Child Development

The Importance of Early Identification of Speech, Language and Communication Delays and Disorders. What does it mean? Children and young people may have difficulties across one or many of the different elements of speech, language and communication resulting in a communication breakdown. This may be minor and temporary or it may be complex and long term. Early identification is critical to the child and their families as this should lead to further development and medical evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.Who is affected? * In the UK, over 1 million children and young people, that’s 2 – 3 in every classroom, have some form of long ad persistent speech, language and communication difficulty – this can affect them early, severely and for life. * Speech, language and communication disorders affect a significant portion of the global population, from stammering and lisps to dyspraxia and dysarthria, a variety of speech disorders exist which makes verbal communication difficult. Poor communication skills present as a significant public health issue and costs approximately ? 97000 per child (ICAN 2006) What do we know? * It takes the first 7 – 8 years of life to learn how to form all the different sounds correctly. * A Yougov poll undertaken by the communication trust of 349 teachers, found only 27% had received training around speech, language and communication – 81% said that they felt they would benefit from more training on this issue.What are the impacts? * 50 – 90% of children with persistent speech, language and communication disorders go on to have reading difficulties. * 2/3 of 7 – 14 year olds with serious behavioural problems have language impairments. * At least 60% of young people in young offender’ institutions have communication difficulties. Identification process!Early identification of speech, language and communication delays and disorders means that the child can sooner receive the right treatment and support to hopefully correct the problem, greatly increasing the chances of improving their skills and helping to get their development back on track as quickly as possible. Late identification of speech, language and communication delays and disorders can lead to problems with understanding or a child being able to express their own feelings, leaving them feeling angry or frustrated and causing them to act out and maybe develop behavioural problems.

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