About speech, language and communication needs

General information about speech, language and communication needs.

The profile for every child or young person with Speech, Language and Communication needs (or SLC needs) is different.

They may have difficulty with:

  • using clear speech (speech production)
  • finding words and structuring sentences to express themselves (expressive language)
  • understanding what others say (receptive language and / comprehension skills)
  • understanding or using social rules of communication and reading social interaction cues
  • fluency difficulties. For example, stammering.

Difficulties with SLC may lead to some children and young people feeling anxious or frustrated. This can then present as problems with behaviour, self-esteem and impact on social relationships with peers and adults.

English as an additional language (EAL)

Some children or young people use and understand English as an additional language. This does not necessarily mean that they have a speech and language difficulty. Different languages have different structures and sound systems.

These differences may lead to short term difficulties as part of usual language development. If a child or young person does have a SLC need and has English as an additional language, difficulties are likely to be experienced across languages.