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Paediatric Speech Therapy

The Paediatric Speech Therapy Team at Singapore General Hospital specialises in the assessment and treatment of communication and feeding difficulites in children from birth to adolescence (ages 0 to 18). All Speech Therapists in the paediatric team undergo continued professional development, in order to provide evidence-based services.

When should I get a referral for my child?

Communication difficulties

Your child may benefit from as assessment with a speech therapist if he/she presents with communication difficulties.  For example, he/she may

  • Have poor eye contact
  • Have no single words by the age of 18 months
  • Not be speaking short sentences (3-4 words) by the age of 3
  • Have unclear speech.  Generally, you should understand 50% of your child's speech at 2 years old, 70-80% at 3 years old, and 100% by 4 years old
  • Have difficulties learning new vocabulary
  • Have difficulties learning and understanding grammar and sentence structures
  • Have difficulties expressing thoughts and ideas in words verbally and in writing
  • Have difficulties following long and complex instructions
  • Have difficulties making friends, initiating social interactions and having a conversation
  • Have poor academic performance
See the information sheets below for more details regarding communication milestones.

Feeding or swallowing difficulties

Your child may benefit from an assessment with a speech therapist if he/she presents with feeding difficulties. For example, he/she may:

  • Refuse to drink milk
  • Choke on drinking
  • Be a fussy eater or poor interest in food
  • Avoid certain food textures e.g. mushy or certain food groups e.g. meat or certain food colours or certain food smells
  • Be unwilling to try new food
  • Have difficulties chewing
  • Require distractions to eat
  • Sleep feed
  • Have long mealtimes e.g. an hour
  • Eat non-food items

You and your child may also benefit from an assessment with a speech therapist if you find mealtimes and/or eating with your child significantly stressful.

 

Referral process

Step 1: Get a doctor's referral

To consult with us, you will require a doctor's referral to the SGH Speech Therapy Department.  The referrals must be issued by a Singapore-registered medical doctor.

 

Step 2: Get an appointment with us  

You will require an appointment to consult a Speech Therapist.  To make or change an appointment with us, please call SGH Central Appointment at (+65) 6321 4377.  When you call, our Call Centre colleague will help to arrange an appointment with the next available therapist.  Please let our Call Centre colleague know if your primary concern is communication or feeding, so that you and your child can get an appointment with a suitable speech therapist.

 

 Assessment

Communication

For communication difficulties, a standard assessment session can last up to 2 hours.  As part of a comprehensive assessment, the speech therapist will speak with you to gain a better understanding of your concerns about your child's speech and language development. The assessment process may include video and audio recordings for diagnostic and treatment purposes.

During the session, the speech therapist will also provide you with information about children's development of communication. There will be an opportunity to discuss treatment options available as well as your expectations of treatment.

 

Feeding or swallowing

For feeding or swallowing difficulties, a standard assessment session will last about an hour. As part of a comprehensive assessment, the speech therapist will speak with you to gain a better understanding of your concern about your child's eating. The speech therapist may want to observe your child's interaction with a meal so it would be helpful to bring along some favourite and non-favourite foods to the session.

During the session, the speech therapist will also learn about your expectations of therapy and discuss with you management options for your child's feeding and eating challenges. There will be opportunities for you to ask questions.

Therapy Format

A typical therapy session will last approximately 45 to 60 minutes. It will take place in our clinic, on weekdays, during office hours.  Your speech therapist will discuss the frequency of therapy suitable for your child, depending on the severity and nature of the diagnosis.  Group or paired therapy sessions may also be offered.