Information and sources of advice for professionals supporting children and young people with more complex speech, language and communication needs
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The resources here will help you reach the outcome: "I know what specialist information to give parents and families of children with identified speech, language and communication needs."
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The British Stammering Association, now known as Stamma since 2019, is a national organisation for children who stammer and their families. It also provides information, advice and support for professionals working with children who stammer.
Dyspraxia Foundation provides information and advice for families and professionals supporting children with verbal dyspraxia.
Attention Autism is an intervention model designed by Gina Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities. It has been designed to help parents and professionals give their autistic child an irresistible invitation to learn, having fun whilst doing so and providing the child with an experience worth communicating about. Training is available for both professionals and parents.
The Speech and Language UK Enquiry Service gives parents a chance to discuss questions or concerns about their child’s speech, language and communication development with one of Speech and Language UK’s speech and language therapists. The therapists can give helpful information about children’s talking and communication development as well as tips on improving these skills. They can also offer advice on ages and stages and what can be done to help the child get the right support.
Speech and Language UK's progress checker provides parents with short questions they can answer to see how their child is getting on with their speech, language and communication development.
Using visual support
Parents play a key role in supporting their child's language and communication skills in everyday life. Children learn about the world through their experiences and interests particularly within their play. Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust provide information and opportunities for families learn more about developing their child's speech and language - this video introduces how to use visual support to help communication.
Afasic supports parents and carers with young children who have difficulties with listening, talking and understanding others. Here is information for you use and to share with families of the children you support. It includes a wide range of information about talking, listening and understanding and what might cause these difficulties. If families are worried that their child is not talking or not saying as much as other children of their age, they can contact Afasic by telephone or email to speak to someone who can help.
Afasic Parent Helpline
If a parent is worried about their child / young person's speech, language and communication, share this Afasic helpline information so that they can speak to someone who can help by telephone or email.
I CAN How to support your child
This information for families provides ideas for them to support their child and forms part of Speech and Language UK's guide to the typical stages of speech and language development. Children develop language at different rates and understanding what is typical and what parents and carers can do to support communication and language helps provide them with a great start.
Signalong provides training and resources to assist those with communication difficulties and English as an additional language.
Signalong is a key word sign-supported communication system based on British sign language and is used in spoken word order. It uses speech, sign, body language, facial expression and voice tone to reference the link between sign and word.
Cost: Free & £
Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is diagnosed when children struggle to develop language, resulting in children who have difficulty understanding what people say to them, and struggle to articulate their ideas and feelings. This website provides you with information and resources to help identify and support children with DLD. Information can also be shared with families and carers of children with DLD.
Afasic My Child Isn't Talking and I'm Worried
Children develop and learn to talk at different rates – some more slowly or quickly than others. However, there are key milestones parents can look out for and it can help them to know how talking develops, what happens and when. Here Afasic provides information for you to share with parents on: identifying who can help; first steps to getting help and support; gathering information and keeping a record and questions to ask professionals.
The Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) provides information and a contact point for members of the public searching for an Independent Speech and Language Therapist. It also provides members with access to a UK network of SLTs and ongoing professional support.
Makaton sign and symbol resources
These free Makaton resources are available for you to access and use to support communication with children. These symbols and signs, which can also be shared with families, help you to provide extra information and clues about what you are saying as well as support the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening and understanding.
EarlyBird Plus Programme
EarlyBird Plus is a support programmes for parents and carers, offering advice and guidance on strategies and approaches to working with young autistic children aged 4-9 years. The programme works on understanding autism, building confidence to encourage interaction and communication, and understanding and supporting behaviour.
Teen Life Programme
Teen Life is a support programme for parents and carers, offering advice and guidance on strategies and approaches to working with autistic children and young people aged 10-16 years. The Teen Life programme aims to empower parents and supporting professionals to understand more about how autism is experienced by autistic teenagers.
DLD and Me: Supporting Children and Young People with Developmental Language Disorder
DLD and Me is a functional, engaging resource for children and young people with DLD and the professionals and families that work with them. The book consists of an easy-to-follow, 12-week programme designed to help children and young people understand their strengths, what makes them different, what DLD is and how they can support their own communication in everyday life.
Engage with Developmental Language Disorder
Engage with Developmental Language Disorder (E-DLD) connects people affected by DLD to academic research. E-DLD keep families and individuals updated on research findings; current research projects; DLD-related activities. They also host events, allowing members to meet and share experiences. E-DLD supports researchers and other professionals working to improve outcomes for people with DLD.
Signs and Symbols
Widgit provides symbols that can be used to support communication making information, documents and resources to be more accessible and inclusive. The symbols can be used for a variety of purposes such as creating communication books to share information; visual timetables to support understanding of structure and routine; task boards to support independent learning; pictures to develop vocabulary and to support children learning English as an additional language.
This website has information to support your understanding of how to use symbols including training resources, events and links to a network of organisations around the UK who offer advice and support.
There is also information for parents and carers to help them understand how they can use symbols to support their child.
Cost: £9/month upwards
Helping social communication development
Parents play a key role in supporting their child's language and communication skills in everyday life. Children learn about the world through their experiences and interests particularly within their play. Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust provide information and opportunities for families to learn more about developing their child's speech and language including this presentation about social communication.
Michael Palin Centre for Stammering
The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering helps children, young people and adults who stammer through individually-tailored therapy delivered by highly experienced specialists.
Action for Stammering Helpline
Action for Stammering Children (ASC) is a UK charity which aims for a society where children and young people who stammer have the same opportunities and quality of life as their peers. Their goal is to ensure that every child and young person across the UK who stammers has access to effective services and support to help them meet the challenges they face. Call their helpline to speak to a professional who will be able to answer your questions.
SMIRA became a UK Registered Charity in 1992, having been set up initially to support families with selectively mute children. Here you will find further information, advice and resources for you to share with parents and carers to help them understand and support their child.
Now and Next Boards
Birmingham Community Healthcare Speech and Language Therapists have produced this video to show you how to use a 'now and next' or 'first and then' board to help your child understand what is going to happen next and to encourage them to do what you want them to do. It explains how using pictures can help if children are having difficulties with language.
Using Objects and Sensory Cueing
Birmingham Community Healthcare Speech and Language Therapists have produced this video to show you how to use objects and sensory cueing to link words, objects and routines. This helps children prepare for and anticipate what is going to happen next; supports language development; supports them to become engaged in a variety of daily routines.