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Sketty Primary School

Ysgol Gynradd Sgeti

Be the best you can be!

Gwnewch eich gorau glas!

Speech & Language

Parents and caregivers are the most important teachers during a child’s early years. Children learn language by listening to others speak and by practicing. Even young babies notice when others repeat and respond to the noises and sounds they make. Children’s language and brain skills get stronger if they hear many different words. Parents can help their child learn in many different ways, such as :


  • Responding to the first sounds, gurgles, and gestures a baby makes.
  • Repeating what the child says and adding to it.
  • Talking about the things that a child sees.
  • Asking questions and listening to the answers.
  • Looking at or reading books.
  • Telling stories.
  • Singing songs and sharing rhymes.


Some children struggle with understanding and speaking and they need help. They may not master the language milestones at the same time as other children, and it may be a sign of a language or speech delay or disorder.


Language development has different parts, and children might have problems with one or more of the following:


  • Understanding what others say (receptive language). This could be due to
    • Not hearing the words (hearing loss).
    • Not understanding the meaning of the words.
  • Communicating thoughts using language (expressive language). This could be due to
    • Not knowing the words to use.
    • Not knowing how to put words together.
    • Knowing the words to use but not being able to express them.

Language and speech disorders can exist together or by themselves. Examples of problems with language and speech development include the following:


  • Speech disorders
    • Difficulty with forming specific words or sounds correctly.
    • Difficulty with making words or sentences flow smoothly, like stuttering or stammering.
  • Language delay – the ability to understand and speak develops more slowly than is typical
  • Language disorders
    • Aphasia (difficulty understanding or speaking parts of language due to a brain injury or how the brain works).
    • Auditory processing disorder (difficulty understanding the meaning of the sounds that the ear sends to the brain)


If a child has a problem with language or speech development, talk to a healthcare provider about an evaluation. An important first step is to find out if the child may have a hearing loss. Hearing loss may be difficult to notice particularly if a child has hearing loss only in one ear or has partial hearing loss, which means they can hear some sounds but not others

Developmental Language Disorder



What is Developmental Language Disorder?

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) means that you have significant, on-going difficulties understanding and/or using spoken language, in all the languages you use. DLD was previously known as Specific Language Impairment (SLI).


There is no known cause of DLD and that can make it hard to explain. DLD is not caused by emotional difficulties or limited exposure to language.


DLD is not caused by other medical conditions such as hearing loss, physical impairment, Autism, severe learning difficulties, or brain injuries. However, children and young people with these difficulties may also have a language disorder.


What signs may a child/young person with DLD show?


  • They may not talk as much and find it difficult to express themselves verbally.
  • Their language may sound immature for their age.
  • They may struggle to find words or to use varied vocabulary.
  • They may not understand, or remember, what has been said.
  • Older children may have difficulties reading and using written language


Remember: Language difficulties may also underlie behaviour issues such as anxiety or misbehaving in class

DLD looks different in each individual child. The child’s specific difficulties can also change as they get older and need to develop more complex skills.



DLD is a long term condition that can have a big impact on a child/young person’s learning and achievement at school.

Children with DLD are at risk of reading difficulties when they reach school age. Sometimes DLD can affect children’s social interaction skills and their ability to make and keep friends. Children with DLD often learn and understand better through visual and /or practical methods, rather than verbal methods. For example they would understand a story better if they watched it being acted out and drew it rather than being told verbally.


Please visit the following websites for further advice on DLD or Speech and Language Difficulties:,make%20it%20hard%20to%20explain.


If you are concerned that your child has a difficulty in any aspect of Speech or Language and want to discuss it further, please contact the school ALNCo @ or your child's class teacher.