Language and communication difficulties
Most children who have delayed speech and language attend their local childcare provision. Support and training is available for the setting from the early years advisory team and from your child's speech and language therapist (if they have one). If your child is attending speech therapy sessions it's really important to share this information with your child's childcare provider. It would also be useful for staff to see copies of reports and therapy plans as they can then make sure your child is working on developing their speech and language at the setting too. If you have any concerns about your child's speech and language development it is important to speak to someone about it as early as possible. You can speak to your health visitor or GP or go to an Advice Clinic at your local Children's Centre to speak to a speech therapist.
The Wye Valley NHS Trust speech and language therapy service provides assessment and intervention for children and young people with speech, language, voice, communication and feeding or swallowing difficulties. This is to reduce the impact of these difficulties on their wellbeing and their ability to participate in their everyday lives. You can find advice clinics for pre-school children on the Wye Valley NHS Trust website
Language Steps is a 10 week course for pre-school children (aged 2-3 years old) and their parents/carers. Only four to six children attend each Language Steps and the group takes place at a number of venues around the county. Children must have been referred to Speech and Language Therapy and the therapist must agree that the child meets the criteria. This may be via an initial screen following referral or via attendance and subsequent referral to Speech and Language Therapy at the advice clinics at each Children's Centre. The group runs twice a week, for 10 weeks (20 sessions in total). Parents and carers are expected to attend 6 out of the 20 sessions. Read more in the Language Steps leaflet.
Child Development Centre: Language group
Children within their pre-school year whose language is severely delayed or disordered can access this specialist group provided within a communication friendly environment. The group provides intensive intervention to meet needs arising from the child's specific speech and language difficulties. Children will be assessed formally and informally and reviewed termly by the speech and language therapist and class teacher in conjunction with parents. The child's transition into school will be supported through the group in liaison with pre-schools, schools and parents. For further information download the language group criteria. You can also download information about speech, language and communication needs.
View our early years support for children with speech, language and communication difficulties page, to see how the people working with your child will work to identify and support these difficulties. You'll also find helpful resources you can use with your child. The national charity ICAN - a national charity for speech language and communication needs can provide additional support and guidance.