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Fierté Multi-Academy Trust

Our Family of Schools

Communication and Interaction

What are communication and interaction needs?

Children may have difficulty with:

  • Receptive Language
  • Difficulty in understanding and processing language
  • Expressive Language
  • Difficulty with the use of spoken language or nonverbal communication
  • Pragmatic/social communication
  • Difficulty with social interaction, social cognition, and pragmatics.
  • Speech sound difficulty
  • Difficulty with phonological skills or articulation skills. The difficulty may not be restricted to one area and may be demonstrated at different levels. 

Speech, Language and Communication

Speech, language and communication are all heavily dependent on each other.  We develop and use all three in combination. Speech, language and communication underpin everything we do – making our needs known, expressing our likes and dislikes, interacting with others and building relationships.

We often take these skills for granted, but many children struggle to communicate. They have speech, language and communication needs or SLCN.

A child with speech, language and communcation needs:

  • Might have speech that is difficult to understand
  • They might struggle to say words or sentences 
  • They may not understand words that are being used, or the instructions they hear 
  • They may have difficulties knowing how to talk and listen to others in a conversation   (

SLCN can be put into these categories in the classroom; receptive language, expressive language, social communcation and speech. Children may have just some or all of these difficulties; they are all different.

Speech, language and communication are crucial for reading, learning in school,  socialising and making friends and  understanding and controlling emotions or feelings.

SLCN is often called a hidden difficulty. Many children with SLCN look just like other children and can be just as clever. This means that instead of communication difficulties people may see children struggling to learn to read, showing poor behaviour, having difficulties learning or socialising with others. Some children may become withdrawn or isolated. Their needs are often misinterpreted, misdiagnosed or missed altogether. 

One place where speech, language and communication play a critical role is the learning environment. The language we use might be simple to us. But how can it come across to the pupil? Children need to make friends, understand non-verbal feedback, listen to instructions, give instructions, recall information - the list is endless.