The role of the speech and language therapist in craniofacial treatment

It is understandable to have concerns about your child's development if he or she needs treatment related to the face or skull.

With many of the children we see in the Craniofacial Unit, there are no concerns with their development, but others need extra help and support.

The speech and language team within the unit is there is assess your child's speech and language development and to assist you with getting the help your child needs through your local services if additional support is needed.

Speech and language therapists, or SLTs as they are sometimes known, work with children and young adults with communication and/or feeding difficulties.

SLTs help children who have problems with:

  •   Attention and listening skills

  •   Understanding instructions

  •   Putting words together

  •   Using the right speech sounds so they can make themselves understood

  •   Interacting with other children and understanding social rules

  •   Feeding and swallowing

  •   Communicating verbally

When will I see the speech and language therapist?

When you come to the Craniofacial Unit, there will usually be one of the team SLTs in the clinic. If not, you will be given information about our role and how to contact us if you are concerned about your child's speech, language and/or feeding.

Depending upon your child's age and diagnosis, the Craniofacial SLT team provides routine assessments at important stages in their development.

What will the speech and language therapist do during these assessments?

  •  Check whether you have any concerns about your child's communication skills, hearing or feeding

  •  Assess your child's communication skills

  •  Assess your child's feeding if appropriate

  •  Discuss with you whether your child would benefit from a referral to services near you. For example: 

  •   An SLT in your area for further assessment and therapy

  •   An audiologist if there are concerns about hearing

  •   A paediatrician (a doctor who specialises in looking after children)

  •  Liaise with the people who can help – such as your health visitor or your child's teacher – if you are happy for us to do this

  •  Address your concerns and answer your questions

What websites would you recommend for further support and information?

How do I get in touch?

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s communication or feeding skills, please contact:

Emma Scobie

Rachel Evans

Katy Parnell

Beth Fitzpatrick

Telephone: 0121 333 9382

Speech and Language Therapy Department

Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Steelhouse Lane

Birmingham

B4 6NH

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