Is the child developing at the same rate as his or
her peers? Refer to developmental norms.
In order to identify whether a child has any problems with their
speech, language and communication we need a really good
understanding of 'typical' development.
The 'Speech, Language
and Communication Development' chart (PDF) can be used either
for reference to remind us of 'typical' development, or as an
Using the speech, language and communication
development chart it is possible to make a judgement as to
whether a child is developing as expected in this area or seems
- Judgements of a child's stage of development
are made through a process of ongoing observational
- Through observation we can record what
children do and say in a range of contexts; information from
families about what the children do and say at home should be
included (particularly if English is their second language).
- The assessment is a 'best fit' match to a
stage band. This involves considering what is known about the
child, and matching it to the development described.
- Each strand of communication is
described separately (i.e. understanding, expressive language,
speech) and it is possible that some children may only have a
delay in one area, and others have difficulties in several
- In considering whether a child is delayed it
is necessary to consider the child's actual age in months in
relation to the overlapping age bands.
- If a child is within 2 months of the
end of the age band and development is not yet within the band or
is judged to be 'emerging' then a judgement of 'delay' would
- The developmental chart can be used to record
progress over a period of time.
- If a child has a considerable delay at
the outset, or fails to make progress then onward referral to the
speech and language therapist should be considered.
The 'Speech, Language and Communication
Development' chart is from:
'Developing every child's speech, language and communication in
Early Years settings' Worcestershire County Council and Primary
Care Trust (2010) (PDF). The chart has been added to in
order to reflect development of children above the age of 5
For further information about developmental
norms refer to: 'Ages and Stages Booklet for Early Years
Professionals', available from the Communication Trust (External
© Worcestershire County
Council and Worcestershire PCT 2011.
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.
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This page was last reviewed 12 June 2013 at 15:32.
The page is next due for review 9 December 2014.