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Speech language and communication


Good communication is the gateway to learning, friendships, academic achievement and success at work.

  • Strong language and communication skills are linked to better outcomes in school and beyond.
  • Accessible lessons will lead to greater engagement and enjoyment by children and young people, thereby creating a motivation to learn.
  • Communication skills impact widely across all areas of development, on learning, behaviour, and social and emotional development.
  • By ensuring a focus on communication throughout school, you'll be helping all your pupils to communicate more effectively, including those who may struggle with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Understanding child development

What do I need to know?

As a parent you may wonder if your  child is developing in their speech and language skills at the expected rate.

Speech, language and Communication development takes place, at key milestone stages between the ages of birth to eight years old. Children also develop in their language skills throughout their whole school life.

How do I know if your child is meeting their development milestones?

How do I know if your child is on track to achieve the best they can throughout their school life?

If these questions are relevant to you, useful tools and information can be found to help you  assess your child’s language development through the following links.

You may also find the following links useful in supporting your child’s language development:

The Communication Trust:

I would like to know more general information about Speech, Language and Communication Development

You may find the following websites useful references for additional information:

Information for schools

The partnership between parents and the school can be paramount to ensuring your child receives the best possible support. Sharing of key information will give your child continuity and consistency of care, whatever the environment.

One Page Profiles

The partnership between parents and the school can be paramount to ensuring your child receives the best possible support. Sharing of key information will give your child continuity and consistency of care, whatever the environment.

A One Page Profile ensures personalised child centred planning. It is a summary of key information about a child including what we like and admire, what matters to them and how to support them.  The aim is that any practitioner across any partner agency can quickly gain an understanding of the child including their strengths and personality. For a young child it may be as simple as "What makes them happy". But most importantly it informs others about how your child likes to communicate e.g. signs or symbols.

Watch this video clip for a clear outline and inspiring overview of how its use can impact on each and every child in the school/ setting:

More details can be found in the Speech, Language and Communication Toolkit.

Additional support

Early Years and Education

Language 4 Life: A six week programme teaching parents key skills for developing their child’s speech, language and communication.

Elklan offer a wide range of training for Parents and Carers, visit their website for more information.

Speak to your child’s Nursery or School  in regard to specific support programmes and interventions they may run to support children to develop in Speech, Language and Communication. They may run some Wellcomm screening and development activities.

If your child is already at school, speak to you child's teacher to discuss referrals for additional support.

Accessing health services

I think my child needs to be assessed by a Speech and Language Therapist.

What steps do I take?

  • Speak to the practitioners or manager at your child’s nursery, your child’s teacher at school or to the Early Years Professional at your local children’s centre. They can support you with guidance and advice.

Hillingdon Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy service provides assessment, diagnosis and treatment for children with speech, language and communication difficulties, in addition to feeding and swallowing difficulties.


Last reviewed: 09/11/2017

Useful links


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