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Coronavirus Update:

This service is currently providing support via telephone or video consultations and some face-to-face appointments. We will contact you by phone to discuss which options are most suitable to you or your child's care. Referrals are prioritised, this helps us use the limited face-to-face appointments most effectively. Often, we can offer support successfully by phone, video or suggest online resources for you and your child. Our waiting times have been affected due to issues with service delivery caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this means we are not able to see you as quickly as we would like and continuing to use phone/video consultations is one way we are able to offer some support in a more timely way.

You may find the following pages useful:

Or you can watch a summary of what to expect when visiting a clinic or health centre in the following animations:

Home Visits

Visiting a Clinic or Health Centre

Virtual Appointments

Who's it for?

Our service is available to people living in Leeds (or registered with a Leeds GP) who fit into the following groups:

  • Children aged 0-18 years with consent from their parent/guardian.
  • Adults – Stammering Support Service and Communication Aid Service only

We have ten service areas:

  • Mainstream Clinic and School
  • Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team
  • Developmental Language Disorder
  • Complex Developmental Assessment (ICAN)
  • Complex Communication Assessment (ICAN) this is a pre-school autism assessment
  • School Age Learning Difficulties
  • Community Dysphagia (feeding/swallowing)
  • Criminal Justice
  • Communication Aid Service (includes adult referrals)
  • Stammering Support Service (includes adult referrals)

We provide:

  • Assessment, goal setting and practical advice
  • Education and self-management advice for parents/carers
  • Individual and group therapy (intervention)
  • Parent/carer workshops

Our speech and language therapist and assistants aim to support you to:

  • Be more confident in supporting your child’s speech, language and communication or swallowing needs.
  • Increase your knowledge about how to support your child’s speech, language and communication or swallowing needs.
  • Develop new skills to use to support your child’s speech, language and communication or swallowing needs.

Feeding Difficulties

We also treat children who have oral, motor and/or sensory feeding difficulties. Children who have other kinds of difficulties with feeding such as social, emotional or behavioural problems along with issues such as challenges using utensils and  poor appetite are best supported by other groups or professionals, or across agencies.

If you have concerns over a child's feeding difficulties please use the following guidance to help to decide your best course of action:

If a referral is needed please download and complete the referral form

Workshops for Parents and Carers

Do you have a child with delayed speech and / or language development? Some children find it hard to:

  • use words and sentences
  • speak clearly
  • understand conversations
  • develop early communication skills which can affect relationships and learning

Would you like to find out more about helping your child to communicate?

Would you like a chance to meet and chat with other parents / carers whose children have similar difficulties?

We offer sessions for parents and carers of young children with delayed speech and / or language development. The courses are free for parents and carers who have a Leeds postcode and / or Leeds GP and have a child with an open referral to the speech and language therapy service. There will be a charge for parents and carers accessing our courses who are out of the area.

The workshops are very informal and give practical advice on helping your child and will give you the chance to:

  • Find out more about how children develop communication skills.
  • Think about the way children and adults interact together, and how this can influence children's communication development when there are difficulties.
  • Share ideas and get support from other parents and carers whose children have delayed speech and / or language development.

These workshops give parents and carers an opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in an informal and supportive atmosphere. These workshops are for parents and carers only. Unfortunately, there is no provision for your child to attend and there are no crèche facilities.

Following a speech and language assessment, if appropriate, your name will be added to a waiting list for parent training workshops. You will be offered a place on a parent training workshop via an opt-in letter. In order to book a place please follow the directions on the opt-in letter.

Workshop Information

Parent training is provided in a variety of venues across the city. Details of the parent and carer workshops we offer can be found here

Information for parents/carers

What service do we offer?

  • Assessment, goal setting and practical advice on speech, language, and communication needs and/or swallowing difficulties.
  • Self-management advice, information, and support.
  • Individual/group therapy (intervention).
  • Parent/carer workshops.
  • Practitioner Training. 

Our speech and language therapist (SLT) and assistants (SLTA) aim to support you to:

  • Be more confident in supporting your family member’s speech, language and communication or swallowing needs.
  • Increase your knowledge about how to support your family member’s speech, language and communication or swallowing needs.
  • Develop new skills to use to support your family member’s speech, language and communication or swallowing needs. 

What happens once the referral has been accepted?

