Speech & language team

Speech and Language Team

Welcome from the Speech and Language Therapy Team


About Us

The Speech and Language Therapy Service provided by East Coast Community Healthcare CIC (ECCH) is concerned with the management of disorders of speech, language, communication and eating / drinking in children.

The SLT team that provides this service within the Ashley School works closely with school staff, particularly with the Specialist Teaching Assistant for Speech, Language and Communication, Emma Wicks. We work across all Key Stages and offer both direct and indirect work with children. We are a friendly and approachable service for children, parents and staff.

“I have been working at the Ashley school since 2008, having previous experience working with children in both Primary and Secondary schools. I enjoy working across all Key Stages. After experiencing a Speech and Language Therapy Service as a parent I was keen to support other children with their communication; I particularly enjoy the variety of activities that we do”.



Mrs E Wicks - Speech and Language Team

Emma Wicks (Specialist TA for Speech, Language and Communication, The Ashley School)


Mrs D Lister - Speech and Language Team



 Donna Lister (Specialist TA for Speech, Language and Communication, The Ashley School)


“I have been working at the Ashley school since 2007 and have experience working with children from pre-school to secondary ages. I also work within mainstream schools and for the Waveney Diagnostic Group for Autism. Working at this school gives me the opportunity to regularly support the children to develop their skills and help them to reach their potential”.

Sarah Baillie-Jan15

Sarah Baillie (Specialist Speech and Language Therapist)



“I have been working in the Ashley School for many years now, and particularly enjoy the team-working involved, and being able to support a wide range of pupil’s needs. As SLT team leader for special schools / units I don’t have much time to work directly with most pupils, but am still involved with aspects such as joint planning.”

Sarah Boulter-Jan15

Sarah Boulter (Principal Speech and Language Therapist)



Anna Heydon-Jan15

Anna Heydon – Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for Hearing Impairment also works with the team.



What We Do

On entry to school many children are already known to the ECCH SLT team. If a pupil is not known, school staff can refer them, if they have speech / language / communication difficulties over and above their learning difficulties, and specific input / advice is needed.


If a child has specific eating and drinking needs or voice difficulties, a medical referral is required.

All pupils at the school, even those who are not on the SLT caseload, will benefit from the communication-rich environment across the school, including signing, symbol use, visual reinforcement strategies and a range of other strategies as needed.


A pupil’s speech, language and communication difficulties / needs are assessed by the SLT within the school setting using a combination of individual assessments, classroom observations and liaison with staff and family.


When there is an identified need for input from the speech and language therapist, they will either set targets with the support staff or class teacher in order to encourage communication development on a daily basis in the classroom (or at home) or provide individual or group therapy aimed at developing a particular skill.


We work with children with the following speech, language and communication difficulties:

•             language delay / disorder

•             specific language impairment

•             specific difficulties in producing sounds

•             hearing impairment

•             cleft palate

•             stammering

•             autism / social interaction difficulties

•             voice disorders

•             selective mutism


How We Help

Every child is different, so different types of activities and input will be needed for each child. The need for speech and language therapy, or direct support from the specialist TA, will vary across time.

Some children may only need therapy or advice for a short time, while others may continue to need support for many years.

Sometimes there will be a need for direct work with the child – we may offer the following support:

•             Individual sessions

•             Group sessions targeting specific areas, e.g. social skills, narrative development and understanding and use of language

•             Communication within the community, e.g. visits to local shops to practice communication skills

      Indirect work involves liaison with and support for the pupil's teacher or classroom assistant on communication aims. Indirect work also involves:

•             Meeting with other professionals e.g. Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Paediatrician, Social Workers, and School Nurse.

•             Meeting carers/parents to offer support and advice

•             Training carers/parents and other professionals, to help with the pupil's speech, language and communication development

•             Writing reports, letters and targets

•             Contributing to the pupil's annual review and Statement of Educational Needs.

•             Referring the pupil (if necessary) to other professionals e.g. Suffolk Communication Aid Resource Centre, Specialist feeding clinic etc.


If your child is referred to the SLT service the Therapist will assess their communication skills and write a report / targets. If necessary they will review their progress in discussion with school staff and a report will be written for their Annual Review and / or as needed, including any new targets.


The specialist TA also writes an end of year school report, if she has been doing direct work with a pupil.


If you would like to discuss your child’s progress we are available at the Pupil Progress days or you can contact us at the school on 01502 565439.