Resource hub

This hub offers you lots of ideas and suggestions that can be used to support your child.

Ages and stages - From birth to 17 years

Children develop their speech, language and communication skills at different rates. However, knowing what is typical can help you identify speech and language problems early. 

 

You can also find out how to help your child learn to talk and understand words. 

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Bilingualism

Bilingualism is the ability to understand and/or use two or more languages.

Cleft lip and palate

Early communication and interaction

Early years and pre-school advice

Selective mutism

Selective mutism is used as a term to describe children and young people who are able to talk comfortably to some people, such as family members and close friends, but are silent or unable to talk freely when other people are present.

Speech sounds

Stammering

What is stammering?

You may hear this being referred to as stuttering, dysfluency, bumpy talking or getting stuck.  Stammering is when a person:

  • Repeats the whole word ‘but-but-but’
  • Repeats the sound ‘b-b-b-ut’ or part of the word ‘bu-bu-bu-but’
  • Blocks – they are visibly trying to speak but no sound comes out.
  • Prolongs sounds – stretches the sound e.g. ‘Muuuuumy’

Your child may have some or all of the above types of stammer.  They may also show some behaviours associated with their stammer e.g. blinking, facial tension, nodding their head or tapping their leg as they try to force the word out.  They may also take a sharp breath before speaking, use a lead in word or phrase or use lots of fillers e.g. ‘um’ ‘err’ when talking.

Why do some children stammer?

It is not known why some children stammer, but there are a number of different factors that impact on a child’s ability to talk fluently.  It is common for young children, especially between the ages of 2 and 5 to experience disruptions to their talking.  When they are learning to talk and their vocabulary is increasing, they may experience hesitancies, disruptions and repetitions when talking.  This may be more apparent when they are tired or excited.  This often comes and goes and for many children will disappear as their language develops.

Stammering can develop gradually or come on suddenly and it can fluctuate over time or remain constant.  For some children stammering will be persistent and they may need therapy.  Approximately, 1% of children who stammer go on to stammer into adulthood.

When to seek help?

We would advise that you refer your child for assessment if any of the following apply:

  • You are very anxious or concerned about your child’s stammer
  • Your child is aware and upset by their stammer
  • The stammer seems to be getting worse
  • The stammer is significantly disrupting their flow of speech
  • It is impacting on their confidence and they are avoiding speaking in certain situations
  • There is a strong family history of stammering- a sibling, parent or grandparent stammers as an adult.

Peer support groups and communities

Meeting with other children and/or parents can be really beneficial.  Some groups focus on peer support and/or offer opportunities to work on speech or self-confidence. Some national groups are:

 

Voice

Secondary school aged

Other useful links

NELFT Children's Occupational Therapy

Information for young people on mental health and wellbeing

NELFT Children & Young People

NELFT ASD & ADHD Assessment Team

What is ADHD?

National Autistic Society

Afasic  — This website supports parents and represents children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

BBC Tiny Happy PeopleTiny Happy People is here to help you develop your child's communication skills. Explore simple activities and play ideas to support your child’s development 

Downs Syndrome AssociationA national organisation, committed to improving quality of life for people who have Down’s syndrome, promoting their right to be included on a full and equal basis with others. 

Essex local Offer

Thurrock Local Offer

Essex Family hubs — Bringing together local services and advice for babies, children, young people and their families, including Start for Life services for 0 to 2 year olds.

Thurrock Family hubs

MakatonMakaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.

National Autistic Society  — The National Autistic Society is the leading charity for autistic people and provides support, guidance and advice, as well as campaigning for improved rights, services and opportunities to help create a society that works for autistic people.

National Deaf Children's SocietyThe National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) is a British charity dedicated to providing support, information and advice for deaf children and young people, their families and professionals working with them.

RCSLTThe Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (abbreviated as RCSLT) is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the United Kingdom and is a registered charity. 

SignalongSignalong is a key word sign-supported communication system based on British sign language and is used in spoken word order. It uses speech, sign, body language, facial expression and voice tone to reference the link between sign and word.

Selective Mutism Information & Research Association (SMIRA)SMIRA is a UK Charity that supports families with selectively mute children. It also provides information to health and education professionals involved in the upbringing of such children and young people.

SNAPSNAP is an Essex charity for families with children and young people who have any additional need or disability.

Speech and Language UKSpeech and Language UK is a charity that provides free resources and services to help children and adults with speech and language challenges.

STAMMASTAMMA is a charity that offers services, training, helpline, employment and advocacy for people who stammer in the UK.

Language focussed play