The information provided on the referral form will be used to decide what happens next. We will call you on the phone to discuss the concerns about the speech, language, or communication needs, we will ask about the problem and agree a goal that you hope to achieve through accessing speech and language therapy. 

You may then be offered a follow up appointment in clinic (or sometimes at home) you will be notified of the date/time by phone. Appointments in a school/nursery setting will be arranged directly with the setting. If your child is being seen in school/ nursery you should confirm with either school or the CSLT service that you wish to be present.  Appointments may last around an hour. The SLT will talk to your child’s teacher about your child’s development as well as their speech, language, and communication needs or swallowing difficulties.

The SLT will assess the speech, language and communication or swallowing needs using a range of resources. The information gathered will be used to create a care plan which will support you to achieve the agreed goal.

What happens after the assessment?

The SLT will talk to you and/or care/school staff about further help that the service may offer. Options may include an episode of care comprising of: 

  • Parent workshops
  • Training/Practitioner workshops (for nursery/school/education staff)
  • 1-2-1 intervention
  • Group intervention
  • Programme of strategies and activities to carry out regularly

The SLT will write a report or support plan giving details about the assessment outcome and recommendations. This will be shared with you and those professionals who are able to support your speech, language, and communication or swallowing needs.

We might send you a text with links to online resources that will help you to support your child’s speech, language, and communication needs and/or swallowing difficulties.

If appropriate, you will be asked for your consent for onward referral to another service e.g. Audiology for a hearing assessment, Paediatrician assessment or referral to the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service.

At the completion of an episode of care you and the professionals involved will have received a support plan. This will include strategies, advice, and details of re-entry to the Children's Speech and Language Therapy service if required later.  

How can you and others can help?

To gain maximum benefit from SLT support, attend all appointments offered.

Regularly carry out the strategies and activities recommended by the SLT on the support plan regularly. Progress can be made if the recommendations are followed.

It is important that the training workshops recommended are attended.

You and care/school staff may be asked to download advice sheets from the SLT Toolkit, these support the verbal advice you will have been given in the appointment.

Please ensure you inform us of any change in address, home / mobile telephone number, or GP practice.

Who will be at the appointment?

Therapist - Your family member’s care will be overseen by a qualified SLT. All our SLT’s are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)

Assistant - Some parts of your family member’s care may be delivered by a SLT Assistant under the guidance of the SLT.

SLT Students - As part of their practical training, SLT students may work with your family member under the supervision of the SLT. If you do not want a student to be involved in the appointment, please tell the SLT.

Where will the SLT appointment take place?

Pre-school children with speech, language and communication needs are usually seen in health centres and occasionally at home or in early years settings.

School age children with speech, language and communication needs are usually seen in school, although some school-age children are invited to be seen in a health centre (e.g. where the child has a Leeds address/GP but attends a school outside of Leeds).

Children & young people with swallowing difficulties are typically seen at home or in an education setting.

Adults who stammer will be invited into a health centre. Adults seen by the Communication Aid Service will be offered a visit at home visit or in their care setting.


SLTs keep records about the treatment your family member receives from our service. We use the secure electronic system used by all health care professionals working within Leeds Community Healthcare to record and share relevant information about contacts we have with you and your family member with other healthcare professionals. We will only share information with your consent and where it is appropriate to the care we are providing.

What happens if your child is not brought?

Your family member will be discharged from the CSLT service if you fail to attend an appointment in clinic without contacting the CSLT service in advance. If your child is unable to be in school on the day that he/she has an appointment with the SLT, please notify the CSLT service as soon as possible. Your child will be discharged if you or school fail to contact the CSLT service in advance.

What do we do with feedback?

If you have a complaint, concern, comment, or compliment, please let us know by speaking to a member of staff. We learn from your feedback and use the information you provide to improve and develop our services.

When your baby or child is diagnosed with a hearing loss they are referred, with your consent, to the Specialist Speech and Language Therapy service for deaf and hearing impaired children.

Who are we?

We are a team of Specialist Speech and Language Therapists who work in a variety of settings including homes, schools and nurseries.

What is our aim?

Our aim is to show you how to encourage the development of your baby or child’s speech, language and communication skills.

We can provide early support and advice for you and your baby / child. Together with you as parents, we will monitor and assess the progress of your child’s communication skills.

We will be looking at:

  • Attention
  • Listening
  • Vocalisation
  • Play
  • Social and emotional development
  • Understanding and use of language

If appropriate the therapist will show you activities and games to help you develop your baby or child’s communication skills to add to what you already do when playing with them at home.

