How to get extra help if you are worried

Targeted services - extra help for you

You might have some worries about your child and their speech, language and communication.

This section is for you if your child needs some extra help.

Who should I speak to if I have concerns?

The Speech and Language Helpline

Speech and language UK logo

Speech and Language UK have a free helpline where you can have a chat with a Speech and Language Therapist. These are not assessments but might give you some guidance or advice on where you can get more help.

Local support for you


Family Hubs and Start for Life

Family Hub Start for Life logo

Across the Bradford district our Family Hubs support families with children and young people of all ages and at every stage of family life. 

Family Hubs are places in the heart of the community where you can attend appointments, meet with staff for a chat, or take part in courses and activities.


Wise Owl and Owlets

Wise Owls logo

Family Hubs have received some extra funding from the government called Start for Life. We have funded BHT Early Education and Training to support families all across the district if they have concerns about their child's speech and language. There are two parts to the support we have funded:

  • a 'Wise Owl' drop-in session for families with children aged 18 months-4 years, taking place weekly in each area of the district. You can find these sessions on the Family Hub timetables
  • a six week focused programme called 'Owlets' which is accessed by a referral from your health visitor 


The Incredible Years Preschool Programme

Incredible Years Preschool have been funded to deliver a brand new programme for families with children aged 3 to 4 years.

Incredible Years Preschool Programme logo

The programme will be suitable for any family that would like a bit of extra help with child attachment issues, language development concerns, their behaviour, or confidence with social situations.

Families can self-refer or practitioners can make a referral with consent.

Find out more and apply by visiting our Parenting Programmes for Families page.


Speech and Language Therapy Services

More targeted support information can be found on the BDCFT SALT website:

Children's Speech and Language Therapy - BDCT

Drop in session with an Education Psychologist

Jump aboard logo, details have been written out in paragraphs on page

If you're concerned about your child's education or development, our monthly Jump Aboard sessions with educational psychologists can help:

  • In a free consultation, talk through concerns and develop next steps for how to support your child.
  • For children and young people of all ages
  • Can cover topics such as autism and ADHD, speech and language needs, learning difficulties, social and emotional needs and sensory needs
  • Information on education, health and care plans (EHCP)
  • With educational psychologists Dr Jessica Allen-Summers or Martin Pilkington

Sessions happen once a month in each of our four Family Hub areas.  For more details, click here for links to each hub's latest timetables.

BHT Talking Together

BHT early education and training logo

If you live in the Better Start area you may be able to receive support from BHT's Talking Together service when your child is 2 years old. You will be visited at home by a trained Language Development Worker who will assess your child’s current language and communication skills.

If your child is identified as being at risk of language delay, a referral to BHT Early Education and Training’s Talking Together programme can be offered, or alternatively the Language Development Worker would make any necessary referrals onto other agencies if required.

Further support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Help for children with Autism

The National Autistic Society has a wide range of advice and guidance about autism. This includes a section on understanding and developing communication, visual tools, communication tools and top tips.

AWARE is a parent-run group supporting families with children and young adults on the autistic spectrum (formal diagnosis not required). The group covers the Airedale, Wharfedale, Bradford and Craven areas and beyond. More information is available on our Services Directory listing.


Many children and adults use Makaton symbols and signs, either as their main method of communication or as a way to support speech.

In addition to children and adults with communication and learning difficulties and the community around them - for example, teachers, health professionals, friends, public service bodies etc. -  Makaton is increasingly  used by the general public to aid communication. 

Makaton has been shown to be useful for all sorts of people including those who struggle with understanding concepts, those who have poor literacy skills, including grammatical knowledge, and those with English as an Additional Language.

By using Makaton, children and adults can take a more active part in life, because communication and language are the key to everything we do and learn.

For more information and to access some free resources, visit the Makaton website.

Local Offer

The Bradford SEND Local Offer website can direct you to local services and events that are specifically for babies and children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).