Speech, language and communication are all heavily dependent on each other. We develop and use all three in combination.Speech, language and communication underpin everything we do – making our needs known, expressing our likes and dislikes, interacting with others and building relationships.
We often take these skills for granted, but many children struggle to communicate. They have speech, language and communication needs or SLCN.
A child with speech, language and communcation needs:
SCLN can be put into these categories in the classroom. They are receptive language, expressive language, social communcation and speech. Children may have just some or all of these difficulties; they are all different.
Speech, language and communication are crucial for reading, learning in school, socialising and making friends and understanding and controlling emotions or feelings.
SCLN is often called a hidden difficulty. Many children with SLCN look just like other children and can be just as clever. This means that instead of communication difficulties people may see children struggling to learn to read, showing poor behaviour, having difficulties learning or socialising with others. Some children may become withdrawn or isolated. Their needs are often misinterpreted, misdiagnosed or missed altogether.
One place where speech, language and communication play a critical role is the learning environment. The language we might use might be simple to us. But how can it come across to the pupil? Children need to make friends, understand non-verbal feedback, listen to instructions, give instructions, recall information – the list is endless.
If you would like to try any of these at home ask your child’s class teacher if they have any copies that can be sent home or check it out on the internet (lots of teachers resouces are found online!).