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Speech and language therapy for children with a disability

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) work with children who have issues with:

  • communication
  • eating
  • drinking
  • swallowing

They will show you ways to support your child’s communication or feeding skills.

Communication skills

Your child develops skills to communicate.

These include:

  • social interaction
  • play
  • moving their mouth
  • speech
  • understanding language
  • how to express themselves

These may be the focus of your child’s speech and language therapy.

What a speech and language therapist does

The SLT works with you to:

  • talk about your concerns around your child’s communication, eating, drinking or swallowing
  • assess your child’s strengths and needs in communication, eating, drinking or swallowing
  • develop your child's communication, through one-to-one or group therapy
  • set short and long-term goals
  • link with other relevant services, for example, hearing assessments
  • work with schools and teachers to support language development

Learn more about speech and language therapy from the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists —

Referrals to a SLT in the Children's Disability Network Team (CDNT)

Your GP can refer your child to the CDNT, or you can make a referral yourself.

Make a referral to the CDNT

You cannot refer to a specific health professional. The CDNT will decide which health professionals from the team are needed based on your child's needs.

Page last reviewed: 16 September 2022
Next review due: 16 September 2025