How to access Language and Communication Support

We can support children and young people with or without a Statement of Special Educational Needs. 

We can support children and young people with or without a Statement of Special Educational Needs.

Support from our team usually occurs after a referral from an EA Educational Psychologist and via your child or young person’s educational setting/school.

The Educational Psychologist’s referral will detail your child or young person’s strengths, the impact of their difficulties in receptive and/or expressive language and their educational needs. We will consult with your child’s school, as well as speaking to you, as parents or carers. From this we will produce a tailored support programme.

If you think your child or young person has a learning need, you can talk to a number of professionals for advice including medical or social care professionals, the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in their school, or one of their teachers if attending pre-school. 

If a child has difficulties with producing speech sounds, then this need can be best addressed by Health and Social Care Trust speech and language therapists (SLT).

Can a parent or carer refer their child or young person to this Service?

You can’t currently refer your child to the Language and Communication Service. The referral must be made via an Education Authority Educational Psychologist (EA EP) via the school.

If you have a concern about your child or young person, speak to their teacher or a healthcare professional such as a GP or speech and language therapist, who will be able to provide advice and guidance on the issue. 

How is a Child or Young Person Referred to the Language and Communication Service?

Pre-school Aged Children

If your child/young person has an identified SEN, they may be referred to the Education Authority’s Early Years Hub. 

If your child/young person does not have an identified SEN, you may wish to contact the educational setting/pre-school which they attend to discuss their needs further.

You can talk to a number of professionals for advice including medical or social care professionals. You can also phone the SEN Helpline for advice.

Primary Aged Children

If your child/young person has an identified Special Educational Need (SEN) in Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) and/or a diagnosis of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD),  they may be referred to our Service by an EA Educational Psychologist (EP).

For more details on to how to access support from the Service see our Making a Referral and Timeline and Criteria information. 

What happens following a referral to the Language and Communication Service?

Once a referral is accepted from an EA Educational Psychologist a member of the team will be assigned to support your child or young person. 

Our team member will then complete an initial assessment gathering information from the child or young person, their parents or carers and their educational setting. They may also need to observe your child/young person, but you will be advised of this in advance.

Once this assessment is complete, we will develop a plan for the most appropriate form of support to help meet your child or young person’s current needs. We will do this in collaboration with you (the child’s parents or carers) and the educational setting. 

Level of support your child will receive

For many children or with SEN, their specific needs can be met within their educational setting.

The support provided by our Service is for receptive and/or expressive language needs. 

If support is required, we can provide resources, training, advice and guidance for parents or carers and/or educational settings schools. We can also provide support for your child where appropriate.

Support can be provided with or without a Statement of Special Educational Needs in place.  

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Contact the Language and Communication Service

The Language and Communication Service can be contacted for advice and information specific to children and young people who have, or may have, a language development need.