Staff
& Professionals

Speech is difficult to understand

 

What to do 

If you are unsure what a child is saying you can:

Ask questions to help narrow down the topic. Keep the questions short and specific, for example:

“Inside school or at home?”

“With mum or with dad?”

“Were you on holiday?”

“Yesterday or today?”

“Were you driving or walking?”

These make it easier to understand what the child is trying to say rather than broad questions such as “Where did you go?”

 

Check you have understood, by repeating back the words you think you have heard.

For example:

“So, you went to Spain?”

 

Ask the child to slow down. Slowing down your own rate of speech will encourage them to do the same, and will help to make it easier for you to understand them.

 

Show interest in what they are saying. Keep your face and voice lively and let the child know you are interested in what they have to say. This will encourage them to explain. Try to keep normal eye contact and posture.

 

Encourage the child to use normal cues to supplement their speech (your child may not do this automatically and may need frequent and gentle prompting). Some examples of this are:

  • Pointing
  • Gesturing/signing
  • Facial expressions
  • Drawing/writing
  • Say what the first sound of the word is
 

Take time to tune in. Spend some time getting used to the child’s speech in situations where you might be able to predict what he is going to say e.g. sharing a book together. This will help to build the child’s confidence.

 

A home/school book where parents can write down family and pet names and what they did at the weekend, as this will give you some clues as to likely topics of conversation

 

Try and work out what sounds the child says instead of the correct sound (what sounds they substitute) – this will help you understand the child. For example:

‘ k ’ always said as ‘ t ’, so coat toat

‘d’ always said as ‘g’, so dad gag

 

 

What to avoid 

Making the child repeat the words after you and never say ‘say it properly’.

 

Asking the child to repeat what they have said more than once, as this will be frustrating and embarrassing for them.

 

 

 

 

 

Ask the Speech and Language Therapist for more information.

Local Initiatives

Early Years Initiatives

Our Early years team are currently working together with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, this includes a rollout of language screening of children using Wellcomm tool.

School Age Initiatives

We currently offer a range of virtual training sessions to schools for free! SENCo's will have been informed of training dates that you can book your staff on to. Please contact Fiona Taylor (fiona.taylor@nca.nhs.uk) or your Link SLT if you have any questions about this. 

 

 Enhanced Services initiatives

The Enhanced Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service offer bought-in input in schools. This might involve universal input, individual or group interventions. The Enhanced Team also support schools and staff to develop communication friendly environments and deliver training. For further information, please contact Fiona Taylor – fiona.taylor@nca.nhs.uk

 

I would also like to say that I am very impressed with the work Speech and Language Therapist is doing in school as well as the professional way she deals with my parents and her helpful advise to my staff. I believe credit where credit is due.

School staff

Lorna is amazing to work with and has made such an impact on our school provision, we are lucky to have her!

School SENCo

My child absolutely LOVES coming to see you, you are so good with him. We are extremely grateful for all of your care and support. He is counting down the days until we can come again.

Parent

We loved our sessions with Lucie, we found her to be positive and encouraging, we have already seen a huge improvement in his communication, using words and attempting new words to communicate with us in everyday tasks and his confidence in learning new words has shot up, he’s attempting 2 word phrases pretty well and even attempted 3 words on a couple of occasions. The difference for us is huge and we feel Lucie has set us up to keep improving now that the sessions are over.

Parent

I just wanted to send a quick email to say thank you for the training you delivered for us this afternoon, it was so useful and informative. It was great to have further training that was bespoke to Early Years and built on what we had done in the whole school training. We're excited to start implementing it for our children.

Early Years Teacher

I have just attended the virtual open evening and I thought it was a really nice way to explain the role and introduce the team as opposed to reading it on a job ad. I felt very lucky to have seen many of the benefits Fiona spoke about too so thank you for providing me with the opportunity to sit in on the training sessions.

Speech and Language Therapy Student

I am new to the role and I have found all members of the team extremely helpful and have gone out of their way to support me.

School SENCo

This is great and I am so appreciative of your support. We have nothing but fantastic things to say about the Salford SALT team and the support that you have given to both of our children.

Parent