children and young people about school and home life from The Children’s Society. Includes information about disability and communication problems.
The Stammering Centre - information for children Information for children about stuttering
The Stammering Centre - information for teenagers Information for teenagers about stuttering
Afasic Youth Zone Online resource for children and young people with information about a range of communication problems.
Stammering - information for teenagers Information for teenagers from The British Stammering Association
Just for Teens A website designed for teenagers who stammer with lots of activities, real life stories and links to other useful websites.
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Information for children and young people:
Going to a Speech Therapist Information about going to see a Speech and Language Therapist if you have problems with speaking or understanding how other people speak (American website)
Information for parents, carers and teachers:
The Communication Trust A range of downloadable information for parents and professionals about Speech and Language Therapy from The Communication Trust.
Talking Point from ICAN Information designed specifically for parents and professionals about a range of communication difficulties in children.
Speech and Language Therapy Information from the National Autistic Society about childhood development of speech and language and reasons for possible delays in children and young people on the autism spectrum
The Communication Consortium A comprehensive list of links to all UK charities and organisations involved in helping children and young people with their speech and language problems.
Speech and language delays and disorders Information from the University of Michigan about speech and language delays and disorders in children including those on the autism spectrum
Delayed speech or language development Information from Kids Health (American website) for parents and carers
ICAN Information for parents and professionals from ICAN about how the charity helps children with communication problems.
Baby BumbleBee American company offering a range of resources including DVDs to help with child speech development, including a number of resources specifically for children and young people on the autism spectrum. (American website)
The Sound and Learning Centre London based organisation dedicated to helping those with a range of developmental problems, including delayed speech and language, through detailed assessment and treatment.
Speech for Kids Canadian website offering information, advice and resources for parents and professionals. (Canadian website)
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Talking to Teenagers The stories of nine teenagers on a speech and language therapy course in London talking about their problems at school.
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