Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) provides treatment and support for those with communication difficulties but is also effective for providing care and advice for individuals struggling with eating, drinking or swallowing.


SLT focuses on an individual’s ability to listen, understand the world around them, express their needs and maintain relationships. More than this, the technique works onspeech sounds, oral awareness and motor skills. In conjunction with parents, our therapists will decide the best communication method for each individual child.

Our therapists apply a combination of standardised and non-standardised tests, across various settings, to offer a comprehensive assessment and clear picture of each child’s underlying skills and specific difficulties with communication.

At The Ark Centre, we consider SLT to be an essential part of our Multidisciplinary Programmes and if this is selected as part of your child’s package, we apply 1 hour of direct SLT therapy per week. During this time, in every session our therapists will focus on your child’s specific SLT targets.

Our Speech and Languages therapists have post-graduate training in a variety of effective techniques and strategies. These include:

  • High-tech communication aids
  • Makaton – Supporting verbal communication through initial use of signs and symbols
  • PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System; developing non-verbal communication and decision-making through pictures
  • Talk Tools – Including Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) with a focus on muscle movement and a tactile-sensory approach
  • Lego Therapy – Developing social skills such as working together and turn-taking

We can also offer additional training, through Elklan and Hanen.

What standardised and non-standardised tests will our therapists use?

The combination of SLT assessments our therapists will use is dependent on your child’s – and family’s – specific needs, but may include the below:

Standardised assessments:

  • Pre-school Language Scales (PLS-5)
  • Clinical Evaluation of Linguistic Fundamentals (CELF-4)
  • Assessment of Comprehension and Expression (ACE)
  • Test of Abstract Language (TALC)
  • British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS)
  • South Tyneside Assessment of Phonology (STAP)
  • Expression, Reception and Recall of Narrative Instrument (ERRNI)

Note that, while standardised assessments are useful to highlighting a child’s individual strengths and weaknesses, speech and language assessments are standardised in a neuro-typical population and therefore should be considered with caution.

Non-standardised assessments:

  • Observation of toy play
  • Derbyshire Language Scheme (DLS) picture and toy play test
  • Talk Tools Screen
  • Inside Communication checklist

If you would like more information about the Speech and Language Therapy services our team can provide, don’t hesitate to contact us.

“My son has significantly improved his confidence, social, physical gross and fine motor skills since attending The Ark Centre. He is comfortable with the staff and has even made some new friends. The difference in the nine months since he started is very noticeable and, I believe, so much more than could have been expected if he had solely attended school or had been home schooled.” – Susan Myers