Who do we work alongside?

We have strong links with:

  • Hearing and balance centre
  • Yorkshire Cochlear Implant Service
  • Teachers of the Deaf
  • Community paediatricians
  • Local nurseries / childminders / preschool n School staff as appropriate

How often will you see us?

The duration and frequency of our support will be agreed with you and will vary according to your baby or child’s communication needs and family circumstances.

First steps

Our first visit is usually to your home and we will contact you shortly to arrange a convenient date and time. You will have the opportunity to ask us questions and to discuss your baby / child’s communication needs in relation to their hearing loss. We look forward to meeting you.

What is DLD?

DLD stands for Developmental Language Disorder. This means that you would expect ongoing difficulties with understanding and using language. This would have an impact on all aspects of life both at home and school.

  • DLD is not caused by any other condition e.g. autism, hearing loss, genetic conditions (e.g. down syndrome, cerebral palsy).
  • Children can have DLD alongside other difficulties e.g. ADHD, dyspraxia, literacy difficulties, speech difficulties.
  • There is no known cause for DLD.
  • DLD was previously known as Specific Language Impairment (SLI).
  • It affects approximately two children in every classroom.

Possible signs of DLD

Your child may demonstrate some or all of these:

  • Difficulties finding the word they want to say.
  • Gaps in vocabulary – struggle to learn and remember new words.
  • Difficulties understanding what is being said to them.
  • Immature sounding speech such as incorrect use of tenses or unusual word order.
  • Greater success learning through practical activities and visual cues like pictures.
  • Difficulties answering WH questions e.g. who, where, why.

What can you do?

If your child has difficulties with using and understanding spoken language, there are a few ways you can help support them at home/school:

  • Give them extra time to think about what they want to say.
  • Try not to interrupt them or finish their sentence for them.
  • Use visual aids such as pictures, objects or gestures to support what you are saying to them.
  • Use their name to gain their attention before giving them instructions or asking questions.
  • Use language that they will be able to understand.
  • Say their sentence back to them with correct grammar and word order e.g. “catched ball” – “yes he caught the ball”.
  • Use specific language e.g. “please put your toys in the box” instead of “please put them in there”.
  • Try not to talk too fast – this will allow them time to process and understand what you are saying.
  • Repeat what you have said if necessary

Speech and Language Therapy support for children with DLD in Leeds

  • We have a team of specialist SLTs working with children identified as having High Need DLD in Leeds.
  • Children are referred to the specialist team by their mainstream Speech and Language Therapist, who will already have done some assessment and therapy with your child in school/nursery or clinic.
  • The specialist DLD team initially offer up to six sessions of diagnostic intervention, where we work closely with the child in their setting to fully assess the child’s needs, provide therapy and support parents and practitioners in delivering recommended interventions.
  • According to need, the DLD team may be able to offer further support to some children or they may then receive follow up support from our mainstream SLT team.
  • We also offer training to practitioners and parents.
  • Primary and Secondary Language Resource schools are available for some children with high need DLD. Your specialist SLT will discuss this with you if appropriate.

If you would like further information or to discuss your child’s Speech and Language needs further please contact your SLT or the DLD team: Judith Lund 0113 843 2759

Where to find further information:


Contact and Referral Details

Tel: 0113 8433650


8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday

Attendance is by appointment only

All enquiries to:

Central CSLT Admin Team
Leeds Community Healthcare Headingley Park
Stockdale House
8 Victoria Road

As part of the response to Covid-19, there may be some difference in how we are able to deliver your care at this time. We will contact you either by letter or phone to explain the level of support we can provide.

To help to maintain your health and wellbeing during this period of time we would like to work in partnership with you and to understand what you are able to do for your family member to support their needs. We will provide support and information either by letter, during phone and video consultations or occasionally in some cases during a face to face appointment.

We are continuing to accept referrals and will offer support as soon as possible. While schools are closed we are not always able to support your child in school and may contact you to offer a phone or video consultation at home. Current waiting times are around 18 weeks.

Service Downloads and Useful Links 

We are currently reviewing our website to make all content accessible. If you are looking for a download, such as a leaflet or booklet that you can no longer find, please contact the service on the details above.

View all our resources here

Adult's Speech and Language Therapy

For our adult's Speech and Language Therapy Service please click  here

What to do if you need to speak to someone urgently...