Role of the Speech and Language Therapist

Pic 1

A speech and language therapist provides services to children and adults of all ages with communication and feeding or swallowing difficulties. Services include giving advice, assessment, diagnosis, intervention and training. Speech and language therapists work with people who have:

 Pic 2 Communication difficulties – find it hard to speak with people
 Pic 3 Speech delays or disorders – incorrect speech sounds
 Pic 4 Difficulty understanding what is said

Difficulty asking for things

Difficulty expressing thoughts, feelings and experiences

 Pic 5 Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) provides different ways of communicating when a person has difficulty using speech. AAC includes the use of objects, pictures, sign language, communication books as well as the use of electronic devices.
 Pic 6 Difficulty paying attention, remembering, organising and solving problem that make it difficult for people to communicate.
 Pic 7 Voice disorders – unusual vocal quality or pitch, hoarseness,
 Pic 8 Speech fluency problems – Stammers
 Pic 9 Feeding, eating, drinking and swallowing disorders (FEDS)


The Speech and Language Therapy Department aims to provide a quality, evidence based service that is person-centred and family-focused. The service is delivered as part of multidisciplinary teams across a variety of settings throughout Galway city and county.

The aim of the speech and language therapy department is in line with the vision of the Brothers of Charity Services Galway. Each SLT aims to facilitate each person:

  •  to communicate to the best of their ability,
  •  to support people to make choices,
  •  to support people to be closely connected to friends and family,
  •  to maintain safety while feeding, eating, or drinking
  •  to help everyone to have the best possible quality of life.



  Pic 10 who do we work with?


Pic 11     Springtime Early Intervention Services:

Services to young children from birth to six years of age are provided in interdisciplinary teams and delivered across Galway city and county. The teams work closely with families, pre-schools and schools. The SLT aims to promote early communication, speech and language skills and safe feeding, eating, drinking and swallowing skills. Intervention can involve indirect therapy when we work with parents and staff or direct therapy when we work with the child. Direct therapy may be through individual or group sessions.


Pic 12   School Age Services:

Services to children of school going age are provided as part of multidisciplinary teams. These services are delivered in a variety of locations, including mainstream or special schools, clinic bases and the home environment. Programmes and recommendations are made as part of the team input in consultation with family and school.



Pic 13  Adult Services:

When a communication related issue or a feeding, eating, drinking or swallowing issue is identified in an adult service user, they can be referred for speech and language therapy by the person who uses the service, a family member or a member of staff. Each person is individually assessed and recommendations made accordingly. Speech and language therapy can be carried out in one-to-one or group-based sessions or through staff / family education and training.


 where do we work?

Pic 14            Pic 15        Pic 16


Pic 17    Pic 18



  How do we work?

Pic 19      Pic 20        Pic 21       Pic 22


for further information contact


Pic 23Details at bottom of page



Useful links:

Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

American Speech, Language and Hearing Association

Children’s speech and language development:        

Reading development and reading difficulties:                           

Stammering: Irish Stammering Association



Cleft Lip & Palate Association of Ireland

Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing People

Supporting people with Down ’s Syndrome

Voices for Down Syndrome Galway

Useful contact numbers:

Location Phone
Springtime Early Intervention Services – Mary Derrig 091 872762
School-Age Team – The Gables, Woodlands 076 1064377
Adults Services – Galway East 076 1064313
Adults Services – Galway West 091 721438



Speech and Language Therapy Services


The ability, and opportunity, to communicate is a fundamental human need.  It is central to who we are, how we learn and how we relate to each other.  Many people with intellectual disabilities have communication difficulties. They may find it hard to understand what is said to them; may have difficulty in expressing themselves and their speech may be difficult to understand. Some people may not develop speech.

But communication is more than just using speech and language. There are many less obvious skills involved which are equally important to communication.  These include eye contact, listening, facial expression, taking turns, gestures and pointing.  People with intellectual disabilities may need help to develop these skills. They may also need to learn other means of communication, such as Lámh signing, use of pictures, visual supports and communication aids to help them achieve their communication potential.

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are specialists in communication disorders and their goal is to facilitate all who avail of the service to reach their full potential to communicate.  This happens through:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of children and adults with speech, language and communication difficulties
  • Programmes of therapy specific to each person’s needs
  • Working through significant others in the person’s life

Parents and carers are very closely involved in carrying out home-based programmes as are significant others working with children and adults in a variety of settings: mainstream preschools and schools; special preschools and schools; group homes; respite centres; residential homes; training centres. Programmes are monitored by the Speech and Language Therapists and updated and evaluated when necessary.  Speech and Language Therapists are committed to skill-sharing and are involved in training courses for staff, parents, multi-disciplinary team members and other relevant or interested people.

SLTs also play a primary role in the evaluation and treatment of infants, children and adults with feeding, eating, drinking and swallowing (FEDS) disorders. The goal of the Speech and Language Therapy Department is to facilitate all who avail of the service to eat and drink as safely as possible while maintaining a high quality of life. This happens through:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of FEDS difficulties
  • Recommendations to manage FEDS difficulties
  • Working through significant others and/or in the person’s life to support the person to eat and drink safely
  • Providing training, skill-sharing and support to parents, care givers and staff to manage FEDS difficulties.

Access to the Speech and Language Therapy Department is open to all people currently availing of the BOC Services Galway. Referrals are based on the needs of the person, the suitability of the service to meet those needs and the availability of services. An initial assessment of the person’s needs is carried out and services prioritised.

Currently referrals to Springtime Early Intervention Service (0 – 6 years) and Community School Age (6 – 18 years) may be made through relevant health care professionals, other agencies, hospitals and/or other individuals/services.

Referrals to the Adult services (18 years +) can be made through the SLT Manager, Brothers of Charity Services, Woodlands, Renmore, Galway.

Any complaint regarding any aspect of the service can be discussed in the first instance with the employee providing the service or the Manager of the service.

The Springtime Early Intervention service aims to provide a high quality, responsive service to children and their families in so far as it possible. They invite families within the service to bring to their attention any comments, compliments and/or complaints you may have. This can be done verbally, by letter or by filling out the ‘Your Service Your Say’ form, which is available through your key worker or any team member. Feedback is very important as it helps the Early Intervention Team to learn and understand what is important for you and your child. Further information on any of the Springtime Early Intervention Policies, Procedures, Protocols and Guidelines are available to you on request.

Comments, compliments and/or complaints from individuals / family members receiving a service other than from the Early Intervention Team should follow the link below for information and forward any formal complaints, in writing, to the Director of the BOC Services Galway.

Complaints Management Policy (2003-06 reviewed 2015) (1)

Research Projects involving the Speech and Language Therapy Department:  None at present.

Please refer back to the website for further general information on the Brothers of Charity Galway Services, including information on Advocacy and Human Rights.


Contact Details

Marina Moore – Head of Speech and Language Therapy,

Brothers of Charity Services Ireland – Galway Region,

Woodlands Centre,



Tel: 091-721413