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Speech and Language Therapy Early Years Service

The Early Years Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service provides assessment and specialist intervention for children under the age of 5 years.

What we offer

Assessment and specialist intervention for children who are having difficulty with:

  • Pronunciation
  • Understanding and using words and sentences
  • Social communication difficulties and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Stammering
  • Reluctance or refusal to talk
  • Eating and drinking difficulties
  • Hearing Impairment

We run workshops for parents and carers to provide information on how to help their child at home. Children might attend small group therapy sessions or individual therapy sessions when necessary.

How to see or contact the service

Appointments are held in one of our health centres or via video call.

If you would like to contact the team please call the Single Point of Access Team on: 020 8836 8621, option 2.

If you have an appointment with the Early Years (Under 5 years) Speech and Language service use the link to view further information, Early Years – Speech and Language Appointments.

Dysphagia and complex needs team

We work to support children with eating and drinking difficulties or with more complex communication needs. Many of the children we see have additional diagnoses such as Downs Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy.

Some children have specific difficulties with eating and drinking relating to early feeding difficulties or circumstances such as premature or complex birth history. Others may have difficulties due to problems with coordination of the movements needed for eating and drinking.

Some complex communication difficulties require highly individualised support and strategies such as use of signs, symbols or technology instead of or alongside speech.

We may see your child at home or in clinic or nursery. We often work closely with colleagues from other therapies or dietetics if appropriate.

Integrated Neurodevelopment – IND

The Integrated Neurodevelopmental Team (INDT) is part of the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust Children and Young People’s Directorate. The team provides a service dedicated to children who may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a service dedicated to children who may have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Please click on the link for further information Integrated Neurodevelopment – IND.

Hearing impairment / deafness team

We work to support children under 5 with permanent hearing losses in both ears (severe to profound level of loss) as well as their families and any other key people in their lives e.g. childcare staff, extended family members.

We support children who wear a range of hearing technology e.g. hearing-aid, cochlear implant, bone-anchored hearing-aid, as well as children with a range of communication modes e.g. spoken language, sign language or speech and sign together.

Typically we see children in clinic but can also do nursery and home visits.  We also support the mainstream Early Years SLT team who work with children with other kinds of hearing loss on their caseload e.g. children with temporary deafness such as glue ear.

Click to read more information about the Hearing Impairment / Deafness team.

Further information

Please use the links below to access further reading:

Information about communication difficulties:

I CAN’s Talking Point for Parents Information for parents on how to support their child’s speech, language and communication skills

I CAN’s Talking Point for Professionals Information for professionals on how to support children’s speech, language and communication skills

Words for Life 0-3 Years – Advice and recommendations for children aged 0-3 years

Words for Life 3-5 Years Advice and recommendations for children aged 3-5 years

Afasic Advice, resources and support for children with communication needs and their families

STAMMA Advice, leaflets and support for children who stammer and their families

National Autistic SocietyThe Uk’s leading charity for autistic people and their families

The Communication Trust Provides information and resources for parents and professionals working with children with speech, language and communication needs

The Hanen Centre Information and training for parents and professionals working with young children with communication needs

Hungry Little Minds A government initiative providing fun activities for children from 0-5 to promote good communication development

SMiRA – Selective mutism/reluctance to talk

Little Bee Speech – Pronunciation


Activities, strategies and resources to help children’s communication:

Kent Community Health – Advice about how to help a variety of communication difficulties

The Communication Trust – Videos and leaflets

BBC Tiny Happy People– Activities to help communication

Hungry Little Minds – Activities to help communication

The Hanen Centre – Activities to help language and interaction

Jenny The Story Lady – Story Sacks

National Literacy Trust – The importance of reading stories

SLT Buckinghamshire Healthcare – Activities and resources

The Hanen Centre – How to help children make requests

Do 2 Learn – Visual support


We would also encourage you to contact your local Children’s Centre who offer lots of activities to support children’s development. You can find the details here;


Please note: Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust is not responsible for the content of external websites. The above links should not be understood to be an endorsements for those websites, the site owners, or their products/services.