About speech language communication difficulties
Communication involves giving and receiving information. We do this by listening, speaking and observing through face-to-face interactions, phone conversations and written methods such as email and social media. Some people may use signing or pictures/symbols to communicate.
Both speech and language are important parts of communication.
Speech is usually described as how we say sounds and words. People with speech difficulties may have difficulties pronouncing specific sounds (speech sound disorders), producing words fluently (stuttering) or being able to use their voice at an appropriate level without sounding husky or whispery.
Language refers to the words we use and how we use them to communicate. This includes knowing what words mean, making new words, putting words together (for example, telling a story or having a conversation) and choosing which words to use at different times (for example, using words for a formal presentation or chatting with friends).
Some people may have difficulties with both speech and language.
Communication difficulties can be a characteristic of conditions and disabilities such as Autism, developmental language disorder, hearing problems, Down Syndrome, physical conditions and speech sound disorders. You can find out more about supports for
Working with other service providers
Your child may be receiving supports and services outside of school. State schools can work with other services when making reasonable adjustments at school.
You can talk to your school about the supports your child is receiving outside school and provide them with any reports or information you think is important. The school can consult other service providers about your child’s needs but only with your consent.
Finding support and advice
Where the communication difficulties are a characteristic of autism, the department’s Autism Hub can provide advice to school staff and parents about a range of supports. Contact details are available at the Autism Hub.
Your child may be eligible for supports through
Early Childhood Early Intervention which is designed to support children from birth to 6 years who have a developmental delay or disability.
A wide range of organisations can also provide other support services, assessments and advice if your child has speech language communication difficulties. The following websites provide a good starting point to access supports and advice.