Liz qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) in June 1981, and has worked within the NHS with a broad range of children. Most recently she has worked within the NHS in Northern Ireland as the lead clinical specialist for Autism and has experiences of working with children with severe Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. She left the NHS to expand the work of Elklan Training of which she is a co-writer and trainer. She has trained hundreds of SLT’s and specialist teachers to use her training packages and thousands of teaching assistants/ SLT assistants and parents have received accredited Elklan training. She brings all this experience and expertise into her therapy and training. Elklan materials are used extensively in the SLT programmes.
Cath Dowling graduated from University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology. She has been living in Belfast for 4 years. Cath has worked with children with special educational needs, as well as those in mainstream education and community clinic settings. Through this work she has provided support to children with a wide range of communication needs including those with autistic spectrum disorders.
Q1: ‘My child is not talking properly and the Health Visitor has referred her to the local Speech Therapy Department but there is a long wait before she can be seen. Can you see us quickly?’
A: Yes. We offer assessment slots quickly and are happy to offer interim advice or therapy until you get an appointment within the NHS or we may be able to sort the problem before your appointment comes through.
Q2: ‘I am concerned that I won’t be able to afford the sessions or that there might be hidden charges’.
A: All treatment charges are to current published independent guidelines and nothing is planned without agreement. Therapy can cease at anytime.
Q3: ‘My child needs help in school. He has a classroom assistant but she needs help to support him. Can you help?’
A: Yes, through the Elklan training packages we have a great deal of experience in working with teachers and assistant staff. We can offer training packages and specialist support to mainstream schools. We can liase with any or all professionals who need to be involved.
Q4: ‘My 3 year old son has started to stammer. Is this normal? Does he need help?
A: Don’t worry this is common in children your sons age. The best advice is to ignore the stammer and try not to draw attention to it. If you are still concerned we would be pleased to see you although you may find your NHS SLT Department will see him quickly as children with stammering behaviour are frequently fast-tracked.
Q5: ‘My 6 year old can’t say f and v e.g. he says “pish” for ‘fish’ and “ban’ for ‘van’. Does he need help and can you see him?’
A: This is very typical, however, it may affect him at school both with reading and making him the target for teasing/bullying. We can arrange a very simple programme to help this, which can have quite fast results in most cases.
Q6: ‘I have a 14 year old son who has been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. He is on the waiting list for a Speech and Language Therapy assessment but there is a 6-month wait and I can’t see the point of Speech Therapy when he talks perfectly well. What do you think?’
A: Anyone with Aspergers syndrome or ‘on the autistic spectrum’ will have a communication difficulty of some degree. Although his spoken language may appear to be good he might be experiencing problems with higher level language skills especially understanding. We would assess this and his ability to use his language socially and give ideas which might help him to develop skills in this area.
The purpose is to discuss your specific needs and describe the service available. This lasts up to 15 minutes normally as a phone call.
Assessment & Consultation
This normally lasts up to two hours and includes a detailed report. £160
In certain circumstances (e.g. complex cases) this session will last longer, or further assessment sessions may be recommended. Additional hours are charged at £60 per hour and will be discussed with you in advance.
Consultation or therapy session
A session lasts between 45 minutes and one hour. This is time spent with the child/parents or teachers. The fee also includes time spent outside the consultation in preparation of material, planning and talking with parents and professionals. £60 an hour
Additional letters, reports and treatment programmes
Written documents which are additional to the initial assessment report are charged in respect of the total time taken to prepare them and based on £30 per hour. Lengthy telephone conversations will be charged at the therapist’s discretion. Clients will be advised in advance.
School/nursery and home visits
These are charged at the same rate as therapy sessions plus any mileage incurred.
Talks, workshops and Elklan training sessions are available for groups of parents and professionals.
These can be tailored to specific areas of interest. Accredited Elklan courses for parents cost £135 per person plus an accreditation fee of £22 if this is required. Elklan accredited courses for professional staff cost £295 per person to include accreditation fee. For details of Elklan courses available please click here.
To discuss training requirements with Liz please contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sessions cancelled by the client with less than 24 hours notice will be liable for half of the session fee.
Sessions may be cancelled or rearranged by Elks Speech Therapy and Training Services due to unforeseen circumstances. As much notice as possible will be given.
Circulation of reports / sharing information
It is considered best practice to share information with relevant professionals in order to work together to support your child’s needs. We will routinely circulate reports to your child’s GP, health visitor and NHS speech and language therapist unless you request that this should NOT happen. Where you give consent reports will also be shared with the school. Parents are responsible for sharing reports with others.
Parents are free to withdraw from treatment at any time. The therapist may also withdraw treatment or discharge the child for any of the following reasons:
- The child’s speech and language skills are within a normal range.
- The child is no longer making progress.
- All appropriate strategies are in place and advice has been given.
Assessment & Consultation : £160 to include full report with therapy advice.
Therapy appointments: £60
Subsequent reports requested : £30
SLT’s will be able to make school visits at the request of the person with parental responsibility; fees must be agreed in advance with Liz Elks.
A mileage cost of £0.40 per mile is made for home/school visits beyond a 20‐mile radius of BT18 9HT
- Payment of the initial assessment will be made in cash or cheque at the first appointment.
- Fees for consultations and therapy sessions should be paid in advance for the whole block of therapy (normally six sessions), this will be invoiced, a 5% reduction is applied for 6 sessions or more.
- Fees for all other services detailed above will be invoiced if applicable.
Making an appointment
Initial appointments will be arranged by Liz Elks with the parent/carer. Subsequent appointments will be made between Cath or Liz and the parent/carer.
The SLT is responsible for the child’s therapy programme. Liz Elks will work in an advisory capacity to the SLT involved with the child.
Cheques should be made payable to Elks Speech Therapy and Training Services.
Clients using private medical insurance are responsible for settling invoices and then claiming from the insurance company concerned. It is advisable to check your level of cover before commencing therapy.
Please print this off, sign it and give it to the therapist at the first session.