Specialist Eating, Drinking and Communications Clinics

A chewingSymbol UK provide specialist assessment and advisory clinics at various venues. These are offered according to demand and are held regularly at Dickley Court in Kent, for children and young people who have eating and drinking and communication difficulties. We can also offer residential courses for young people with eating and drinking and communication difficulties and their families at Dickley Court.

Symbol UK are speech and language advisors to the Down’s Syndrome Association but we also work with a wide range of children and adults with eating and drinking and communication difficulties.

The service is evidence based and delivered in a child friendly setting by highly specialist speech and language therapists able to call on other specialist staff, including medical consultants, a behaviour specialist, a sensory occupational therapist and an alternative and an augmentative communication therapist as required.


Families, GPs, Speech and Language Therapists and schools are all able to refer to the specialist service, basic information should be included on the referral form supplied by Symbol and supplemented by available reports from other professionals working with the child.

The Assessment

After reviewing the information provided with the referral, the child and his or her family will be invited to one of our venues for an initial assessment with a team of two speech and language therapists, one of whom is a specialist in communication in children with Down’s syndrome and one who is specialist in dysphagia. This initial assessment generally takes two hours and will be followed by the provision of a report and a programme of advice.

Any follow up; telephone or face-to-face advice, review or referral to other specialists will be discussed at the initial appointment.


Symbol UK, is an independent company, voluntarily operating on a not for profit basis. We charge for assessments in order to cover our costs.

An assessment, as described above, including the provision of a report and programme costs £600. Some parents seek support in meeting these costs through local fundraising or national charities.

What families say

“Many thanks for seeing Anna last week, we really appreciated the session. It was well beyond our expectations – so comprehensive and informative.”