Afasic Cymru

Supporting parents with children who have difficulties talking and understanding.

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Find out what SLCN means

Find out what SLCN meansSLCN is often used as an umbrella term and it stands for Speech, Language and Communication Needs.

A child or young person with SLCN:

  • May have difficulty understanding language
  • May have difficulty learning and remembering words, and putting words together to make sentences
  • May have difficulty articulating speech clearly
  • May have difficulty using language appropriately in context

Children and young people with SLCN may experience some or all of the above difficulties, each person is different.

Speech, language and communication skills are crucial for reading, learning in nursery, school and college, for socialising and making friends, and for understanding and controlling emotions or feelings.

Difficulties in communicating

Learning to speak

How to tell if your child is a late talker – and what to do about it. Read the useful advice from The Hanen Centre

Persisting SLCN may present as a child or young person’s main difficulty or it may be associated with other conditions such as autism, deafness or learning disabilities.

It may be hard to spot when a child or young person has SLCN. Instead of communication difficulties, people may see children struggling to read, showing poor behaviour, having difficulties learning or socialising with others.

SLCN may only come to light in secondary school due to increasing social and academic demands. In some young people, their difficulties appear to resolve during primary school only to re-emerge during secondary school.

There is a rising incidence of SLCN with a 58% growth over the last five years in numbers of school-age children with SLCN as their primary special need (Jean Gross, Communication Champion 2011).

You may also find useful:

The impact of SLCN
Parent case studies
RALLI support videos