Help for children with SLI
Children with speech and language impairments (SLI) need to be taught the speech, language and social communication skills which other children learn naturally. The best results are achieved if such extra help is introduced as early as possible. Within this framework every child has his or her own individual needs:
- Most children with speech and language impairments need speech and language therapy
- They will also need specialised teaching
- Some require access to signing in order to develop their communication and literacy skills
- Others may need alternative means of communication – for instance, voice boxes or symbols
- A number of children with severe difficulties need help throughout their school life and beyond.
It is important that teachers, therapists and parents work closely together to meet the needs of each individual child.
Speech and language therapy
Most children with speech and language impairments need speech and language therapy. Speech and language therapists can undertake assessments to identify difficulties which a child may have.
A few facts about speech and language therapy -
- Parents can refer their child to a speech and language therapist. do not need a referral from a GP. Details of speech and language therapy services can be obtained from local NHS trusts.
- A child who requires long-term speech and language therapy may require a statement of educational needs
- The law in most cases regards speech and language therapy for children as an educational provision. It can be provided or funded by a local education authority (LEA) as well as by a health trust.
Professor Dorothy Bishop discusses the relationship between late-talkers, late bloomers, and specific language impairment.
For further information about help and services for children with speech and language impairments, contact the Afasic helpline.