Speech and language

Speech is the ability to say the sounds that make up language (for example ‘c’, ‘t’, ‘sh’) clearly and accurately.

Language is about understanding (receptive language) and using spoken words (expressive language).

Children all develop at different rates.

What you can do

If your child is struggling with communication, you can get advice and support from:

  • your child’s health visitor, teacher or childminder.
  • Afasic – speech and language support and training for parents
  • Talking Point – free online speech, language and communication resources for parents.

What nurseries can do

Nurseries and childminders can provide additional support. They may refer your child to

Find out more about what to expect from your child’s nursery.

What schools can do

Schools can provide additional support. For example, some primary schools do Speech Link or Language Link programmes and some secondary schools do the Talk Fitness programme.

They may refer your child to ISEND Communication Learning and Autism Support Service or speech and language therapy from the Children’s Integrated Therapy Service.

Find out more about what to expect from your child’s school.