Speech, language and

Being able to communicate with others is essential to our lives. We all need to be able to interact with others and be able to express what we like and don’t like, how we feel, what we need and to be able share experiences and knowledge.

Learning to communicate starts at birth and continues to develop throughout our lives. Communication skills are needed for us to be able to learn and achieve in and enjoy life.

This starts from birth by learning how to interact with our care givers without words.

Foundations of communication and interaction

Understand how children learn non-verbal and verbal communication skills

The language pyramid shows the skills we need to learn to become articulate functional communicators.

Skills at the bottom have to be in place before the skills above them can be developed.

What things can help a child

There are certain things that any parent or family member can do to help a child right from their birth. As the child gets older, additional things will help.

We have provided below a range of different tips, advice and sources of information that we know can help into different age ranges:

Baby and toddlers

Birth to
2 years 6 months

Pre-school children

2 years 6 months to
4 years

School age children

4 years to
16 years

Teens and young adults

16 years to
25 years

If you know of something else that would be useful to add to this list, please let us know.

Learn more

Encouraging early development

Activities to encourage and expand early speech and language in your child.

Attention and listening

Ideas and activities to help your child to learn to wait, share and take turns.

Developing understanding

The understanding of words forms a foundation for learning to speak.

The importance of play

Why play is important to the development of speech and language skills.

Eating and drinking

Helping your child learn to swallow successfully.

Topic specific videos

Videos to help develop a range of skills.

Handbook for staff

The questionnaire and tool used by Heath Visitors.

SLCN Toolkit

Professionals across the borough will be able to use a toolkit of resources and information to support pupils with SLCN.

Apps to download

Applications for speech and language for tablets and smartphones, both free and charged.

If you’re noticing something

Parents are often the first one to notice is something is ‘not quite right’ or if their child is developing any particular tendencies. 

We have a range of advice and support available for those that need it.

More complex concerns

If your child has more complex needs or if they already have a particular diagnosis, our specialist support will provide tailored help.

Useful links


Information and support for children with speech and language impairments, and their families.


Applications for speech and language for tablets and smartphones, both free and charged.

Speech and Language UK

Applications for speech and language for tablets and smartphones, both free and charged

Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists

The professional organisation for speech and language therapists.


Screening, assessment, intervention and support.

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