What to do to support children and young people with identified speech, language and communication needs
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The resources here will help you reach the outcome: "I know what to do and have the resources to support young children with identified speech, language and communication needs."
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Balanced System for Schools and Settings
The Balanced System Scheme for Schools and Settings is a whole system approach to improving outcomes for children across the range of speech, language and communication needs for any setting that supports children. The framework enables a setting to understand existing need and provision for speech, language and communication and develop provision to address the gaps. The framework supports a setting to demonstrate impact of the support for speech, language and communication.
Tiny Happy People
Tiny Happy People BBC website provides a wide range of information, ideas and activities for you to use and signpost parents to use in daily routines to help develop young children's communication skills. The website is for parents of children aged up to 5 years, parents can choose information that is relevant to the age of their child. It includes information about what to expect and when as well as activities and games to play to help speech, language and communication. It includes information, ideas and activities for parents of young children with SEND.
NHS Services and support for parents
NHS website with details for how to find a GP, Health Visitor and child health clinics in your area
Nuffield Early Language Intervention
The Nuffield Early Language Intervention is a 20-week programme proven to help young children overcome language difficulties. It is designed for children aged 4-5 years and combines small group work with one-to-one sessions delivered by trained teaching assistants, targeting vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening and phonological awareness. The intervention has been evaluated in robust trials and found to be effective for improving children’s oral language skills as well as promoting longer-term progress in reading comprehension.
- The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) is designed to improve the spoken language ability of children in reception classrooms.
- It is targeted at children with relatively poor spoken language skills.
- Teaching Assistants are trained in how to develop children’s language skills.
- Clear lesson plans are provided to save preparation time.
- Materials for children are bright and accessible.
- Three 30-minute sessions per week are delivered to groups of five children during the Spring and Summer terms (20 weeks).
- Children also attend an additional two 15-minute individual sessions per week.
- All sessions focus on listening, narrative and vocabulary skills.
- Work on phonological awareness is introduced in the final ten weeks.
Information about accessing training to deliver the intervention is also available here.
Parent information, advice and resources - Worcestershire
The Worcestershire Speech and Language Therapy service website provides a comprehensive range of resources, advice and You Tube videos to help parents to support their child / young person at home.
Visit the website to find:
- Information about speech, language and communication
- Free resources you can download and use at home
- Links to our You Tube channel where you will find demonstrations of activities you can do at home
- Further information about the local team, where we work and what services we provide
I CAN Information for Professionals
I CAN is the children's communication charity which provides training and resources for professionals to develop knowledge, skills and strategies to support children's speech, language and communication skills and needs and links to further information.
Peep Communication and Language strand - evidence-based parenting programme for parents and children together to attend together. There is a focus on bonding, attachment and the quality of the home learning environment as well as a focus on communication and language. Parents have the opportunity to gain 3 credits towards NOCN Learning Together at home.
Peep Early Literacy Strand - evidence-based parenting programme for parents and children to attend together. There is a focus on bonding, attachment and the quality of the home learning environment as well as a focus on literacy. Parents have the opportunity to gain 3 credits towards NOCN Learning Together at home.
Black Sheep Press resources
Black Sheep Press produce a wide variety of resources for professionals and speech and language therapists working with children with speech and language needs. The resources have been devised by experts and include worksheets, assessments and apps. Resources are colourfully illustrated and come with clear guidance on how to use them. As well as assessment tools, the resources include activities to support speech sound development; attention and listening; vocabulary; word-finding; sentence structure; narrative structure and social skills.
Be face to face at the child's level
Getting down to the pre-school child's level and being face to face with them helps them to listen, concentrate and understand the message. It also helps you to see where their focus is and what they are trying to communicate. This simple video produced by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust shows why this is important.
Communication Supporting Classrooms Observation Tool
Developed as part of the Better Communication Research Programme (2012) following a review of provision for children with speech, language and communication needs, the audit tool is to be used when observing the quality of a learning space from Early Years through the first half of primary school. By auditing the environment, language learning opportunities and language learning interactions, practitioners will be more informed about what they are doing well and what else they could do to support 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 young 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.
