Children's Speech & Language Therapy in Buckinghamshire

Language and Communication Needs (LCN)

Language and Communication Needs (LCN)

“Language and communication needs” (LCN) is a broad category which includes children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), and Language Disorder, but which includes all other children who have difficulties with language and/or communication for any reason.

Children develop language skills at very different rates and abilities can vary significantly in the early years. Many young children who have a limited vocabulary at 18-24 months, will catch up with their peers over time.

Unless specific risk factors for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) are present, or the language difficulties are secondary to another known condition (e.g. autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, other sensory impairments, or more general learning difficulities) research advises watchful waiting for 2-3 year olds.

Previous research indicates that about 40% of children identified with problems acquiring language by 4 years of age, have spontaneously resolved by school entry. Difficulties may be more transient than persistent.

At school age, LCN is the term used to describe the difficulties experienced by children who do not have Language Disorder (associated with another biomedical condition) or Developmental Language Disorder (severe persisting difficulties), but do have some language difficulties which need to be resolved in order for the child to thrive in an educational setting. Schools in Buckinghamshire are equipped to screen for these difficulties and resolve many of these difficulties through quality first teaching and through targeted support. They may approach the Speech and Language Therapy service for additional guidance.

Our Communication Carousel gives lots of tips and guidance on how to support children with Language and Communication Needs homing in on specific areas.

External resources

Talking Point progress checker

Talking Point progress checker

Talking Point progress checker - Click here to go to Talking Point's Progress Checker, where you can check the progress of your child's language development by answering questions about their communication skills.

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Bucks Family Information Service

Bucks Family Information Service

The Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website contains information about services and activities for children and their families in Buckinghamshire.

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Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Buckinghamshire Healthcare Children and Young People's Services

Click here for information about Buckinghamshire Healthcare's health visiting, school nursing, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy services.

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Last updated: 7 September, 2020