Health visiting service: contact at 18 months

In Salford the Early Help Service and 0-19 Health Visiting Teams are working together to ensure your child and your family receive the best support available.

It’s now time for your child’s 18 month assessment which will be completed by an early help practitioner who is based at your local Family Hub. This assessment will identify your child’s strengths and also if they could benefit from any further support. The assessment is completed by yourself, because you are the one who knows your child best.

What happens at the assessment

During the 18 month assessment we are also looking at your child’s speech, language and communication development. We use a tool called a WellComm assessment which will help us identify whether your child could benefit from any further support. We can offer talking top tips and activities to help you support your child’s development in the home. We work closely with the speech and language team.

Additional support can be offered with home safety, managing behaviour, sleep concerns, feeding concerns, dental hygiene and more.

Early help practitioners can offer a support package for your whole family. We use the evidence-based Salford Family Partnership Model to help you achieve positive outcomes. We can offer advice and signpost to services for help with things such as housing, financial issues, relationships and wellbeing.

Speech advice

Ten tips for talking

1. When I am in mum’s tummy I can hear. I love to listen to your voice when you talk or sing to me. I even like to listen to your favourite music.

  • Hearing you helps me to recognise you and builds a bond between us. Voices and music that I know will comfort me when I am born.

2. Cuddle me close so I can see your face and talk to me as soon as I am born.

  • I love it when you talk in a high pitched, sing song voice. People all over the world talk this way to babies because it helps us to learn.
  • I might not be able to talk yet, but I will respond in my own way. I might look hard at your face, move my mouth when you talk or even wave my arms and legs. These all mean I am bonding with you.

3. Talk about things that interest me or tell me how you think I am feeling.

  • If I look or point at something, talk about that. This shows me that you understand me.

4. Don’t ignore me.

  • Grown -ups are experts in talking and I learn everything from you.
  • Put your phone down, turn off the telly and let’s have a chat.
  • I can hear you really well when it is quiet. I like to listen carefully to your talking. This will help me to become a good listener and a good talker.

5. I love it when we play, sing and read together.

  • We can play with anything it doesn’t have to be toys. We can make funny faces together or play with a cardboard box.
  • Follow my lead when I am playing. This lets me use my imagination.
  • Talk to me about what I am doing rather than asking questions. I will talk more when you do this.
  • Sharing stories together helps me to learn new words and ideas. I love it when we talk about the story as we turn the pages. Let me see the pictures too.

6. Talk to me all the time.

  • Talk to me when we are playing or doing everyday things like shopping, having a bath, nappy changing or eating tea.
  • It doesn’t matter if you say the same things over and over again, this is how I learn.

7. Play talking tennis with me.

  • Say something to me and then give me lots of time to respond.
  • It helps to count to 10 in your head before speaking again. This how I learn to take turns.
  • When I’m a baby I still like to play talking tennis. Watch out for my smiles, sounds and looks. This is my way of talking to you. As I get older, I will start to use words.

8. Teach me new words.

  • You can help me to grow my talking by repeating what I say and adding a new word or two.
  • This is how I learn to put words together. If I say “car” you could say ‘you’re pushing the car’ or “the car is driving”.

9. Take my dummy out when I am talking.

  • Dummies get in the way and stop me talking clearly.

10. Use the language you know best when you talk to me at home.

  • This will help my brain to grow and I will learn English quickly if I already know the words in our home language.

Other help

Sleep advice

Home safety

Feeding support


Being a parent

Other useful links

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