Multidisciplinary assessment and treatment
Our speech and language therapists at SLT for Kids work as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide your child with the best service possible for their eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. Our multidisciplinary team for eating, drinking and swallowing is called Kids Feeding Team and all of the professionals involved work together to assess and treat different aspects of your child's feeding difficulties to provide a holistic approach to assessment therapy, considering all areas of expertise to achieve your child's goals.
The speech and language therapists working in the feeding clinic service are part of the multidisciplinary Kids Feeding Team.
What is a multidisciplinary team?
A multidisciplinary team is a group of different health professionals that work closely together to provide input and assessment from different areas of expertise for your child. Multidisciplinary working allows our professionals to provide you with a holistic service that takes all of your child’s needs into account in order to help them achieve their best results in regard to their eating, drinking and swallowing.
Our multidisciplinary team at the Kids Feeding Team consists of; dietitians, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists. Each of these professionals provides different areas of expertise when deciding what assessment treatment is best for your child.
What will a multidisciplinary assessment involve?
A multidisciplinary assessment helps the health professionals to identify and understand the root cause and nature of your child’s feeding problems. Depending on the child’s needs will depend on which professional will carry out the main assessment, however if they are unable to identify enough information other health professionals will assess your child, depending on the complexity of the child's needs. The assessment will usually be carried out initially by a dietitian, occupational therapist or a speech and language therapist.
You will be invited into clinic or the assessment may take place in your home, depending on what is most suitable and convenient for you. The assessment will usually take about an hour, however this may differ depending on the nature of the assessment and your child's needs. The therapist will take a detailed case history from you to begin the assessment. This will just be a discussion of your child's past medical and family history, discussion of their needs and this will be a good opportunity to voice your concerns and the goals you have in mind.
The therapist will then assess your child's ability based on the concerns identified. The assessment will differ for each child but the therapist endeavours to make the assessment process as fun, safe and enjoyable for the child as possible.
If multiple professionals have carried out an assessment they will put their findings together in order to get a bigger picture of the child's needs and to create an appropriate treatment programme for the child to meet their goals.
What will multidisciplinary treatment involve?
Treatment will then be different for each child depending on your goals in context of their needs. Each treatment option will be tailored to each child. Treatment will be discussed with you to ensure you are happy with the type of treatment and the aims we are working towards.
Treatment can take place in the clinic or home environment depending on what is most suitable for the child and their needs. Therapy lengths and times of sessions will vary on each child and which professional is carrying out the therapy. It may be more appropriate for your child to have therapeutic input from more than one of our professionals, this will be classed as multidisciplinary treatment.
After each session with a professional, the professionals will liaise and work together to ensure they are both informed and working towards the same goals through their therapy, although they might be working on different areas of feeding. This is to ensure that all of the therapy we provide you with works hand in hand and you are not having to repeat your concerns to every health professional that you meet.
As part of treatment, reports may need to be written. If this is the case our professionals will work together on a report in order to ensure all of the information is included that is correct and relevant.
The benefits of multidisciplinary assessment and treatment
There are many benefits to multidisciplinary assessment and treatment for a child with feeding difficulties and their families. Benefits include:
- Ensuring all of your child's difficulties are identified.
- Prioritising child’s difficulties from a professional point of view.
- Enabling your child to have input from different areas of expertise.
- Holistic care.
- Second opinions.
- Within service referral source with no waiting lists.
- Sharing relevant information so that you don’t have to.
- Many different professionals working toward the same goals to ensure you get the best possible service.
- Reduced stress and anxiety for the child and family.
- Reduced impact of eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty.