Speech Therapy Questions
What is Speech and Language Therapy?
Communication skills are related to the way we listen and understand, the way we use speech and language to send a message and the way we make and maintain friendships with other children. Some children can find communication challenging and Mable Speech and Language Therapists can help. We provide assessment and therapy to children with communication needs. We also offer expert advice to our teaching staff to make sure they are supporting your child across all areas of the curriculum.
How do I know if my child needs Speech Therapy?
As a parent, you know when to find some extra help for your child. You may have concerns about their speech clarity, their ability to learn new words at the same rate as other children or their social interaction skills. Whatever your concerns, please get in touch. You can speak with a qualified Speech and Language Therapist straight away. They will advise you on whether your child meets the requirements for an initial consultation and we can take it from there.
Is Mable Therapy suitable for all children?
Mable therapists are able to provide intervention for a number of clients. For example, Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), Social Communication Needs, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hearing Impairment, Communication Difficulties associated with Mental Health, Speech Sound delay and Disorder and Literacy difficulties. If you are not sure, the best thing to do is call and speak to one of our therapists. Unfortunately, we are unable to deliver direct intervention with children who have a profound visual impairment. We are not able to support pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Needs.
Is Mable Therapy suitable for older children and teenagers?
Yes, within our network we have experienced therapists working with all age groups. Specialist skills are necessary to engage and support this age group which is why we only hire experienced therapists who have an excellent understanding of teenagers and the secondary curriculum.
Is Mable suitable for children under the age of four?
Yes! Although for younger children we would use more of a coaching approach, so we would work with you as the parent rather than directly with your child. Each case would be approached individually, your therapist will be able to advise on the best approach during the initial consultation session.
What if the therapist says they are too young but I just want some advice?
We recommend you book a consultation session with a speech and language therapist to discuss your child’s needs further and get some advice. However, we cannot guarantee they will be suitable for therapy with Mable if they are under 4.
What is the assessment process?
You’ll start by completing a brief referral form. This is so we can ensure you are being matched with the best therapist for your child’s needs. In the consultation session, your therapist will take a case history to gather some background information and will then advise if you need an assessment or can go straight ahead with therapy. The assessment session is usually 45-50 minutes long and will assess your child across a variety of areas, based on what your concerns are. You’ll then receive a full report within 7 days.
Does my child need to have an assessment?
Usually we recommend an assessment as the therapist needs to get a baseline of your child’s needs. The assessment can also be useful for yourself and your child’s school as it provides strategies to support your child. In some cases, we don’t need a full assessment, for example if you have one from within the last 6 months which the therapist feels contains enough information or if your child is very young. There are also some instances for older children where the only concern is a mild speech production difficulty, so a full assessment isn’t required. Your therapist will advise you if an assessment is needed in the initial consultation session.
Are the assessments standardised?
Mable online assessments are Dynamic. Dynamic assessment (DA) is a method of conducting a language assessment which seeks to identify the skills that an individual child possesses as well as their learning potential. The dynamic assessment procedure emphasises the learning process and accounts for the amount of support and structure of the therapist.
Can the reports be used for EHCP evidence?
Yes, the Mable Speech and Language screener investigates all areas of speech and language development. Specialist subsets can be administered for children and young people with specific needs and the results of these can be reported for use in EHCP assessment.
Does my child’s school have to know we are accessing speech and language therapy?
You are in control, the therapist will only speak to your child’s school setting with your express permission. This is to learn more about your child’s behaviour in different situations. They are likely to question your child’s presentation in different lessons and ask for teacher observations on their play levels and levels of language in order to inform their assessment and intervention.
My child is being seen by an NHS therapist, can they still work with you?
Absolutely, your therapist can speak to the NHS therapist to decide what level of input is appropriate for your child.
How long will my child need therapy for?
Your child’s therapist will have a clearer idea of this after assessment, it varies greatly from one child to another. An average starting point would be therapy once a week for around 9 weeks, obviously this can change depending on the difficulty and severity of your child’s communication needs.
How will I contact the Mable therapist?
You’ll choose your therapist when you make your first appointment. You can discuss your worries and concerns with the therapist in the session, and once you have received the report from this session, you can contact the therapist directly through the Mable platform. You’ll be kept up to date with information about your child’s therapy and progress, and therapists will provide you with activities for you and your child to complete together between sessions.
What qualifications and experience do the therapists have?
All our therapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT). We only hire therapists of NHS Band 6 and above, so they have all had several years of experience before starting to work with Mable.
Can I change therapist?
We think your child will love their therapist, but we understand that in some cases you may wish to change. That’s not a problem, you can just contact us using the chat option or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can organise a new therapist for you and your child.
Does my child need counselling?
