How and when to access support
Support to develop speech, language and communication skills is vital for ALL children, not only those with identified needs.

Some children and young people will reach their potential within a good quality communication environment (universal level).  Others may need their setting or school to provide some extra support (targeted level) and others will go on to need more specialist assessment and intervention (specialist level).

Take a look at the information below to see how you can help at each of these levels. You can also access useful information via your Local Authority to support you in following a graduated response to any concerns.

Universal level support
Targeted Level

    Whilst most children and young people will develop their skills with ‘universal’ level good practice, some will benefit from further support. This doesn’t always mean a referral to specialist services however. There are many ways in which you can offer a ‘targeted’ level of support which may meet their needs.

    Some things to consider…

    How are the child’s needs impacting on their learning?

    How can you support in the classroom?

    What interventions are in place in your setting/school/service for those who need a little extra support? For example..

      • Small group work around specific areas of need
      • Pre teaching of key vocabulary
      • Additional visual supports in place
      • Would the child or young person benefit from a Targeted Learning Plan?
      • Consider structured intervention programmes such as ICAN Talk Boost or NELI, or using activities from the Wellcomm Big Book of Ideas
    • Are you/your team confident in identifying the type of support a child or young person may need? Take a look at the additional information here
    • For Early Years settings – do you have a Language Lead/Communication Champion in place? Can they offer further support? Find more information about Language Leads here
    • Would parents/families benefit from help to support their child’s needs at home?
    • Is there support available in the community? Consider Libraries, Blackpool Better Start, Lancashire Children and Family wellbeing service, Home Start
    • How will you monitor the impact of the support you have put in place?
    • If at this stage, you have put support in place and are unsure whether a child or young person may need specialist support, consider signposting parents to our telephone advice service

Specialist level

    If you have been supporting the child or young person at the Targeted level and your concerns are ongoing, you may now need to consider seeking support from other professionals.

    This may be your advisory/specialist teaching service, or you may wish to make a referral for a Speech and Language Therapy assessment.

    You can do this by completing our referral form.

Follow the link below to find out how to access specialist support from our Speech and Language Therapists...