Early Talk Boost
Early Talk Boost is a targeted intervention, delivered by a trained early years practitioner to a group of up to eight children aged 3-4 years old that have delayed language. The intervention helps to boost their language skills to help narrow the gap between them and their peers and includes two parent workshops; a tool to identify levels of need and measure progress; and resources to deliver the intervention. Training is available to practitioners who plan to deliver the intervention in their setting or school.
Word Aware 2 - Early Years
Word Aware 2 - Early Years applies theory to a practical and structured approach to teaching word learning. This is a highly practical, comprehensive resource designed to support you in the provision of effective vocabulary development in preschool children of all abilities.
Expansions - repeat and add
One way to help young children make longer sentences is to repeat and add a word or 2. Here NHS Tayside's Rhyming Robin and Chatty Charlie share information about how to do this as well as many other top tips for putting words together. Use these strategies in your setting and share with parents so that they can support their young child at home.
Labelling and Commenting
Using real word labels and commenting on what young children are interested in helps them to learn new words and understand how sentences work. Here NHS Tayside's Rhyming Robin and Chatty and Charlie share information about how to do this as well as many other top tips for learning words and developing language. Use these strategies in your interactions with young children you support and share with their families.
What Works database
The Communication Trust worked with the Better Communication Research Programme to develop the What Works database of evidenced interventions to support children's speech, language and communication. What Works is endorsed by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. It supports practitioners to deliver evidence-informed interventions and approaches to support children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.
Greater Manchester 10 Tips for Talking
The Greater Manchester (GM) 10 Tips for Talking are ten key messages to support the development of language and communication skills for babies and young children and can be used by everyone. Each tip is designed to give families and anyone working with children some small suggestions that can make a big difference and help give children the best start. Each message is based on sound research and is delivered by children.
The WellComm Assessment is for use with any child aged 6 months to 6 years and enables practitioners to evaluate children's language skills, draw up a detailed profile and identify children at risk of having difficulty in developing language skills. It identifies those children who need setting-based monitoring and support and those who need referral to specialist support services. The screen is completed through observation, discussion with families and screening by asking children to carry out a variety of tasks ensuring that results obtained and conclusions drawn are more accurate than using one approach alone.
The WellComm Big Book of Ideas has been designed for use following a WellComm assessment of any child aged 6 months to 6 years. It includes general strategies as well as very specific activities to develop and improve children's speech and language skills and can be implemented by any early years practitioner or parent using toys and items that can be found in settings or at home. The activities are used to develop the particular skills highlighted for support in the assessment - this means that the activities delivered are specific and appropriate to the individual child language development stage and can be used in the setting or at home.
Training videos are included in the toolkit.
CBeebies supporting speech and language difficulties
Discover what you can do to help your child learn to communicate with these strategies to help children make themselves understood and express their feelings.
The Hanen Centre
The Hanen Centre offers evidence-based interventions and professional development opportunities to early childhood education professionals. Their training programmes and interventions provide practical, naturalistic approaches for promoting the social, language and early literacy skills of preschool children.
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.
Talk Boost KS1 Intervention
Talk Boost KS1 is a targeted intervention for 4-7 year old children with language that is delayed. The programme is delivered in primary schools by classroom teachers and teaching assistants and provides a structured programme that boosts children’s progress in language and communication. It includes activities so that the intervention is supported in the home environment; a tool to identify levels of need and measure progress; and resources to deliver the intervention. Training is available to teachers and teaching assistants who plan to deliver the intervention in their school.
EYBIC Word Pack
Early Years Based Information Carrying Word Pack is a rich resource of beautiful pictures and interesting activities to help you assess and promote the vocabulary, speaking and listening of young children you work with through the principle of Information Carrying Words. The Information Carrying Words concept provides a structured framework which helps children increase the amount of information they can remember. At the same time EYBIC will develop their knowledge and language of everyday topics.
