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Speech, Language and Communication Support

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.

Specially trained staff at our family hubs may be able to support you in the first instance click here to find your local family hub.

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 five year old, 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. The I CAN Enquiry Service is free and gives parents, carers and practitioners the chance to discuss questions and concerns about a child's speech, lanaguage and communication development wiht one of I CAN's speech and language therapists. 

Their Talking Point resource gives parents and carers the information they need to help children develop their speech, language and communication skills.

They also have 4 films narrated by the comedian Kathy Burke, full of useful advice about how to encourage your child to talk and interact with you. 

A handy Small Talk booklet is also available either as a free download or a physical edition. It gives information about how to help children aged 0-5 learn to talk and listen, how to tell if they are on the right track, and what to do if you have concerns about your child. 

Listen Up 0-5 includes a card game with fun activities and advice on how parents and early years workers can best use this resource. 

The Other Ways of Speaking booklet is a particularly useful resource if you live or work with children or young people whose speech is difficult to understand, or those who have no speech. Find out how you can help support them and where to go for further information.

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. 

Raa Raa The Noisy Lion are television programmes designed for 2-4-year-olds. The series explores children's communication skills using Raa Raa's 4 Rs - repetition, rhyme, rhythm and retelling.

LuCiD - The ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development is a 5-year research collaboration working with partners from across the world to transform our understanding of how children learn to communicate with language.

Help Your Baby Learn to Talk | 0 to 6 Months | Start4life (www.nhs.uk)

Useful YouTube clips:

Let’s Get moving with Action Words
Supporting Early Interaction and Communication
Helping your child understand language: one information carrying word
Visual supports

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