Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others, either because they find it difficult to understand what others say or because they have difficulties with fluency and forming sounds, words and sentences. It may be that when they hear or see a word they are not able to understand its meaning, leading to words being used incorrectly in or out of context and the child having a smaller vocabulary.
The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives. Specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or a physical or sensory impairment such as hearing loss may also lead to communication difficulties. Those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) cover the whole ability range.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
For some children and young people, difficulties may become increasingly apparent as the language they need to understand and use becomes more complex. Children with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction and making sense of the world in the way others do. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others. In addition they may be easily distracted or upset by certain stimuli, have problems with change to familiar routines or have difficulties with their co-ordination and fine-motor functions.