Otley Street Community Nursery School

Supporting Speech & Language


Speech and language difficulties

Speech and language difficulties in young children are not unusual. As many as one child in 10 under five years of age experiences some degree of difficulty. If you suspect that your child is struggling to learn to talk, or you have recently been told that your child has, or will have, particular difficulty developing communication and language you will find some useful links and documents here on the Otley Street Community Nursery Website where we have a designated Supporting Speech and Language area which aims to pass on information that other families have said is useful  in the early stages of recognising there is a problem and finding a way forward. There are many different kinds and degrees of speech and language difficulty:

  • Some children experience difficulty for a period of time but then catch up with other children of the same age.
  • Other children have a much more serious and persistent difficulty that has long-term impact.
  • Some experience a difficulty learning to communicate that is associated with other learning difficulties or conditions.

We aim to meet the needs of all our parents, especially if their child is experiencing difficulties acquiring language. We want to support and signpost you in the best possible way no matter how complex the issue.

  • If you are in the early stages of exploring your child’s situation, our website can help by explaining how children normally develop communication, language and speech and how adults help. This is likely to be particularly useful if you have not had much to do with very young children before or are waiting for a first appointment to discuss your child’s situation.
  • If you are sure your child is experiencing difficulty in this area, the information on our website explains how to make the most of any professional support you are receiving and provides more detailed information about some particular conditions.
  • If you are looking for help with a particular issue or for more detailed information about a particular, known condition, the booklet Information for parents Speech and language difficulties explains where you can find out more. The material also explains how to set about getting professional help. On the way, it explains about speech and language therapy – what it is, who provides it, how to get it and what to do with it, once you have it. For many children with speech and language difficulties, the right help, at the right time, makes a real difference and for this reason it’s important to identify real difficulty as soon as possible.

‘Language is the core to all human interaction. Without it, a child is isolated.’

We also offer targeted Speech and Language support through the ‘Building Blocks for Language’ programme in school.  There is a parent guide for this which you are welcome to download.  You will find it in the Supporting Speech and Language section.