Speech and language difficulties
The ability to use and understand language is essential for all children too. Children learn language in such a short space of time and this is why the pre-school years are so crucial - with parents and early years workers playing a vital role in encouraging children's communication development.
Problems with speech and language are the most common developmental difficulty that children encounter. Studies indicate that as many as 1 in 10 children in the UK have speech and language difficulties, and these are particularly prevalent in the early years.
But what types of speech and language problems do children suffer from:
- Understanding spoken language
Children may have difficulty with understanding the meaning of words and concepts. They may have problems following instructions, understanding games and tasks, and making sense of what is being said to them.
- Spoken language
Children may have problems with using language. They may have difficulty with words or sentence structure. They may struggle to express themselves in play and activities or tell people how they feel.
- Speech sound production
Children may have problems with the intelligibility of their speech - they may have a reduced number of sounds available to them and difficulty making particular sounds in simple or longer words. They may not be easy to understand when they speak or reluctant to speak for fear of not being understood.
- Attention and listening
Many children who have speech and language difficulties have problems with listening to spoken language (often when their hearing is okay). They have difficulty concentrating on a task and listening to adult instructions.
- Social skills
Children's development of social skills, their sense of self and others, and their ability to form relationships and learn can all be affected by speech and language problems.
The following resources concentrate on specific sounds within words.
Start of Words
Middle of Words
End of Words
Minimal Pairs - Words that sound similar, but might have different or similar spellings.
Speech and Language Ideas
YouTube videos from Bryony Rust to support Speech Development a Speech and Language Therapist - SALT By the Sea.