Speech and Language

Reading SEND Local Offer

If you would like any advice or wish to speak to a Speech and Language Therapist.

Speech and Languagy Therapy (Berkshire Health Care NHS ) are adapting the way they work so that, if a family has a Berkshire GP, they can call and speak to a Speech and Language Therapist to discuss any concerns about their preschooler's communication (0-5). This phone line is also for practitioners who would like to discuss communication concerns. Phone lines will be open from 9:00- 15:30 on a Tuesday and Thursday, starting Tuesday 9th January 2024. Many issues can be helped by talking, so let’s talk! Tel: 0118 904 3700

Speech and Language Therapy | Children Young People and Families Online Resource (berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk)

Attending school in Berkshire

If your child attends a mainstream or special school in Berkshire and you have concerns about their communication, please speak to their teacher or the school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). They will be abe to discuss your child with a member of the School-Aged Speech and Language Therapy team. 

Next review date March 2024

Speech Language and Communication

Good communication skills are key to children’s learning and their future success in nursery and school. 

Children’s Centres, early year’s settings and the health visitor team in Reading work closely with speech and language therapists to support children’s communication development.  Children’s centres run a fun programme of activities/events that will help your child’s communication skills. Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) - Children's Centres

Children, Young People and Families ~ Speech & Language Therapy

NHS Speech and language therapy is offered as part of the Children, Young Peoples and Families (CYPF) service for Berkshire. Speech and language therapists support children and young people whose difficulties are impacting on their everyday life.  

  • They may find it difficult to: 

    • Communicate their wants, needs, ideas and opinions
    • Understand language eg following instructions and answering questions
    • Speak clearly
    • Have meaningful interactions with others
    • Speak fluently (without stammering/stuttering)
    • Eat and/or drink  

We are adapting the way we work so that, if a family has a Berkshire GP, they can call us and speak to a Speech and Language Therapist to discuss any concerns about their preschooler's communication. This phone line is also for practitioners who would like to discuss communication concerns. Our phone lines will be open from 9:00- 15:30 on a Tuesday and Thursday, starting Tuesday 9th January 2024. Many issues can be helped by talking, so let’s talk! Tel: 0118 904 3700

NB: The referral method for eating and drinking concerns for children with complex needs remains the same. 

As ever, if families/others are concerned about a child's communication, there are resources which are consistently available and should be used as a first port of call:

  • The Early Years online language development workshops. Three workshops are currently available with more to be added. These are run live, online by Speech and Language Therapists to provide families/ practitioners with everyday strategies they can use. There is also an interactive question and answer session. More information about these can be found under the "Early Language Development Online Workshops" Tab here:

Speech and Language Therapy | Children Young People and Families Online Resource (berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk)

  • Online Advice Pages. Here you will find all sorts of advice on many different issues that might affect your child’s communication.

Health and Development | Children Young People and Families Online Resource (berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk)

If your child/young person is already known to our service and you have a query, concern, or need advice, or you need to cancel/re-arrange a scheduled appointment, please call your local administration team:

you can also email the team: 

Please include your child’s name and date of birth or NHS number in the email so that we can access your child’s records, along with the best telephone number to contact you on. It is also helpful if you can let us know the best day(s) to contact you. We aim for all families to be called back by a speech and language therapist within a few weeks, but it can take longer if lots of requests have been received.

Children, Young People & Families ~ Parent Carer Information Videos (Speech & Language)

The Berkshire CYPF - Speach and Language Team have produced some ‘talking head style’ videos about play and language development that parents may find useful. 

Berkshire Health Care CYPF ~ Speech & Language Articles

Speech, Language & Communication - useful websites:

Speech and Language UK (formerly I CAN) if you are concerned about a child’s talking, listening and understanding? Are you looking for more information about speech, language and communication? Visit their website to find out more Speech and Language UK or for information and support visit Speech and Language UK - Information & Support 

The British Stammering Association: Impartial information and support on stammering, also known as stuttering https://stamma.org/

AFASIC England is working to support children and their parents, enabling them to overcome their speech and language difficulties. Being able to speak and communicate with other people is an essential life skill. For most children and young people learning to communicate comes easily. For some children and young people, however, it is a major challenge as they have a speech and language impairment. 

Makaton symbols and signs are used by many children and adults as their main method of communication or to support speech. Visit website for more information.

Stories with Symbols a charity to provide story time with symbols created by a Speech & Language Specialist and a parent.

Related Advice

Healthy Lifestyle Child Development

Page last reviewed: 03/01/2024

Contact the Team

Family Information Service

fis@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer

localoffer@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support

CSAAdvice.Signposting@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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