Search Suggestions
Close Search Suggestions
A - Z of Resident Services:
You are here:
Identification of SLCN

Identification of SLCN



Identification of SLCN can be problematic for many reasons: children may have other difficulties as well as SLCN, they may have a wide and complex range of needs and there can be co-occurrence with other labels and diagnoses as seen in the diagram:

The overlap:

Taken from 'Don't Get Me wrong' published by the Communication Trust.

Hidden Disability

SLCN is often considered to be a “hidden disability”. Some aspects of SLCN are more visible than others, particularly those associated with speech and sound. Others are less so, for example, the child who is experiencing difficulty in understanding or using language may appear to be inattentive, passive or even rude.

There are children who become very skilled at hiding their difficulties e.g. by watching other people so they know what to do or by pretending they know when they don't. The SLC needs may be missed altogether or masked by these other characteristics.

Social, emotional or behavioural difficulty or speech, language and communication need?

The Department for Education PLASC (Pupil Level Annual School Census) data suggests that as children get older there is a declining proportion of children identified by their schools as having SLCN as their primary need.

 SLCN in Key Stage 1 becomes a literacy difficulty in Key Stage 2 and a behaviour difficulty in Key Stage 3. What is happening?

At the same time, the numbers of children identified as having a behavioural difficulty as their primary need increases with age. (DFE, 2010: Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics: Statistical First Release)

Many children with SLCN go through life without their needs being identified. 65% of young offenders, for example, were found to have SLCN but in only 5% of cases had these been previously identified. (Bryan , Freer and Furlong, 2007).

 Always look 'beyond the behaviour' and consider SLCN if there are concerns about any aspect of the child's development and behaviour.

© Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire PCT 2011.

Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

  • Communication Trust
    The Communication Trust is a campaigning voice for children with speech, language and communication needs.
  • Language for Learning
    Provides courses and resources for staff from Early Years to Secondary Level and training and materials for trainers to deliver these courses within their own Authorities
  • Speech and Language Therapy
    Information form Worcestershire Health Care NHS
  • Speech Link
    Speech Link and Language Link encourage high quality support for children with speech and language problems.

We are not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more

Was this information helpful?

Please rate the content of this page
Would you like to provide any additional comments relating to the content of this page? Your feedback will help us to improve the content of our web pages

This page was last reviewed 17 May 2013 at 13:41.
The page is next due for review 13 November 2014.