Our ability to communicate affects us in every aspect of our lives. Many children could be helped to communicate better and some children need really focused support to reach their full potential. No child or young person should be denied that opportunity.
Children with speech, language communication needs (SLCN) are at high risk of difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. When children can’t say words, they will be more likely to have difficulties in sounding them out as well. This negatively impacts their reading, spelling and writing skills. If children can’t understand the words they hear, they will struggle to understand what they have read.
Children with communication difficulties are more likely to have behaviour difficulties. Many children with identified behaviour needs have previously unidentified SLCN because they are naturally frustrated that they are unable to get their message across.
Some facts and stats
- In the UK, over 1 million children and young people – that’s 2 – 3 in every UK classroom – have some form of long term and persistent speech, language and communication difficulty. This can affect them early, severely and for life.
- In areas of poverty, over 50% of children are starting school with delayed communication skills. Their speech may be unclear, vocabulary is smaller, sentences are shorter and they are able to understand only simple instructions. Many of these children can catch up with the right support.
- 50-90% of children with persistent speech, language and communication difficulties go on to have reading difficulties.
- At least 60% of young people in young offender institutions have communication difficulties.
The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations. Working together we support everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication
Their work focuses on supporting children and young people who struggle to communicate because due to SLCN, as well as supporting all children and young people to communicate to their best ability.
The ability to communicate affects us in every aspect of our lives. Many children could be helped to communicate better and some children need really focused support to reach their full potential.
The Trust was founded by Afasic, BT, the Council for Disabled Children and I CAN. They recognised that in order to make a lasting impact for children and young people, particularly those with SLCN, we need to work collaboratively and collectively.
“Since 2007 we have brought together over 50 organisations, combining the efforts of the not-for profit sector and working constructively with Government and civil society to ensure positive outcomes for children and young people.”
Work in action
Our work focuses on supporting children and young people who struggle to communicate because they have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) as well as supporting all children and young people to communicate to the best of their ability.
The Big Changers
Maxine Burns, Speech and Language adviser at TCT and with over 20 years’ experience as a speech and language therapist. Maxine is experienced in working with secondary aged pupils in mainstream, alternative education and specialist settings.
Through their Early Voices program, The Communication Trust works with Health Visitors to bolster their knowledge and confidence in speech, language and communications issues.
Over 75% of participants in the program reported increases in knowledge and confidence in SLC development, including how to address SLC needs.
Read more about The Communication’s Trust’s impact to-date in their Impact Report.