Impact of Speech and Language Difficulties on Development


22 Nov 2017

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Explain the impact that speech, language and communication difficulties can have on a child’s overall development.


The difficulties a child’s development can have are in many aspects of which are PSED (physical, social and emotional development), play, and literacy, maths, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.

Looking at PSED, it effect the side of self confidence, self esteem, sharing views, discussing anything, being part of an activity physically, being amongst a group of friends and making a decision.

Look at the from the view point of yourself, being a part of something where you are not able to contribute because you have a difficulty in SLC (speech, language and communication), it is just so hard to even be present there, you would just want to be in your own nutshell, but at the same time you want to study, achieve things, your friends laugh when you stammer, your friends bully or look down upon you or exclude in a very sly manner, these all are mental stress, emotional torture and withdraws oneself and hate builds.

Let us take play in consideration, how do u play football silently? It is just not practical, playing rugby, cricket, tennis, badminton, there is so much to cheer and applaud to, you will even feel ashamed of yourself and probably not engage because you are not as competent as the other? That is not fair on an individual. You are not able to play as a team; you cannot comprehend instructions or even relate to other children whilst playing such as pretend play or friendly match.

Now literacy and maths, these are educational subjects, you have to sit down, brainstorm, discuss, and ask for help, read, write, understand, solve problems and reason. When you are neglected, left alone, how do you cope? You might always avoid the library and group discussions because of your difficulty, on the other hand you can come out confident and tackle the situation come what may but within yourself, your own image, self confidence is extremely shallow, you may portray out very confident and self efficient, but within yourself it is a battle of struggle day in and out.

Expressive arts and design, these need creativity, expressions, depth of understanding, communication, body language, eye contact, communication through writing and verbal, you may be very good artist but if you communication is difficult how will people appreciate your very, yes of course sign language is a benefit factor which will assist you in promoting yourself, not many people understand sign language, value it nor appreciate it, so finding a group which upholds you despite your difficulties is another task.

In all, any learning difficulty has an adverse effect in a child life to achieve and excel not only in studies but also amongst friends, family, as most of those around will have the pity for you instead of empathy and such feelings do a lot of damage emotionally, mentally and socially.


Describe how practitioners can modify or adapt the communication to meet the needs of individual children.


Modify and adapt; change, accept and produce

Practitioners are able to modify and adapt in various ways; having an interpreter, having computers for visual text or pictures or visual learners, one to one support, more lightning, take work home to do with parents, calm background, imply and reinforce unity and helping each other amongst children, making sure to the best ability every child is happy, review particular child every week, build a team of students who help other children and ensure the team rotates so all the children get the chance, always smiling and positive feelings and thoughts and suggestions, use empathy and support.

Get professionals come in to meet child, encourage other children to engage with, working in partnership with parents, professionals and teacher becomes a strong triangle, use more visual aid, simple and clear statements, praise effort made by child, give time to listen, think, understand, go to the child’s pace, visual timetable, go down to child level and communicate, ask child to repeat what you have said, make learning fun and using simple words, you be the model of behaviour and language so other staff learn from you, being vigilant all the time, understand child and see what is the best way to communication, pictures, gestures, signing, written message and you continue to support.

The one thing I strongly believe in, no matter what one goes through, if you have the right mentor and support, you can travel and achieve a lot in may be a longer period of time but you will get there one day, also keeping in mind perseverance is very important in a very gentle, simple and comforting manner. If a child does not want to complete a task, explain the importance, show the child light at the end of a tunnel and do give a positive reward too such as sticker, play time with special toy, take for a walk, showing the work to the rest of the children and teachers and putting it on the board to.

All the support and one to one attention is not an easy task it takes a lot of patience, perseverance, calm nature, happy go lucky nature, sense of humour, and strong willed person, but remember the confidence, self esteem, bright future, success, achievement of that particular child will be a reward for the teacher that you were able to do something for someone which was of benefit to the person and enable them reach the skies.


Explain how practitioners can meet the communication needs of children who speak English as an additional language.


There are many methods to meet needs of English as second language, a few are;

  • special time for those children, a teacher takes children to a quiet room use pictures and say the item in their language and than in English and encourage them to repeat after you, just within their concentration span such as 5-10 mins, you keep building words like that.
  • Make sure you have the child’s attention when speaking to them and also you should be face to face with the child and mention their name to gain attention.
  • Another way could be having dual books, reading a book aloud, very simple words such as animals example; a cat- heesna (in Arabic), cath (in welsh), punai (in tamil ). It depends on which language the child is, normally they do speak little English but simple things like “mum coming”, “food”, “water”, “tired”, “read”, “well done”, “bye”, words which bring comfort to a child depending on age if you say to them in their language and than English they form a quick attachment and settle quickly too especially with little ones.
  • Making books with children using pictures, as you stick, you say in their language and English too such as; carrot- gajar, vegetable-sabzi, mango-aam, milk- doodh
  • Ask parents to write down a few words for you which you can use with the child on daily basis
  • Play games in a group and team, this will enable child learn English form other children, music and dance and rhyme too.
  • If any of the practitioners know the child’s language let them be the key worker
  • One must also keep a close watch on children and keep reminding of rules and boundaries, always come down to child level and explain and reinforce, nicely and calm.
  • Keep a positive body language, facial expression and continuous speaking in English at the same time reminding them in their own language so the child is rest assured and remains calm.
  • Use pictures to explain more if hard to comprehend, use writing skills, use gestures and remain in close partnership with parents and encourage using English at home.


Analyse the role that other professionals play in supporting the speech, language and communication needs of children


Every individual working in a field related to children is part and parcel of the team works, discussion and achievements with targets, of course some have a more specific target role but team work is what brings success.

One of the main professional to be consulted with this specific difficulty is Speech Educational Needs Co-ordinator, we must keep in mind to always consult parents, take their views, have a discussion and then involve other professionals. Considering the SENCO team, they will suggest a few things to parents such as visiting GP to refer to Speech and Language Therapist.

This professional will work hand in hand with parent/carer/nursery/school, pay home visits, carry out activities with child such as how can child express and analyse themselves, does the child understand instructions verbally and mentally, can the child respond clearly, how the child is engaging in play, carry out fun games and activities with child, response therapist received from child, behaviour of the child, skills the child uses for communication, will enquire about child strengths and what child enjoys and how much you know the child, will want a quiet session with child, would want to know about day to day experience and routine of child

The therapist will than record and analyse. Once all that is done the therapist will decide if it is going to be beneficial for the child and in what strategy needs to be used, the parent/carer will receive a feed back and carry on from there.

Giving children time and space, helps them grow, giving a child good listening ears and demonstrating good communication skills enables them to learn, we are the models of children around us so we must be very careful in our day to day behaviour, calling out the child’s name before you start speaking makes them concentrate and become attentive too, keeping words short and simple, remaining calm all the time, recasting to what children say such as; ‘ I am playing with car’ adult says ‘ yes, you are playing with your red speedy car’.

It is important to engage children in play with exploration, mental and written learning, creativity and brain storm, discussion and inventions and promoting togetherness when doing an activity, problem solving and sharing thoughts and ideas. Team thinks together, give items, set targets and achieve them. Each and every step in a child life is crucial, so how a child is dealt with, given replies for questions, asked questions, given space, explore and learn in their pace is important, of course parents should shadow and keep track but at the same time allow them to take risks and build confidence, independence, self esteem, self reliant and understanding too, keeping in mind safety of child and adult is a priority.



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