Frequently Asked Questions
There are probably lots of things you want to know before you decide whether to use an independent professional Speech and Language Therapist to help your child improve their communication or language skills.
We’re always happy to provide any information you need, so do ask your child’s therapist or our practice manager if you have any questions.
Why choose an independent therapist?
The main difference is that an independent therapist can often see your child more quickly, and offer more flexibility with appointment times and duration. We aim to offer continuity wherever possible, which may not be feasible with NHS Speech and Language Therapy, but this varies depending on where you go.
There is no difference between the quality of therapy provided by therapists working for the NHS and those in independent practice, and all therapists are trained and qualified to the same high standards.
All our therapists attend ongoing, specialist training courses – have a look at our Expertise page to give you an idea of the many areas that we’re trained in.
What will happen at our first appointment?
Whether your appointment is face to face or online, at the first appointment, we will ask you questions about your concerns, and spend some time with your child to assess their skills. We like to find out what they are good at, and enjoy, as well as what they find tricky.
We may use a formal assessment, or a play-based assessment. Sometimes, the assessment may take more than one session, for example, if your child needs a break or needs to be seen in multiple environments, in which case the follow-up session will be charged at a standard therapy session rate. The initial assessment will take between 45-60 minutes and you will receive a report following the assessment.
How many appointments will my child need?
Every child is different, but ultimately you are in control. We often suggest working with a child for 6-8 weeks initially, and jointly review progress at the end of this time to gauge how they are progressing.
The most progress is made when activities are carried out by parents between appointments and when school or nursery are on board too.
When do you offer appointments?
Appointments are available during weekdays, with appointments both before, during and after school. Sessions last up to 45 minutes, which includes time for discussion with parents and/or teachers.
We can see children in our age-appropriate therapy rooms in Walton-on-Thames, at home, in school / nursery or online using Teletherapy. We’ll agree on the most appropriate location with you. Therapy in school or nursery will require support from the school’s SENCo.
How do you handle confidentiality?
We adhere to strict guidelines for confidentiality, as set out by the professional body, the Royal College Of Speech And Language Therapists (RCSLT). With your consent, we will liaise with other professionals working with your child, such as teachers and nursery staff. If your child is also receiving care through an NHS Speech and Language Therapist,, we are able to work with them too with your permission.
We follow local and national child safeguarding policies and guidelines, so in very rare cases we may need to break confidentiality to ensure the safety of a child or vulnerable person. We will always try to discuss this with you first.
We also receive clinical supervision, as set out in the RCSLT framework. We are registered under the Data Protection Act.
Do you refer to other professionals?
Sometimes, it may be appropriate to make a referral for your child to another professional, such as an Occupational Therapist, Educational Psychologist or Paediatrician. This will be discussed with you if it is necessary.
What’s your cancellation policy?
Please always provide 24 hours notice for cancellations as unfortunately we will have to charge any sessions missed at the full amount.
Can your reports be used in applications for EHCPs or in SEND Tribunals?
We can provide reports for these as part of a separate package
Can my child visit the clinic ahead of the first appointment?
Yes we’re happy to arrange visits if it will help your child.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.