Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) estimates there are 45,000 deaf children in the UK, with many more experiencing temporary hearing loss due conditions such as glue ear. Learning Makaton and/or British Sign Language can help children with special communication and language needs to express themselves and communicate with others.
According to research from The Communication Trust, it is estimated that 10% of all children have long term or persistent speech, language and communication difficulties. This is often known as speech, language and communication needs (SLCN):
- 7% of children have speech, language and communication difficulties as their main difficulty. This is also referred to as specific language impairment and is often severe and complex. There is no obvious reason or cause for these difficulties with language, although non-verbal skills are often well developed.
- 3% of children have speech, language and communication difficulties as part of another condition such as autism, hearing impairment, general learning difficulties etc.
- Of these 3%, an estimated 1% of children have the most severe and complex speech, language and communication difficulties that prevent them from expressing their basic needs.