Speech and Language Problems

Speech, language and communication difficulties 

Speech, language or communication difficulties take many forms. There are a number of warning signs to look out for in your child. These include:

  • A delay in learning to speak or difficulties ‘getting the words out’
  • Difficulties expressing needs and wants
  • Difficulties understanding what people are saying
  • Inappropriate attention seeking behaviour such as whining, hitting or throwing
  • The use of gestural cues or sounds instead of words to communicate
  • A lack of motivation to play with items or other people
  • Problems with concentration or distractibility at toddler group, nursery or school.
  • High levels of frustration or anger.
  • Problems making friends or maintaining friends

If you are worried that something isn’t quite right with your child’s speech language or communication, or you think your child hasn’t reached a developmental milestone, it is important to seek help.

‘My child will catch up in the end’ 

Well meaning advice that your child will ‘get there in the end’ can be hugely detrimental. Leaving things to sort themselves out will mean that the problems worsen over time. If we can intervene early with speech, language or communication problems, your child will make more significant progress and the teaching interventions will be more natural and effective. In fact, a good Behaviour Analyst can identify a speech or language problem in a child as young as 9 months old - and when you consider the rate at which a child learns to communicate, you can see why early intervention is so important.

Children who have more subtle or ‘mild’ struggles often fail to get the help they need. We have seen time and time again children who fall through the net and struggle more and more and the gap between them and their peers - both academically and socially – becomes wider and wider as the years progress.

How can you help my child?

The right interventions can be hugely successful, helping your child to perform better at school, find and maintain friends, gain confidence and self esteem and communicate needs, wants and feelings with others.

Treating language and communication disorders requires a specialist and highly targeted approach. NETwork Interventions has years of experience of helping children and teens with language and communication problems. We are specialists in Verbal Behaviour which is becoming widely recognised as the most successful way of treating speech, language and communication disorders.

Our team of highly trained Behaviour Analysts and Psychologists will work with your child and family, identifying and then targeting the underlying problem areas and designing a programme of intervention to help your child progress and achieve his or her potential. 

What results can I expect?

Every child is different and will have very different struggles, skills and motivations. Some children become indistinguishable from their peers and overcome all of their struggles. We have even helped many non-vocal children, teens and even adults make their first utterances.

Other children progress at a slower rate but are nonetheless equipped with the tools to overcome their struggles and make considerable gains. The results you can expect will vary according to a number of factors. This includes:

  • Your child’s age; the earlier we can intervene, the more dramatic the results can be. Even if your child is in his or her teens, the right interventions can enable him or her to make huge gains in language, communication and behavioural skills. 
  • The nature and severity of the problem
  • Your availability and determination to implement the recommendations day in day out.

Following an in depth assessment and observation of your child we will discuss the results you can expect to see, along with the timescales and costs involved for successful implementation. Whether your child’s programme lasts one month or one year, you can rest assured that we’ll be with your every step of the way, equipping you with the knowledge, training and support to make it work.

Did you know?

NETwork Interventions meet many children who have been wrongly diagnosed with a social, emotional, learning or behavioural disorder, when in fact the source of their problem is a speech, language or communication deficit. By tackling the problem at source, many of the associated problems automatically resolve themselves; these include challenging behaviour, depression or isolation.

The next steps...

Contact us today to find out how NETwork is helping families and schools like yours. 
For more information and resources please get in touch with us.

"Our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s aged 7; NETwork Interventions spent a day observing him at school and at home and quickly identified the skills he was lacking – skill deficits that we - and others working with our son - had not picked up on. NETwork Interventions trained us to help our son learn those missing skills. The results have been remarkable – he no longer cries about going to school, his concentration and behaviour are much better and he is far less likely to alienate others by the things he says. Thank you."
Parent in Surrey

"It is always a pleasure talking to Lu and Shelley - we think they are superstars!"
C & C, Ottawa

"We started an informal intervention for our 18 month old last week, Zack. Lu came for an observation around a month ago. This was followed by Shelley spending two days with our family last week. Our 18 month old had three signs and plenty of motivation and social intent, but no requests for items or people. He had a few unintelligible requests for activities and just sounds or unintelligible words for when he labels things. We have done our research. As professionals in the field of child development and with ASD and ADHD in our extended family, we know that it is better to act earlier rather than later. We didn’t want a heavy or burdensome programme for reasons of time, of finance and also of emotion. Admitting there may be a problem is actually very difficult. Last week was extremely draining emotionally in this capacity. We know that prevention is necessary as there is no firm cure and we can’t take the risk of not intervening and waiting another six months as our GP and Paediatrician told us. Shelley came to the farm with us, came swimming with us, to the park and to granny and grandpa’s home with us. She did day to day life with us such as bath time and bed time. The first day Shelley watched what life was like for me, balancing home, children, marriage and work. Life is hectic. The second day we swapped roles and she put recommendations in acting as I would and then supported me to implement it. She is coming back on Thursday to see how we are getting on and she is returning with a new schedule for me after going away to analyse it these last few days. We are absolutely thrilled with Zack’s progress already. His Gymboree teachers commented on his language ‘explosion’. His aunty, who does not know that we are running this intervention, commented on how much Zack is talking this week. I am confident that within a few months, Zack will not have a spiky developmental profile and it looks as though he will have even more skills than his peers at this rate. This is fun and I am so grateful to Shelley, Lu and Ruth who, together, have created the ‘perfect programme’ for us."
Luke, Louise, Lyndsay and Zack, Surrey, England

"This week I have been feeling very defeated with my son changing campuses at school. At the end of my call with Shelley I was filled with hope again. That is why I love our calls. Not simply because of the work with my son, but because Shelley always helps me to see a way forward. "
Gem, Brisbane

"I have had previous counselling for over two years but left because of no progress. I am finding the experience with Liz different in a very positive way. After just four sessions I am seeing great progress."
M, London

"The observation and assessment period that NETwork complete at the beginning is difficult to understand at the outset, but it turns out that it is an intricate process that [does] indeed find the issues to work on and subsequently address and resolve."
Mum, Quebec

"Dillan had significant behavioural issues and received a very late diagnosis of NVLD when he was 9 years old. This diagnosis did little to help our family. Louise quickly and efficiently set up a programme for our teenage son which rapidly identified his strengths and weaknesses. Shelley taught us and his teachers how to best address these, including language deficits which had previously remained unrecognised, Louise’s team worked within our budget, working hours and extensive travel commitments, working closely with school and our local authority to ensure everybody was on board and funding accessed. At times it felt as though Louise was coordinating a small army. Additional support of parent-counselling through Louise’s team proved invaluable, even though we were originally a little sceptical. It most likely made the difference between success and failure in our ability as parents to sustain a positive family unit whilst implementing the programme. We worked with NETwork Interventions for just under one year."
Dr Edwards, North London

"We would like to say a massive thank you for your hard work during the 2 day assessment. We are so grateful and highly impressed with your level of knowledge, confidence, professionalism as well as the kindness and respect shown to our family. Now, we really believe there is light at the end of the tunnel."
Monica, UK

Signup to get regular news and tips from our Network