The ability to communicate effectively has a major impact on a child’s happiness and how well they can learn. Communication also helps children to build friendships and express their needs and how they are feeling, so is a crucial area of development.
The roles of parents and teachers are very significant in a child’s communication development and understanding how to support a child who has some communication difficulties is key to helping them to overcome barriers.
In the UK, over 1 million children and young people have some form of long-term communication problem, with over 50% of children in areas of poverty starting school with delayed communication skills. Worryingly, a poll by YouGov highlighted that only 27% of teachers had received training in supporting children’s speech, language and communication skills, with the remainder feeling there was a need for further training.
As 50-90% of children with communication difficulties will also go on to have reading difficulties, communication clearly plays an incredibly important role in how we learn. Long term communication difficulties can also lead to serious behavioural problems, with a higher risk of mental health issues and a great impact on social skills.
With this in mind, there are so many important reasons for parents and teachers to provide as much support as possible throughout a child’s early years and beyond.
With the right support, children that have early problems with their speech, language and communication are able to catch up with their classmates and go on to have better opportunities and quality of life through effective interventions.
How Adults Can Support Children with Communication Problems
Children are relying on their parents and teachers to provide the support required to overcome communication challenges and there are numerous different ways to provide that support.
For parents, spending more time talking with children, singing and reading can help. Talking through the day, explaining what you are doing, naming items and introducing all of the different descriptive words will help children to build a better understanding of language.
In schools, children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) will usually be supported with interventions such as working with specifically trained speech therapists. Alternatively, or additionally, teachers will go on training courses that will equip them with the knowledge to support SLCN children and learn how to create a communication friendly learning environment.
Speech therapy is a very effective way of helping children to overcome their communication difficulties, where therapists can use their expertise to do the relevant exercises and provide 1-2-1 support to help children to progress their communication skills.
At ChatterBug, we have a range of speech and language therapy services and our specialists provide a variety of workshops and training courses to support SLCN.
Our upcoming Introduction to a Communication Friendly Environment workshop on the 15th October has been designed specifically for teachers to develop specialist skills in working with children with SLCN.
This workshop will aid attendees in developing more confidence in working with SLCN and adapting communication methods to suit the needs of all children within the classroom, thus creating an inclusive learning environment and providing students with equal opportunities to thrive and reach personal milestones.
The 2-hour workshop is priced at just £45 and is currently offered as an online course due to Covid-19 safety measures.