This service caters for babies, children and adolescents (attending the AVM and ENT departments at the Royal National ENT & Eastman Dental Hospitals) with congenital or acquired deafness or auditory processing disorders. The service provides assessment and advice only.

The Speech and Language Therapy Service for Deaf Children and Young People offers:

  • Comprehensive evaluation of a child’s speech, language, and auditory skill development. This is sometimes carried out with other professionals in the team.
  • Information to help decide if the child is being optimally aided or whether the child may be suitable for cochlear implant assessment.
  • Identification of other factors impacting on a child’s progress which are not typically associated with hearing loss or auditory processing issues.
  • Support for parents in understanding the effects of hearing loss or auditory processing difficulties on communication.
  • Advice and demonstration of techniques to help develop the child or young person’s listening, language, and communication skills.
  • Liaison with relevant agencies / onward referral as needed.


Ongoing therapy intervention is not provided here at the hospital but referral to the local Speech and Language Therapy team will be offered as an alternative source of help and support for children/families identified as requiring this. Liaison with local services will be carried out with parental permission.

Short courses of therapy on listening skills development for children or young people with auditory processing concerns may be offered where felt to be clinically appropriate and may be provided in conjunction with other interventions offered by other members of the Multidisciplinary Team.

Service management


Royal National ENT & Eastman Dental Hospitals
47-49 Huntley Street


Other referral information

Referral criteria / acceptance criteria:

Internal referrals only (Children must be known to the Paediatric Audiovestibular Medicine or ENT Team.

This document offers guidance for referrers; however, each case is considered individually in relation to child/family specific circumstances

Referrals are accepted for babies, children and young people from 0-18yrs of age with the following:

  • When there is a concern or query about the child’s development of auditory perception, speech, communication and/or language. This may not necessarily be related to degree of deafness or whether unilateral/bilateral.
  • A progressive hearing loss where a baseline assessment and ongoing monitoring is required.
  • Newly diagnosed children where parents are seeking advice/support regarding their child’s speech and language development.
  • Children undergoing transition e.g. from child to adult services.
  • Children with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD)
  • Children being assessed for Auditory Processing Disorder (APD Clinic)
  • Children with Social communication difficulties (please note: assessment for Autism is not provided at this clinic)
  • Children with higher level language difficulties e.g. understanding jokes, humour, idioms etc.
  • Children whose language and communication needs present a barrier to explaining their thoughts and feelings (these language difficulties may relate to concerns around mental health)

Referrals are not accepted for children and young people when the following criteria apply:-

  • The child has already had an assessment locally by a specialist SLT in hearing impairment and no further information can be gained by additional assessment
  • The child has had a recent assessment and is not able to undergo repeat testing due to the possibility of invalidating test results
  • The child is not yet able to engage in the process of assessment
  • Children with voice difficulties
  • Children who stammer
  • Children presenting with complex speech disorders and possible dyspraxia
  • Children with severe learning difficulties or multisensory disabilities
  • Children with craniofacial abnormalities
  • Other – there may be other medical, parental or environmental factors which mean that the child will not benefit from assessment or therapy input by the service. In these cases, the referrer and parent will be notified as to why the referral has not been accepted.



It is always expected that consent has been obtained from someone with legal parental responsibility for the child before a referral is made.

How to refer:

Internal referrals only

In order to be referred to the service children must be known to the Paediatric Audio-vestibular Medicine or ENT Team at the hospital (we are not able to accept external referrals). Referrals are accepted from any involved professionals at the hospital: such as doctors, audiologists, psychologists, or Teachers of the Deaf.

Please include the following information:

  • Child and family details
  • Information on safeguarding if applicable
  • Language(s) spoken
  • The nature of the problem with examples of difficulties
  • The name (or area locality) of the child’s SLT

How the problem is impacting on the child or young person in his/her environment.

Referral address

Medical Services,
250 Euston Road

  • NDCS. - The National Deaf Children’s Society is a British charity dedicated to providing support, information and advice for deaf children and young people, their families and professionals working with them. The NDCS supports families in a range of ways including access to a helpline, specialist advisors, publications, family events, and web forums.
  • Deafparent - Deafparent provides resources, information, links to family events and a forum to discuss deaf parenting issues.
  • RNID. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) campaigns for change, provides services and training, and actively supports scientific and technical research. They have a wealth of factsheets available free to download on everything from rights at work to hearing aids.
  • Sense. - Sense is a national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind.