Communication and Language Development
Communication is complex, however its development does usually follow a typical pattern.
Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) consider a number of aspects of development, often referred to as the Pyramid of Communication. Each skill can only develop if the skills underneath it have been firmly established.
For example, a child needs to develop their attention and listening before they will be able to fully engage in play. Their understanding then develops through play. When understanding is developed, a child will be able to learn how to express themselves. Finally clear speech develops.
How do you know if your child has speech and language needs?
A child with speech and language needs might say something like:
"I find it hard to concentrate on what people are saying"
"It's hard to understand some of the words people say"
"I don't always know that someone is talking to me. I have to watch the other people at school to see what to do"
"I don't hear or remember everything people say to me. Sometimes I only remember the first or last bit"
"I can't understand when someone talks in long sentences"
"I know what I want to say, but can't get the words out"
"My sentences get in a muddle. I have lots of ideas, but I can't say them the right way"
"I can think of a good story but it goes wrong when I write it"
"My words sound funny sometimes. People don't understand what I say"
"I can't always hear the sounds in words"
"I want to join in with my friends but they are talking too fast"
"I don't really understand the rules of the game"
"I forget what we were talking about and talk about something else"
"I don't know what to say to people when I meet them"
"I get frustrated and angry"
"Reading and writing are difficult"
Online resources to help you check
There are a number of online resources you can use to see how your child is doing.
Talking Point Guides
Talking Point guides on how children develop speech and language at different ages, from 0-6 months to 11-17 years, and the skills you would expect
Talking Point Progress Checker
Talking Point Progress Checker which offers guidance on any support required