Speech, language and communication needs.
Speech, Language and Communication Needs, or SLCN, is quite common. It is estimated that around 10% of children starting school have SLCN – that’s approximately 2-3 in every classroom (afasic.org).
Children who have SLCN can have difficulty in a combination of areas or one. Despite a SLCN, all children have their own strengths and develop at their own rate however, SLC skills are paramount in a child’s ability to learn and socialise, the sooner these needs are identified, the sooner support can be implemented. An area of concern may be
• Receptive language- how the child comprehends and processes language.
• Expressive language- difficulties with verbal and written expression.
Children can have a SLCN due to a learning difficulty such as cerebral palsy, autism and ADHD. It may be because of a medical reason like a hearing impairment or because of a birth defect like cleft palate. Children may not be affected by any of these factors therefor it may simply be a case that they have not developed the necessary skills for effective speech and language.