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.
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.
Head of Speech and Language Therapy: Marina Moore
Woodlands, Renmore, Galway