Speech and Language

The Sure Start Speech and Language Therapy team work with families at home and in pre-school settings to provide assessment, intervention and support for children with speech and language difficulties and their families.

They work with children under the age of five living in Sure Start Children's Centre areas working with parents, pre-school staff, health services, library services, Sure Start Children's Centre team members and many more!

They can provide advice and support whenever required and training on:

  • Speech and Language development, norms and warning signs
  • Preventative Strategies
  • Ways to support children with Speech and Language difficulties
  • Ways to encourage positive communication between children, parents and staff.
How to Refer To Us

Telephone Sure Start East Children's Centres on 0191 275 9636 and ask to speak to Jill Wells for advice or to arrange a visit.

Referrals to Speech and Language Services can come from anybody!
  • If you have any worries about a child’s speech, language or communication.
  • Children who are referred to Sure Start Speech Therapy Services will be seen for an assessment and further support will be offered if required
Starting Points

Starting Points is a play session for children who find talking tricky. The group starts with free play and then has some structured activities including wind up toys, lycra and bubbles. High interest activities were chosen as children really enjoy them and so are more likely to communicate and ask for 'more'. Makaton signing is used in the group as research shows this helps language development. All of the children have progressed since attending the group including using Makaton sings and more words. Attendance to the group is by invitation only.

Sing and Sign

For babies aged 0 - 12 months

Sing and Sign is a 5 week course that aims to help parents/carers in communicating with their babies. The parents and babies learn everyday Makaton signs, each week focusing on a different topic. The Makaton signs are practised within songs in the session. At the end of the course all attendees receive a certificate and the sing and sign book to take home.

To find out more information or to add you name to the waiting list phone 0191 275 9636.

Before Words

Before Words is an advice sheet that helps you to support your child’s early language skills. It provides information about the various ways babies communicate from birth up until 12 months. It also gives practical advice about how you as a parent or carer can help to build upon your child’s communication and interactions in your everyday routine. Before Words provides reassurance about what your baby may be doing now and you can look forward to what they’ll begin to do as they get older. It highlights the importance of children’s attention and listening skills as these skills impact on later language learning.

Before Words was developed in 2003 in response to the growing awareness of the importance of encouraging communication from an early age. Before Words uses mainly pictures to get the message of early communication skills across, and provides information about how everyday activities can have a big impact on not only your child’s speech, language and communication skills, but also their confidence and general development too.

Before Words is handed out to parents / carers in our Sure Start groups, home visits and health clinics. If you would like a copy please ask your Sure Start group leader, worker or Health Visitor.

For more info on Before Words visit: www.beforewords.co.uk