The Nuffield paediatric speech disorders clinic is based at the Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals site and provides tertiary level assessment and therapy service for children with severe speech sound disorders.

The service specialises in the diagnostic assessment and treatment of complex speech sound disorders, and has particular expertise in developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD), also known as childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).

The Nuffield developmental speech disorders service is the only national specialist NHS service specifically specialising in children presenting with speech sound disorders, particularly developmental verbal dyspraxia. The service is recognised by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists as the only specialist service within the NHS for the assessment and treatment of developmental verbal dyspraxia (see RCSLT Policy Statement on developmental verbal dyspraxia, 2011, page 60).

Assessment

According to need, children are assessed in the Nuffield paediatric speech clinic:

  • Joint speech clinic led by a consultant doctor and a speech and language therapist or
  • Speech clinic led by a speech and language therapist

After the assessment a report is generated and we liaise with the child’s local speech and language therapy service to discuss the outcome of the visit to our speech clinic.

Some children will be offered a review appointment after the initial assessment and some may be offered a course of therapy.

Treatment

A specialist, time–limited therapy service is provided, with the aim of supporting the local service to meet the child’s needs.

We provide:

  • Weekly, individual speech therapy sessions and / or
  • Individual intensive therapy courses – for five consecutive sessions, offered during school holidays.

The focus of therapy is to explore effective intervention strategies for the individual child.

Therapy sessions are tailored-made for each child.

The parents who observe the sessions are supported in carrying out the home practice with their child.

Therapy approaches include:

  • The Nuffield dyspraxia programme (NDP3),
  • Ultrasound therapy (if considered appropriate by the Nuffield speech and language therapist)
  • Electropalatography (EPG) (if considered appropriate by the Nuffield speech and language therapist)

  • Developmental speech sound disorders
  • Developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD) or childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).

Referral to the Nuffield paediatric speech clinic