Afasic Northern Ireland

Supporting parents with children who have difficulties talking and understanding language.

What is SLCN?

What is SLCNOne child in a 1000 has a long term difficulty and will require specialised help throughout their school life.

These children and young people may be described as having speech language and communication needs (SLCN). This general term is used to describe any kind of difficulties with speech and language.


There may be a number of reasons for SLCN, speech may be delayed, difficult to understand etc and this could be associated with a learning or physical difficulty.

SLI is the term used for those with a very specific difficulty with language but this is not associated with any other physical, sensory or general learning difficulties. It is a difficulty with language. You may recognise some of the difficulties:

  • Auditory processing
  • Word Finding
  • Short term memory difficulties,
  • Auditory Sequential Memory
  • Dyslexic tendencies etc

Find out more about various speech and language impairment terms and what they mean.
FREE glossary sheets >>