Barnsley Children’s Speech and Language Therapy is part of
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
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Barnsley Children’s Speech and Language Therapy

The first appointment for speech, language and communication

Here’s what you can expect on your first appointment:

  • Your first appointment is a telephone call with a speech and language therapist.  They usually call from a mobile number. Your child does not need to be present for this appointment.

The speech and language therapist will ask you some questions to see if your child meets our referral criteria so we can ensure we are the right service to help you. They may ask you about:

  • How your child currently communicates e.g. what words do they say? Do they point to things? Do they use gesture? It helps if you have a few examples of things they do and say.
  • What your child talks about e.g. Do they make requests? Do they tell you about what they can see and ask questions?
  • Whether your child can follow instructions, point to things in books or know what happens in routines at home like mealtimes and bath times. If your child is older, can they follow stories and conversations?
  • About your child’s play and interests. How your child plays with toys and other people. Again, it helps to have an example of a few things they like to do.
  • If your child is stammering.
  • If you are worried about your child’s eating and drinking skills.
  • Whether your child’s talking is clear.
  • Relevant medical history including allergies, their hearing and vision and developmental milestones, e.g. first steps, first words etc.

The speech and language therapist will also ask you:

  • About other professionals who see your child e.g. doctors, physiotherapists or occupational therapists.
  • Who lives at home so our records are up to date.
  • The name of your child’s school/nursery.
  • For consent to share relevant information with other professionals  e.g. school, health visitors.

Watch the video below to hear Emily, one of our therapists,  tell you more about your first appointment

Getting ready for your telephone appointment

Make sure you are ready for your appointment:

  • It will take around 30 minutes, so make sure that you are available for the full length of the call.
  • Try to be somewhere quiet .
  • Consider who else may be able to hear you talking, as you will be giving us confidential information, .
  • Try to think of some examples beforehand about how your child communicates.
  • Make sure your device is charged.

At the end of the phone call, the speech and language therapist will let you know what will happen next

  • If we are not worried about your child’s skills we will discharge them.
  • We may give you some general advice to help your child’s communication. We may direct you to our YouTube channel or the Toolkit on our website.
  • We may offer you a further appointment by telephone or video.  If your child needs to be seen face to face, we may see them in school, their setting or in a health centre. Your therapist will arrange this with you.


Phone and video appointments are also NHS appointments.  Please answer at your booked appointment time. If we can’t get hold of you, we will discharge your child. If you can’t keep your appointment, cancel by ringing 01226 644331 or by email on:   If you cancel your first appointment, you will be offered a further appointment but there may be a wait of around 8 weeks

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