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Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)

If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, there is lots of support available and things you and others can do to help.

Speech and language development

Every child’s rate of speech and language development is different. However, knowing what you should expect and when can be helpful. Read a guide on stages of speech and language development on I CAN children’s communication website.

Ages and Stages (

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NELC SEND Local Offer | Speech Language and Communication engagement (

As a parent carer you know your child best and spend the most time with them.

There are lots of activities you can try at home to help support your child’s speech and language development. Doing something every day is the best way for most children to make progress.

Encourage other family members to take part. If every person who spends time with your child gets involved, it will make an enormous difference.

Resources for parents – Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (

Resources (

Free Speech & Language Resources for Parents | Speech Works (

Most children can successfully develop their speech and language skills without needing specialist support from a speech therapist. 

Good progress can usually be made by: 

  • Doing activities at home
  • Getting support and advice from Families First Information Service
  • Getting expert help from your child’s nursery, preschool, or school staff

The N.E. Lincolnshire Families First Information Service provides free information and advice about services and activities for children aged 0-19 years.


Call- 01472 326292

Social media

Facebook- @FamiliesFirstNEL
Twitter- @FF_NELincs

All two-year-olds in North East Lincolnshire get a 2-year-old health review by a health visitor. Health visitors – NELC | NELC (

The team will contact you to arrange the meeting. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your child’s communication skills before the meeting. Do not be worried about this, it is not a test.

You can discuss any concerns you might have at the review. The health visitor will help you get more support if needed.

If your child is at nursery, preschool, or school, you should speak to their keyworker or class teacher. They are trained professionals who can help develop speech and language skills on a day-to-day basis. They can assess your child’s speech and language skills, and start a support process to help your child.  

Your child’s nursery, preschool, or school will use speech and language tools and strategies. It might take time to see progress.

It is important that you are involved in the support process, and the nursery, preschool, or school explains what is happening. You might be asked to come in and watch how your child is being supported.  

Your child’s place of learning should let you know how long they will use a specific tool or strategy. It will depend on your child’s level of need. The process might need to be repeated several times. You should ask to speak to the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) if you have concerns. 

Continuing to support your child at home, doing activities and exercises, is just as important as the support where your child learns.

Your child will have the best outcomes if everyone works together.

If your child has speech, language and communication needs you may be interested in the work being done in the Autism in Schools Project.

NELC SEND Local Offer | Autism in Schools (

If your child’s speech and language skills do not improve, even after you have: 

  • Tried different activities at home
  • Raised your concerns with your health visitor or had support from your child’s nursery, preschool, or school

Your health visitor or your child’s place of learning can make a referral to the NHS speech and language therapy service.

Parents/carers can also make a direct referral themselves.

Your child does not need an education, health and care (EHC) plan to get support from the speech and language therapy service.  

Find out more about Speech and Language Therapy for children and young people in North East Lincolnshire. Services for children in North East Lincolnshire – Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (

If English is your child’s second language, English as an additional language support is available in schools. NELC SEND Local Offer | English as an Additional Language (

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