Children and young people with SEN may have difficulties in one or more of the areas of speech, language and communication. These children and young people need help to develop their linguistic competence in order to support their thinking, as well as their communication skills. Specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or a physical or sensory impairment such as hearing loss may also lead to communication difficulties.
Those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) cover the whole ability range. They find it more difficult to communicate with others. They may have problems taking part in conversations, either because they find it difficult to understand what others say or because they have difficulties with fluency and forming sounds, words and sentences. It may be that when they hear or see a word they are not able to understand its meaning, leading to words being used incorrectly in or out of context and the child having a smaller vocabulary. It may be a combination of these problems. For some children and young people, difficulties may become increasingly apparent as the language they need to understand and use becomes more complex.
Children and young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, have difficulty in making sense of the world in the way others do. They may have difficulties with communication, social interaction and imagination. In addition they may be easily distracted or upset by certain stimuli, have problems with change to familiar routines or have difficulties with their co-ordination and fine-motor functions.