Your first appointment

Your clinician (Speech and Language Therapist/Speech and Language Student) will ask you about your child’s development so if it helps you to recall information please bring along your red book or any other record of milestones you may have.

You may bring any toys or books that will help your child settle into the clinic environment if necessary.


When you arrive, report to reception.

When you arrive, report to reception where you will get a parking permit to put in your car. Once you have done this wait in the waiting area where your clinician will collect you and take you to the clinic room.

What to expect

Student Speech and Language Therapists are involved in our clinic throughout the process and you may have a therapist and up to 2 students in the clinic room during your appointment. The students involved change each term so it is possible that you will meet a number of students if you return to us after the initial appointment. The students involved may be students in the early stages of their clinical training or those who are about to qualify.

A therapist and up to 2 students may join you in the clinic room.

It is also possible that your session may be observed by students doing an observation placement. These students will be in another room and you won’t meet them during the appointment. We may also video record your session via our integrated cameras. Your clinician will let you know if you are being observed from the observation room or if the session is being recorded.

During your appointment the clinician will ask you (and your child if appropriate) questions about your child’s strengths and needs, their development and the impact that the difficulties are having on them and you as a family. The clinician will spend some time playing with your child. This will be ‘playing with a purpose’ and plays a key role in the assessment process. Through play we can gather information about your child’s understanding and expression of language, their attention and listening skills, the type of play they are engaging in, their social interaction skills and their speech. The clinician may ask your child to come to the table to do more structured activities/formal assessment.

One of the advantages of having students involved in the sessions is that we can gather information from both yourself and your child simultaneously and you may find that one of the clinicians will talk to you whilst another plays with your child.

The clinician will explain to you what they are doing and why. You are the expert on your child and we value your thoughts and contributions throughout the session.

How long will the session last?

We expect that an initial appointment will last somewhere between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours depending on the child.

What will happen next?

The clinician will discuss the session with you at the end and you will jointly come up with a plan based on the assessment findings. This could be to discharge your child from the University clinic, book your child in for further assessment sessions, book your child in for therapy or to make an appointment to review the situation after a specified period of time. For the majority of children we will write a report following the first appointment or after the initial assessment stage if this is longer. We will send this report to you password protected via email.

How may this differ for an older child/young person?

We aim to involve all children in the whole assessment process but their involvement in the discussions will increase as they get older. Older children and young people will be very much involved in the information gathering stage. We will ask them what their views are on their difficulties and what they feel their strengths and weaknesses are and how it is affecting them at home, school and with their friends. We will ask them to talk about what they like doing. They might like to bring a book or something that they would like to talk about with the clinician to aid this discussion. We may also ask them to complete some formal assessment as part of the initial session.

If you have any questions or concerns in the lead up to your appointment do not hesitate to contact us at or on 0118 378 4687.