Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Children’s language and communication development is important for children’s general development, wellbeing and learning. It includes children’s ability to:

  • Understand others.
  • Talk and express needs or ideas.
  • Use language appropriately and know the subtle rules that guide communication.

As a service, we aim to help raise attainment and achievement by supporting the development of language and communication skills of all children and young people.

We aim to raise awareness of the importance of children’s language development and the links between language and social disadvantage. We also work in partnership with education and health colleagues to build the capacity of educational establishments to support and develop the language and communication skills of all children, with a focus on universal supports.


Some of the ways we do this is through:

  • Sharing information on meeting the needs of autistic learners.

View our ‘Meeting the needs of autistic learners’ leaflet.

  • Our universal approach – ‘Language and Communication Friendly Establishments’ (LCFE).

Visit the LCFE section of our website.

  • Inclusion Support and Development Groups (SDGs).

Visit the Inclusion SDG section of our website.

  • Providing other training and development opportunities through an identified SLCN training framework.


For more information view our visuals capturing  what we did in 2019/20 and what we did in 2020/21.


We have also created this video which shares the NAIT Key Messages around the return to school, along with quotes from autistic young people and their parents from Glasgow that illustrate the importance of these messages and getting it right for autistic learners.