Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties
Speech and language difficulties is a blanket phrase used to describe a variety of issues such as a delay with phonology, stuttering, verbal dyspraxia and others.
Development of speech and language can vary hugely from child to child and is usually nothing to worry about. However, sometimes the development is delayed and there may be a need to explore further. Sometimes, a delay in speech and language skills is due to issues with hearing so this would be the first thing to check. Contact the GP for a hearing test.
Often, support and intervention from the school can positively impact a CYP's speech and language skills; do use some of the strategies detailed below to support. If concerns remain, it may be that a speech and language therapist (SLT) can be asked to assess. Talk to the SENCo if you think that a SLT assessment could be beneficial.
For further information and advice see here and here.
Struggles with using content and vocabulary effectively
Use vocabulary specific to the topic
Introduce CYP to new key words as soon as possible
Make grammatical links by learning a word with other nouns, verbs and adjectives
Give visual cues for key words
Phonology (speech sounds)
Use a phonics sequence; say it, clap it out, write it
Ensure the CYP can hear the beginning and end sounds before moving on to the middle sounds of words
Use syllable recognition to help with pronunciation
Not able to follow instructions
Make sure the CYP knows you are talking to them
If asking a question, use their name
Allow CYP plenty of time before expecting a response
Break down instructions into small steps
Difficulty with concepts
Try to ensure the CYP has a direct experience of a conceptual link before using it
Reinforce conceptual links using multi- sensory approaches
If a CYP makes a linguistic error, give feedback in the correct form without pointing out the mistake
Reinforce self corrections with praise
Working with others
Encourage a peer support group or small group of trusted friends for student to do group work
Encourage an atmosphere where students are not afraid to ask for clarification