Speech and Language Therapy

Parents who attend sessions at our Centre in Cuckfield now have the opportunity to book one-to-one sessions with Saliah our Speech and Language Therapist.  Sessions are a mixture of individual appointments, small group sessions and parent information sessions.  

25% of all children with cerebral palsy are nonverbal with an inability to make their needs and wishes known.  The vast majority of our children have some level of communication difficulties that vary from mild articulation to those with severe and complex needs who experience profound problems in both understanding and using language and have severe interaction difficulties.

“I am buzzing after this morning’s session.  I have come away with loads of ideas and feel like I am no longer winging it!  So thank you so much to all of you for making speech and language happen!” Parent

Children with cerebral palsy can experience difficulties with particular speech sounds, voice problems and stammers, understanding verbal language and issues using language, attention and listening skills, expressive language, vocabulary and word finding, speech sounds, fluency and voice.  Infants and children with neurodisability and those born prematurely, are also most likely to be at risk of dysphagia affecting feeding, swallowing and breath control, which can also be improved as the child develops.  Due to the complex needs of many of our children, families struggle to access speech and language therapy within the NHS as this service is often delayed, sporadic or even non-existent.  Having a Speech and Language Therapist working alongside our service team is giving immediate access to our families.

Seren has very complex issues with speech and language including eating and drinking and NHS provision is so inconsistent so to have this as an available resource is great.” Annabelle (Seren’s Mum)

Communication provides the foundation for children’s development and their ability to communicate shapes their educational outcomes, health and wellbeing.  Finding ways of communication is vital to ensure each child’s needs and wishes are known and for their future independence.  Communication is embedded into every aspect of our sessions with the Conductor using a total communication approach appropriate for each child, to develop tools and methodologies for each child to be able to communicate, express preference, and demonstrate understanding.  

Working with our Conductor, the Speech and Language Therapist helps assess and support children, working directly with them to ensure each child has a personalised plan to improve communication skills, aid safe swallowing, eating and drinking and support parents and carers to help children manage their mealtimes as safely as possible.  We also offer further support with communication using new technologies such as Eye-Gaze which can be integrated into sessions.  

“Learning to communicate is more important than anything else to our children but there simply are not the resources in the system to provide them with the help they need.  This is where the input of Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity and their supporters is so critical – we are incredibly grateful.” Katy’s Mum

To find out further information about our sessions please contact service@dvlcc.org.uk or contact our service team on 01444 473274.