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Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Speech, language and communication needs are difficulties that can be experienced by children and young people of all ages, from preschool through to young adulthood.

Who to talk to if you're worried about your child's speech and language

If you're concerned about your chlid's speech, language or communication talk to your Health Visitor or GP. 

If your child attends an early years setting you can also speak to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. If your child is at school speak to their teacher or Special Educational needs Co-Ordinator.

Your child may be affected in different ways and a referral to The Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT) may be required.

Speech, language and communication support in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Educational settings in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole follow a Graduated Response to ensure they are providing the right level of support for children and young people with special educational needs, including communication and interaction needs.

Details of the approach taken to support children and young people can be found in the Graduated Response and Toolkit.

The BCP Council Early Help Programmes Team provide a range of programmes to support families with under 5's, including those focused on communication, language and literacy. You can find details of the programmes hereContact your local Family Hub to find out more.  

Further information and support

If you're at the early stages of finding out about speech, language and communication needs, you might find the document titled Information about Speech Language and Communication Needs listed under Helpful Publications useful. 

The Communication Trust have also produced a number of resources for parents including a guide entitled Misunderstood which can be found in the Downloads section.

I CAN is the Children's Communication Charity, offering a range of practical support for parents and professionals. Their Talking Point resource gives parents and carers the informaiton they need to help children develop their speech, language and communication skills. 

STAMMA provide support and information on stammering.  

AFASIC have a range of resources and a parent helpline. 

Hungry Little Minds has a range of fun activities to help develop communication skills in children aged 0 to 5. 

The National Literacy Trust also have resources for families and teachers. 

The BBC's Tiny Happy People has tips, advice and activities for developing language and communication skills. 

Dorset Speech, Language and Communication Transformation Project

Your local NHS, BCP Council and Dorset Council are working together to make speech, language and communication better for young people. The project is at the stage of co-designing how speech, language and communication can be improved. 

To find out more and get involved, read the latest newsletter in the downloads section, view the project road-map and visit the website