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What is SALT?

Speech and Language Therapists work with children and young people who have problems with understanding what others say to them, expressing themselves and using communication to socialise appropriately. They also work with children and young people who have difficulty with eating, drinking and/or swallowing.

Speech and Language Therapists (SALTs) work in collaboration with parents/carers and multidisciplinary colleagues to determine if a child has speech, language or and/or communication difficulties or eating and drinking difficulties. A SALT will assess what impact the difficulties has on the child in terms of their learning; their ability to communicate functionally; and their emotional wellbeing. Assessment will include information gathering from parents/carers and others involved in the child's life and building on what is already known about the child from other agencies such as education and social work. Through informal observations of the child and formal assessments completed with the child, the SALT will assess the following:

  • Means, Reasons and Opportunities a child has to communicate with others
  • Early Interaction Skills
  • Attention and Listening Skills
  • Play Skills
  • Receptive Language Skills (understanding of spoken language and body language)
  • Expressive Language Skills (expression through speaking and body language)
  • Pragmatics (ability to use language in a social context)
  • Production and use of sounds
  • Eating, drinking and swallowing

Following assessment, a SALT will offer advice and therapeutic intervention to help a child to reach their full communication potential if it is deemed appropriate. Intervention may include:

  • Training and advice for parents/carers and other service providers working with the child
  • Communication Friendly Environments
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication methods including PECS/Makaton
  • Transition Planning
  • Direct therapy on an individual and/or group basis