Information and sources of advice for professionals supporting 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 information to give parents and families of young children where there are concerns about their speech, language and communication."
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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.
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.
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.
Reduce screen time
Screens can often distract both children and adults from every day interactions and communication. This video from Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust provides key messages for you to share with parents about reducing their and their child's screen time to increase opportunities for playing, talking and interacting together.
Switch off and talk
The average 3-4 year old spends 27.5 hours each week watching TV, using the internet or playing electronic games. Reducing this will be support your child’s communication skills. This webpage and leaflet provides families with information about why this is important.
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
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
Hear Glue Ear
A free, award-winning app, designed for children experiencing hearing loss due to glue ear.
The Hear Glue Ear app is a valuable tool to help families manage their child’s glue ear at home. Glue ear is one of the most common childhood conditions in children aged 2-6, and the concern is that some young children with persistent or recurrent glue ear might struggle to develop speech, language, listening, and social communication skills.
Cost: Free App
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.
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.
Afasic About Talking
Afasic supports parents and carers with young children who have difficulties with listening, talking and understanding others. Here you will find information about:talking, listening and understanding; the terms used to describe these skills; how to recognise if your young child may have difficulties in these areas; some of the terms used to describe types of difficulties; what might cause these difficulties and the impact that this may have on their development
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 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.
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.
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.
Children's Centres give help and advice on child and family health and parenting. Use this link to find a Children's Centre close to you.
Speech and Language UK Ages and Stages
This is a guide to the typical stages of speech and language development in children. Children develop language at different rates. However, understanding what is typical can help you identify speech and language problems early. This page also provides information about how to support children's development.
I CAN How to support your child
This information for families provides ideas for them to support their pre-school child and forms part of Speech and Language UK's guide to the typical stages of speech and language development. Young children develop language at different rates and understanding what is typical and what parents and carers can do to support their young children's communication and language helps provide them with a great start.
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.
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.
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 & £
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.
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.
Top Tips for Talking
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.
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.
CBeebies supporting speech and language difficulties
Ideas for parents and carers to help their child learn to communicate. This webpage provides a range of strategies to support families to help their child make themselves understood and express their feelings.
Family Information Service
Your local Family Information Service (FIS) provides a range of information on all services available to parents, including parents of disabled children.
Makaton sign and symbol resources
These free Makaton resources are available for you to access and use to support communication with young 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.
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.
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.
Developing Joint Attention
Birmingham Community Healthcare Speech and Language Therapists have produced this video to show you how to help develop your child's joint attention - this means being able to focus on the same thing as you at the same time. How to help your child developing joint attention through play is broken down to help you easily understand what to do step by step.
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.
Creating Opportunities to Communicate
Birmingham Community Healthcare Speech and Language Therapists have produced this video to show you how to make small changes throughout the day to increase a child's opportunities to communicate and have a reason to communicate.
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.
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.
TCT Don't Get Me Wrong
Information about identifying speech, language and communication needs including a checklist of 35 indicators helps to identify if a child may have difficulties with their understanding of spoken language, the meaning of their message, function or reason for communication including pragmatics and social communication. Use to support your understanding and assessment of a child's needs and share with parents and carers who are concerned about their child. Download here: Don't Get Me Wrong
BBC Something Special
Something Special uses songs, rhymes and visual humour with Makaton sign language to help practitioners and parents learn how to support communication with signing in a fun and exciting way.
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!
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.
Speech Link Parent Portal
The Speech Link Parent Portal offers advice, information and activities for you to share with families so that they know how to develop their children’s understanding, talking and listening. It includes information about speech, language and communication, how these skills develop, activities and top tips videos.
Speech and Language Chatter Matters
This series of videos for parents and carers outlines how speech, language and communication skills develop; what families can do to support their baby; how these skills develop over time; children with speech and language needs and how to access information and support.
Speech and Language UK Learning to Talk, Talking to Learn
This series of videos for practitioners helps you to understand your role in supporting speech, language and communication development. The videos cover: the importance of communication; early years observations; how children learn to talk and activities that help. It includes built in exercises to support and reinforce your learning.
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
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.