Afasic - what causes SLCN

Speech, Language and Communication Needs can occur as a result of hearing loss, general developmental needs or as part of a disability or medical syndrome, such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or Autistic Spectrum Condition.

Difficulties with talking can also present as a child’s main area of need but without an obvious cause. You may become aware of this if your child is late to talk.

Help and information

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The majority of children, who are late to talk, do not develop persisting difficulties with talking. It is important to distinguish late talkers who go on to ‘catch up’ from children who go on to have persistent difficulties so that appropriate help can be put in place as soon as possible.

The risk factors for persisting problems include:

  • A family history of difficulties with talking or reading and writing and
  • A child having difficulties understanding what others say.

If you are concerned that your child may be late to talk, please seek advice from your Health Visitor, GP and/or your local speech and language therapist. Find out more about who can help.

Whatever the cause or contributory factors, getting the right help is most important. Try not to dwell on why your child has difficulties and whether you could have prevented them. Concentrate on how your child’s needs are affecting their life and what can be done to get the right help for your child.