Slowing down when talking and singing helps young children to tune into the rhythm and the words adults around them are using. Slowing down also gives young children time to think about what they would like to say or do. This is one of a series of videos from Speech and Language Therapists from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust outlining strategies to support speech, language and communication development.
Talking Mats communication symbols tool is based on extensive research and designed by Speech and Language Therapists. It uses unique, specially designed picture communication symbols that are attractive to all ages and communication abilities and is used by clinical practitioners, carers and support workers in a wide range of health, social work, residential and education settings to increase children, young people and adults' capacity to communicate effectively about things that matter to them.
Lift Lessons Early Years
A fun and engaging method to teach children early verbal concepts and develop the spoken vocabulary of all children, including those with language learning difficulties.
Stoke Speaks Out - Out and About activity packs
Being out and about is a great opportunity for language learning! Download these free printable activity packs for ideas to support your child's speech and language and occupy their busy little minds while you're out and about.
Word Aware is a structured whole school approach to promote the vocabulary development of all children. The resource is of particular value for those who start at a disadvantage – including children with Developmental Language Disorder, Special Educational Needs and those who speak English as an additional language, but it will extend the word learning of all students. It includes activities that can be used in 1-1 or small groups for children who are finding word learning particularly difficult.
Clickety Books are fun books and resources to share with children to encourage development and will help children who may have difficulty with certain speech sounds. They have been developed by speech and language therapists to support the speech and language development of all children as well as those who need a little extra help. They include Early Sound Play resources that are built around stories - these stories are filled with particular target sounds, alliteration, rhythm and rhyme to develop early phonological awareness. The story books can also be used to develop vocabulary, sentence and narrative skills boosting children's literacy skills. Puppets are also available to help with the interactive book-sharing experience!
Speech Link is used to identify and support children with developmental speech sound difficulties. Launched in 2003, it is still used widely throughout the UK to help schools decide who needs to be seen by a Speech and Language Therapist and those at risk of literacy difficulties. Suitable for children aged 4 to 8 years, Speech Link helps demystify speech work and helps you to work effectively with children’s common speech sound errors.
Infant Language Link
Infant Language Link is an innovative online package used to identify and support children with mild to moderate SLCN and those new to English. The assessment will also identify any children who may have more severe language needs, such as Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), so that these children can be considered for further investigations and diagnostic assessment with your local Speech and Language Therapy team. Suitable for children aged 4 to 8 years, 500 colourful resources, 12 planned termly language groups, 24 individual teaching plans and 52 handouts for parents make this the most comprehensive SLCN package available for schools.
Learning more than one language
Many children grow up learning more than one language. This information leaflet from NHS Forth Valley provides you with useful information and top tips about what you and families can do to help young children on their way to being bilingual.
NLT Bilingual quick tips
The National Literacy Trust has produced a series of bilingual quick tips for parents and practitioners to help children develop good talking and listening skills. There are lots of different languages. Copies can be downloaded and shared with families.
- Say hello to your new baby
- Dummies and talking
- Talk to your baby and child in your own language
- Making the most of television
- Talking with your baby
- Sharing songs and rhymes
- Playing with your baby
'Colourful Semantics' was developed by Alison Bryan and is used by SLTs across the UK and beyond, to support spoken and written language development across a wide range of client groups.
Colourful Semantics – a practical resource is a Mac / Windows-compatible CD-ROM which uses this theory and provides a wide range of practical games, advice sheets and illustrations, to support the use of ‘Colourful Semantics’ with preschool and primary children across the curriculum.
The pictures are fun, the ideas are varied and the advice is practical. Resources can be printed off, copied and used for therapy by SLTs, Teachers and assistants to support expressive and receptive language targets. The disk is clear, easy to use and ready to go.
Language for Learning resources
Language for Learning aims to offer really practical strategies to support children in their early years or mainstream setting. They aim to share resources that they use and promote on our training courses, including national initiatives such as the Communication Commitment.
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.