I can find out more to develop my knowledge and skills to support children and young people with specialist speech, language and communication needs
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Language for Learning training
Language for Learning provides training and resources to support all those working with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. They provide training to the wider workforce in early years settings and schools, equipping practitioners to support children and young people effectively. There is a training for trainers programme where they train speech and language therapists and specialist teachers to deliver Language for Learning training courses in their local area.
Speech, Language and Communication Framework
This professional development tool outlines the key skills for staff working with children to support and develop speech, language and communication skills. It consists of 2 elements, a self-assessment tool and Universal level learning modules. The self-assessment tool enables practitioners to map their confidence, knowledge and skills in supporting speech, language and communication and identify areas for development. The learning modules provide opportunity for practitioners to develop their knowledge in supporting speech, language and communication. A group function is also available to enable audit of a cohort of practitioners to inform training plans.
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.
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
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.
Afasic Is your school a communication-friendly school?
This 28-page booklet for mainstream school staff is full of information which is specifically targeted at those children who have speech and language difficulties although many of the ideas will also benefit the whole school community.
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.
Course Beetle SLCN training
Course Beetle is a provider of workforce training within Education, Health and Social Care and specialise in training which supports practitioners to deliver evidence-based approaches and interventions for anyone with speech, language and communication needs or learning disabilities. Course Beetle Trainers are experienced and knowledgeable and are fully licensed to deliver the courses they offer. Training includes a wide range of CPD masterclasses and courses that be accessed by individuals or organisations. Training in Hanen, Talking Mats and Makaton can be found here.
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.
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
The RCSLT support speech and language therapists by providing leadership, setting professional standards, facilitating research and promoting better education and training. They are the professional body for people working in or studying speech and language therapy in the UK.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC regulate health and care professions including Speech and Language Therapists. They do this by setting standards for professionals' education, training and practice; keep a register of professionals who meet their standards and take action if professionals on their register do not meet their standards. Here you will find their register.
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.
Elklan courses are delivered by licensed tutors across the UK. The evidence-informed courses are aimed at practitioners to support their knowledge about how to support children's speech, language and communication. Elklan have also developed a range of courses for parents.
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.
A range of information to support use of argumentative and alternative communication approaches. This include the “Focus On…” series of eight leaflets cover topics related to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). They are available in print copy and as downloadable PDF files.
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.
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.
Training to use Talking Mats communication symbols tool which 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.
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.
Alternative/augmentative communication system. PECS consists of six phases and begins by teaching an individual to give a single picture of a desired item or action to a “communicative partner” who immediately honours the exchange as a request. The system goes on to teach discrimination of pictures and how to put them together in sentences. In the more advanced phases, individuals are taught to use modifiers, answer questions and comment.
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.
Information about a variety of Makaton training options including online; face to face and inhouse workshops. This page also provides information about the different levels of training that Makaton offer.
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.