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What are Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)?

About one in ten children who struggle to communicate have speech, language and communication needs. These skills are crucial for reading, learning in school, for socialising and making friends, and for understanding and controlling emotions or feelings.
A child with speech, language and communication needs may:
  • Have speech that is difficult to understand
  • Struggle to say words or sentences
  • Not understand words that are being used, or the instructions they hear
  • Have difficulties knowing how to talk and listen to others in a conversation
Your child may have some or all of these difficulties; each child is different.

Eight Children

In the UK today, over one million children have Speech, Language & Communication needs. Here, eight of these children talk about their lives.

Developmental Language Disorder


Alternative and Augmentative Communication

Cleft Palate and Velopharyngeal Dysfunction

Swallowing Difficulties (Dysphagia)

Hearing Impairment

Complex Needs