1. Initial Consultation
The initial in-person consultation takes place with the parent/carer present only.
A consultation is offered either as:
- The first step in an assessment of the person for SLT, OT, or a joint assessment, or
- A stand alone consultation to review an individual’s current needs and to decide on whether therapy is needed and what goals to focus on.
When conducted as the first step in an assessment, it is an opportunity for the parent or carer to discuss any concerns or observations. The parent can also bring any supporting information they may have for the referral and talk openly about their child’s need without fear of the child overhearing or distracting the parent or clinician during the discussion. Once this short consultation has taken place, the next steps are decided – either setting an appointment for the assessment to continue, or to start therapy.
The consultation allows the parent or carer to discuss what their priorities are for assessment and/or therapy. A consultation can help alleviate any concerns, or suggest a best course of action.
A recommendation may then be that the best action is to wait, and then review again in a few months. If at the review, it is felt that there is sufficient concern to conduct an assessment, we will deduct a consultation fee from the overall assessment charge if you proceed with us. This offer is kept open for 3 months from the date of the consultation as we may refer you onwards for an Assessment of Need through the HSE, or other professionals, e.g. audiologist, psychologist, behaviour support, before recommending an assessment.
2. Pre-arranged Phone Consultation
The phone consultation with a Speech Therapist or Occupational Therapist is arranged to review or seek advice for an individual in your care, who you are concerned about. The phone consultation can also be a post therapy phone review to monitor progress, or to review reports or materials from another service to offer advice on the next step for the individual.
We are receiving an increasing number of requests from parents/carers to meet with a therapist, but circumstances may make it difficult to arrange an in-person consultation. It may be difficult to take time off work, arrange child care or to travel to meet. If documentation is available, we will ask for copies to be sent (electronically sent via secure system) or via registered post. We require the relevant documentation in order to give the best possible advice. Once we receive the documentation, the therapist will spend time before the consultation familiarising themselves with the information. We will also ask you to complete our case history form so that we have the basic details about the referral.
We sometimes receive requests to review or provide additional recommendations. This may occur when a letter of reference or support for additional services are required, for example when the other therapist is not allowed to provide these references or supports as part of their service mandate. Sometimes people’s needs can fall between the ‘cracks’ in the system, and we are trialling this approach to meet these needs.
If you have had a in-person consultation with us, and have decided to monitor progress and not proceed with therapy, this consultation will allow us to ensure that things are progressing on track as normal.
One of the benefits of a consultation, either by phone or in person, is that it allows you to get the benefit of the therapists expertise without the pressure of you or your child needing to do an assessment. Although our therapists may, or may not recommend a course of action, the decision is always up to you on how best to proceed. As such, if the data and evidence suggests that there is no need to proceed further at the time, but you feel that you would rest easier knowing that we have conducted a formal assessment in Speech & Language or Occupational Therapy, we will do so. At the end of the day, we believe that YOU are the expert on your child.