Frequently Asked Questions
I don't know if my child needs speech therapy - should I wait until he/she is older, maybe they will grow out of it?
If you have concerns about your child's speech or language skills do not wait to seek advice. If something is worrying you about their development feel free to contact Helen for a free, confidential chat. She can advise you whether an assessment is recommended at this stage and is happy to give advice or talk through any concerns you may have.
If I would like an appointment how long will I have to wait?
1-2 weeks generally during term time.
Where will I/my child be seen?
In the environment that best suits you/your child and where he/she feels the most comfortable (generally your home or nursery/school).
As a school could we look to employ your services directly?
Yes. Helen can provide assessment, screening, advice, training and therapy in your nursery/school. Please contact her for more information about Service packages.
How long do assessment and therapy sessions last?
Assessment is usually around an hour to an hour and a half (including time spent talking to parents/teachers) and therapy approximately 45 minutes (or 30 minutes which is sometimes more suitable for younger children). This varies according to the age of the child and the type of difficulty.
What happens during an assessment session?
Normally you will complete a pre-assessment questionnaire which is used to find out more about the nature of your/your child's difficulty and this is used as a guide to the assessment. Informal and formal assessment may be used (depending on the nature of the problem, age of the child etc). Areas looked at include speech clarity, speech sound awareness skills, language comprehension (understanding), expressive language (use of language), social interaction skills and fluency. Time will be spent discussing the findings and giving advice/recommendations after the session. A detailed report will be available if desired. Further input will be discussed (if required). There is no obligation for therapy following the assessment.
What happens during a therapy session?
Helen will work with you/your child on the areas identified during assessment. The sessions are designed to be fun and stimulating for children to keep them interested and motivated throughout. Regular homework activities are given to maximise success. Parental involvement is encouraged when working with children as the therapy process should be a partnership between parents/carers and therapist. Frequency of therapy sessions varies according to the needs of the client and nature of the difficulty.
I am seeing an NHS speech and language therapist. Can I see you as well?
Yes. The RCSLT guidelines endorse collaborative practice and so you can choose to use an Independent Speech and Language Therapist whilst on the waiting list, attend both independent and NHS simultaneously or opt-out of the NHS.
Why should I choose private speech therapy?
You may wish to opt for private speech therapy as the waiting time is generally shorter than on the NHS and appointments can be more flexible to fit in around you/your child's commitments. However, private speech therapy does not have to be an alternative to the NHS and many patients receive therapy simultaneously from both providers which can be very beneficial to the child.
Will you liaise with other professionals?
I will ask you to sign a written consent form before liaising with other professionals and will discuss this with you before making contact. Working collaboratively with other therapists, professionals and school/nursery ensures everyone involved with your child is working together most effectively which will benefit him/her.
Can I pay through my insurance?
Yes you can, but you need to check with your insurance company first. Helen is recognised by BUPA, AXA PPP and Aviva and is willing to work through other private healthcare companies. Contact her for more details.
How much will it cost?
A current scale of fees is available on request please contact Helen on 07982418674
Helen Wolstenholme BSc Hons MRCSLT MASLTIP
Independent Speech and Language Therapist
All images are the property of Speak Freely and may not be reproduced without permission