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"Understanding more about how speech and language problems affects a child's development is essential for parents."

Diane, Glasgow mum

Learn about SLCN

Children who learn and think differently often have problems with speech, language and communication. Their struggles with language may be a primary difficulty or an element of their neurodivergence.


The world of speech and language is complex and it’s best to explore how your child’s individual needs can be best supported.

SLCN is an umbrella term that is often used for children who struggle with language and communication. 

There is a lot of different terminology used which can be confusing. 

SLCN umbrella

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)
Language Difficulties
Learning Difficulties
Down Syndrome

Language Delay
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Cerebral Palsy

We are covering SLCN but do chat to us if you need some help understanding what’s going on with your child’s diagnosis or difficulties. 


Speech, Language, and Communication Needs (SLCN) encompass a range of difficulties that affect a child's ability to understand and/or express themselves effectively. It is crucial to recognise and address these needs to support children and their families in their communication development. SLCN can vary in severity and presentation, making it important to understand the trajectory of these disabilities and the potential challenges faced by individuals. 


SLCN encompasses a spectrum of difficulties that can affect children's language development, social interaction, and overall communication skills. This spectrum includes conditions such as developmental language disorder (DLD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), among others. It is essential to note that not all children with SLCN have a formal diagnosis, as many may struggle with language difficulties within their communities without a specific label. 

Recognising the Importance of Identification and Support: 

Identifying and providing early intervention for children with SLCN is crucial for optimal development. Research consistently shows that early recognition and intervention can have a significant positive impact on a child's language skills, social interactions, educational attainment, and overall well-being. 


The trajectory of SLCN varies widely among individuals. Some children may experience difficulties only during their early years and catch up with appropriate support. Others may require ongoing assistance throughout their lives. Understanding the unique trajectory of each child's SLCN journey is essential for tailoring interventions and support to their specific needs. 

If you are concerned that your teenager's behaviour is associated with neurodivergence, and it hasn’t been picked up earlier, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you assess your teenager's behaviour and determine if there is a need for further evaluation or treatment. 


It is important to remember that what you see in your teenager is not necessarily a sign of bad behaviour. They are simply a way for your teenager to cope with the challenges they face. If your teenager is exhibiting in a way that is causing problems or concerns, talk to them about it. Try to understand why they are behaving that way and what you can do to help. 

Our local parent networks run coaching sessions and groupwork training to help parents understand the science of the teenage brain and learn new approaches to use at home. 


Sharing experiences with others who understand what we go through as parents is a great way to alleviate stress and build a network of support. Find out what is happening in your area on our Events Calendar.

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