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Spotting the signs

Support for parents spotting the signs image of familyHow can parents spot the signs that their child may have speech, language and/or communication needs?

The development of speech, language and communication is very complex and, although there are a number of theories, no one knows exactly how we develop these skills or why these skills sometimes do not develop as expected. There may be a number of reasons. Sometimes there is a known cause such as a hearing impairment, a physical disability such as cerebral palsy or a learning difficulty. In other cases, however, there is no obvious reason.

It is important to remember that every child is an individual and will develop in different ways and at different rates.

talking point logo

If you have concerns about your child's speech, language and/or communication development, and would like to know what the signs are for a possible SLCN, a useful place to start is to look at the main stages of language development. A very helpful and comprehensive reference is at Talking Point (My Child) (External Website)  where you will see the sequence through which typically developing children gain skills in areas of language development.

As all children are different, these are meant as a guide only. The sections are organised into age groups to help you find the information that is most appropriate for your child.

Within each age group you will find:

  • Information about how children typically develop communication skills.
  • Tips for supporting language at this age.
  • Things to look out for - difficulties that some children have at these ages.

 For more information, refer to  'Initial Concerns and Early Warning Signs'

© Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire PCT 2011

Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

  • Afasic England
    Unlocking speech and language
  • Communication Trust
    Highlighting the importance of speech, language and communication across the children's workforce and to enable practitioners to access the best training and expertise to support the communication needs of all children.
  • Hello Campaign
    Here you will find what the Hello campaign is all about  
  • Language for Learning
    Provides courses and resources for staff from Early Years to Secondary Level and training and materials for trainers to deliver these courses within their own Authorities 
  • Speech and Language Therapy  
    Information from Worcestershire's NHS about speech and language therapy
  • Talk to your baby
    Encouraging parents and carers to talk more to children from birth to three
  • Talking Point
    The first stop for information on children's communication.

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This page was last reviewed 22 May 2013 at 10:49.
The page is next due for review 18 November 2014.