Counselling is a safe space where the child can talk through their issues with an impartial, fully trained professional. It helps to build self-esteem and encourages self-expression, self-awareness and the development of good mental health strategies. Counselling can help children who are struggling with anxiety, low mood, anger, difficult home lives, friendship difficulties, bereavement, bullying or health problems.
In the first session you’ll have the chance to talk to the counsellor about your child’s issue and they will spend time getting to know your child too. They will then make a recommendation as to whether we are the right service for your child.
If your child has a serious mental health condition such as psychosis, we advise that you seek specialist support. If you’re not sure, give us a call and one of our clinicians will be able to help.
How does children’s counselling work?
Counselling is a safe space where your child can feel free to express their feelings and worries. The counsellor will use their training and expertise to build a warm and trusting relationship with them, so they feel empowered to explore their difficulties.
Each young person is unique. Some will have a strong idea of how they wish to use the sessions and will talk through their issues confidently. For others, they may need more encouragement from their counsellor. Creative and play therapy is often an effective way of helping children open up and express their feelings. With our interactive, online games, your child is able to engage in fun and creative activities which support the therapeutic process and improve their emotional wellbeing.
How do I book in?
To book your child’s first session, simply press the ‘book now’ button. You’ll be taken through a few simple questions in order to find the counsellors with the right specialism for your child. You’ll then be able to choose from those counsellors, by browsing our availability calendar. Once you’ve selected a session with the counsellor of your choice, you can enter your card details to confirm the booking.
What are the counsellors’ credentials?
All of our counsellors are fully qualified and registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). They have up-to-date, enhanced DBS checks as well as regular safeguarding and GDPR training. We have a robust recruitment policy and recruit counsellors based on their qualifications, experience and personality. All of our counsellors have significant experience of working with children.
Will I get to meet the counsellor?
The first session is your chance to meet the counsellor and ask any questions. You can do this alone, or with your child present. Once you’ve done this and your child is happy and settled with the counsellor, please leave them to access the session privately. The counsellor will contact you after this session to discuss next steps, including agreeing a regular session time. They will then be in contact regularly to arrange future sessions and to give general feedback on how things are going.
The counsellor cannot share any details of what is discussed in the sessions unless there is a safeguarding concern. On some occasions they may feel it’s appropriate to share something from the sessions with you, however they will only ever do so with the permission of the child.
How much does it cost and how do I pay?
Each counselling session costs £60. When you register you will be asked to enter your card details, payment will be taken from your registered card 48 hours before each counselling session.
How many sessions will be needed?
Following the first session, the counsellor will make a recommendation as to whether our online service is suitable for your child. If our service is appropriate, we will make a suggestion for how many sessions, based on the individual needs of your child. This will usually be between 6-12 sessions.
We do not expect parents to buy a block, so you are free to stop the sessions at any time. However, it can be incredibly damaging to your child to cancel their sessions without notice. For this reason, we ask that you carefully plan with the counsellor how many sessions are needed in advance so they can work carefully towards the end point. If your child is not finding the sessions helpful you are free to cancel, however we still recommend a final session to review what’s been covered and to discuss future strategies.
How long are the sessions and when do they take place?
Each online counselling session lasts 45 minutes. The appointments usually take place at the same time each week unless agreed otherwise with the counsellor. We recommend that when you book your first session, you choose a day and time that you’ll be able to stick to regularly.
What happens in the first session?
The first session is your chance to meet the counsellor and ask any questions. You can do this alone, or with your child present. Once you’ve done this and your child is happy and settled with the counsellor, please leave them to access the session privately. Alternatively, if you feel it’s not necessary to meet the counsellor first and your child is happy to access the session independently, simply help them to log-in and leave them to it.
Our highly-skilled counsellors will spend the session building rapport with your child, so they feel comfortable enough to open up about their feelings. The counsellor will usually carry out an assessment questionnaire in this session, in order to learn more about your child’s difficulties. Following the first session the counsellor will confirm whether our service is suitable for your child, and suggest how many sessions would be appropriate.
Can I sit in on my child’s counselling sessions?
You’ll have the chance to meet the counsellor and ask any questions in the first session, you can then stay as your child settles. From then on the sessions will need to take place privately and you cannot sit in unless you are asked to join. Depending on the age of your child it may also be necessary to start each session with them, in order to ensure they’ve connected, at which point you can leave them to it.
Counselling is a one-to-one therapy and it’s important that your child is able to have their session privately. The counsellor will work with them to create a trusting and therapeutic space where they can discuss anything that’s on their mind. This private space will improve your child’s feeling of emotional safety and allow them to experience the full benefit of the counselling.
Where should my child have the sessions?
It’s important your child has their sessions in a private place where they’ll feel relaxed enough to open up without feeling like they might be overheard. This could be their bedroom or another quiet room where they won’t be interrupted. Headphones will help to make the sessions feel private and will also remove the risk of any echos with the speakers.
