What we mean by language and communication difficulties?
Language and communication difficulties cover a wide spectrum and include physical problems with producing clear speech, difficulties in understanding spoken language and difficulties with the social aspects of communication and interaction. Examples of conditions that may feature language and communication difficulties include:
- Isolated speech and language difficulties including specific language impairment
- Cerebral palsy, including Worster Drought syndrome, and other movement difficulties which limit speech
- Autistic spectrum and other social communication disorders
- Cleft palate and other palatal problems, including velo-pharyngeal dysfunction
Services at GOSH for children with language and communication difficulties
Many children and young people at GOSH have some degree of language and communication difficulties and services that offer support include:
Speech and language therapy (SLT) – If you have concerns about your child’s language and/or communication skills, we encourage you to discuss these with your family doctor (GP) or hospital consultant. A referral to your local SLT Service is usually the most appropriate place to access advice and treatment. SLTs who work within GOSH are here to help children with new communication difficulties that are diagnosed while in hospital and to see children as outpatients who have complex communication needs that cannot be easily managed by local services. Referral by your local paediatrician or hospital consultant is required. Our Speech and Language Therapists work with children and young people with language and communication difficulties who have co-occurring medical conditions – further information about the service is available on our website
Speech and Language Therapists form an integral part of various multidisciplinary team clinics. Some examples of these clinics include:
- Augmentative Communication Service or call them on 020 7405 9200 extension 1144.
- Developmental Communication Service or call them on 020 7405 9200 extension 1144
- Nasal speech and velopharyngeal dysfunction
Further information and support
Note: Inclusion in this list does not constitute endorsement by GOSH. For details of other support organisations, please visit the Contact a Family website or call their helpline on 0808 808 3555.
I CAN is a UK organisation that offers advice and support to anyone affected with a speech, language or communication problem. Visit their website or call 0845 225 4073 (Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm).
Afasic is another UK support group that supports parents and represents children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Visit their website or call their helpline on 0300 666 9410 (Monday and Tuesday from 9.15am -2.30pm and Wednesday to Friday from 10.30am to 2.30pm).
Communication Matters is a UK organisation aiming to increase knowledge, understanding and awareness of complex communication needs. Visit their website or call their helpline on 0845 456 8211.