Children's speech and language therapy

We work with children and young people,from birth to 19 years old, who have speech, language and communication needs or difficulties with eating, drinking and swallowing.

As well as occurring on their own, these difficulties are common in children who have other diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder, learning difficulties or cerebral palsy. Speech, language and communication needs might include difficulties in:

  • making the sounds needed for your speech to be understood by other people
  • putting words and sentences together to ask for something, tell a story or hold a conversation
  • making sense of what other people say to you
  • understanding and using body language and eye contact

A child or young person might also be:

  • stammering, where sounds or words are repeated or a lot of effort is needed to produce them
  • avoiding talking in certain situations
  • speaking with a persistently unusual voice quality, which might sound croaky, breathy or hoarse
  • having difficulties with the movement and co-ordination of eating, drinking and swallowing

As well as working directly with children and young people we support their families and carers, their teachers and other adults around them. We aim to help children to develop their best possible communication skills, taking into account their individual abilities and needs.  Most importantly we look at the impact of the communication difficulty  on the child, their life and their family, aiming to find ways of reducing the impact as much as possible.

We also aim to help educate the wider population to understand and promote children’s language and communication development, and we provide training and support to a wide range of professionals who work with children.

How to refer

We have an open referral system, this means that:

  • Parents and carers can refer their child to us without going through their school, GP or any other service
  • Young people can refer themselves to our service, if they are able to make that decision for themselves
  • Any professional can make a referral to us as long as they have consent from parents or carers, or the young person themselves if appropriate

You can download our referral form below. Or contact us by phone to talk through your concerns.

Download our referral form Referral form guidance

Useful websites

Useful websites for information, support and advice.


Information and dates for the range of training we offer to education and health professionals.

Speech and language therapy students

As a team we regularly provide placement opportunities for student speech and language therapists from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. On occasion we’ve arranged placements in partnership with other universities, for example when a student lives in the North Tees area. If you are due to come on placement with us you can download our student induction pack below and we look forward to meeting you soon.

Download our student information pack

Students from other professions

We can offer half-day observation sessions to students of other professions within the trust. In the past we’ve had student health visitors, school nurses, midwives and doctors spending time with our team. For more information about the availability of observation sessions, please contact our admin team on 01429 522717.

Thinking of a career in speech and language therapy?

If you are thinking of becoming a speech and language therapist or assistant practitioner you can find lots of useful information on the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and NHS careers websites.

We offer observation placements for work experience students or people considering a career in speech and language therapy – these are usually two half-day sessions (one with our children’s team, one with our adults’ team). For more information you can contact our admin team on 01429 522717.