It’s also important that you choose a room where you have a good wi-fi connection, so as close to the router as possible.
What if my child says bad thing about me?
All our counsellors are trained to listen without bias or judgement. We understand that family relationships can be difficult and at times all young people will feel negatively towards their parents. Many of our counsellors are parents themselves and understand this first hand. Having a safe space to express these feelings could help your child to overcome some of their negative emotions and it’s likely to improve their relationships with their loved ones. Our counsellors will always support your child through family issues with discretion and sensitivity.
How do you safeguard children and young people?
Safeguarding children and young people is the highest priority to us at Mable Therapy. We are trained in safer recruiting practices to ensure that all our counsellors are committed to the wellbeing of their clients, which includes being fully qualified, DBS checked (enhanced), insured and BACP registered. Our counsellors all report to a Case Manager within Mable Therapy and attend monthly supervision with a clinical supervisor. Should our counsellors have any concerns they will adhere strictly to our safeguarding procedures and raise their concerns.
What if my child doesn‘t want counselling, or doesn’t want to continue after the first session??
It can be tempting to try to persuade children to access counselling if we can see that it would be beneficial. However, counselling will only help if the child is willing and engaged. It can help to tell your child that it is only one session to start with and then they can then decide whether they’d like to continue. You may also want to show them one of these videos which explains more about how Mable Therapy works:
This video is suitable for children under the age of 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IHsxraqKP0&t=58s
This video is usually suitable for children 12 and over:
If your child has their first session and does not want to continue it’s important to respect their decision. It’s essential that your child has a positive experience or counselling so they feel empowered to access it in the future. By giving them the power to decide, they know they are able to access it once they feel ready.
Can my child change their counsellor?
All of our counsellors are recruited based not only on their qualifications and experience, but also their ability to engage with children and convey warmth and understanding. Most of our clients are keen to stick with their first choice of counsellor, however we know how important it is that your child clicks with them in order to make the most of the sessions. If they’ve not found the right counsellor, let us know at email@example.com and we’ll help you to find a better match.
Will you share your records with anyone?
Our records are completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone unless there is a safeguarding concern or they are requested in criminal proceedings. Before the first session we will ask for details of your child’s GP and school. We will not share any information with them or let them know your child is using our service, unless we have a safeguarding concern.
Do you provide written assessments or reports?
We are unable to make any mental health diagnoses or offer any kind of written report for diagnostic purposes. On occasions we may write a letter to a GP if we have concerns about a child but this is done at the counsellor’s discretion.
We do not write reports to support legal proceedings in court, such as custody hearings. Counsellors will be legally obliged to release their notes if ordered by the courts. We may also release our notes when requested by the police, but only with the consent of the child.
Do the sessions take place on Zoom?
Mable sessions take place using our unique video platform. It’s a bit like a Zoom session, but our software has in-built games, activities and resources to make the counselling an immersive, creative, child-centred experience.
What equipment do I need for a Mable session?
Any laptop or a desktop computer with a webcam will work fine. If you have a tablet such as an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy then Mable should work on those too. As a rule of thumb if you can video chat on the device then you can use it for Mable. Unfortunately, mobile phones are not usable as the therapists use tools which won’t fit on such small displays.
How will I contact the Mable therapist?
You will get to meet your child’s counsellor or speech and language therapist in the first session and ask any questions. If you need to make contact in between sessions you can send a message to your child’s therapist directly through Mable. They will reply to you as soon as possible, usually within 48 hours.
How can I check if my equipment will work properly?
Once you are logged into the Mable system, you will be asked to take our tech test – this will go through each step with you to ensure that everything is ready for your session.
Is there any research supporting teletherapy?
Yes. Teletherapy is very popular in the US and in Australia, but is starting to be used worldwide. Our very own Clinical Director Martha Currie created a white paper, and there are also several research papers out there, as well as the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist’s telepractice clinical guidelines.
What do I do if I’m having technical problems?
Don’t worry there is plenty of help available. You can call us on 0800 024 8646 if you need help urgently, or you can have a look at our detailed Help Guide which can be found here. https://help.mable.co.uk/en/
Is Mable GDPR compliant?
Are Mable Staff DBS checked?
Mable therapists all have an up to date Disclosure and Barring Service check. These are carried out on all staff whose roles involve contact with children and /or vulnerable adults. We employ a 3-year rolling programme of re-checking DBS certificates for holders of all identified posts.
What safeguarding training do Mable therapy staff receive?
All staff who, through their role, are in contact with children and /or vulnerable adults complete safeguarding training to level 3 or above. Sources and types of training will include the following courses: Working Together to Safeguard Children and Young People; Child Sexual Exploitation; Recognising and Responding to Neglect; Safeguarding Training for Managers; Vulnerability and Risk; Working with Hard to Engage Parents and Carers.