Skip to main content

You are here



A difficulty that arises as a result of an illness, accident or similar incident that happens after birth.

Asperger's Syndrome

An autistic spectrum disorder characterised by difficulties with social interaction, social communication and inflexible thought patterns in an otherwise intelligent and able child. 

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autistic spectrum disorders are characterised by difficulties interacting and communicating. 

The characteristics of autism can be described as the 'triad of impairment':

  • Socialisation - poor social skills;
  • Communication - difficulties with speech language and communication;
  • Imagination - rigid thought and resistance to change.

The commonly used terms 'autism' and 'asperger's syndrome' are autistic spectrum disorders.


Something that is present from birth, and which becomes more obvious as the child grows and matures.

A disorder that affects the co-ordination of movement. This can affect co-ordination of the speech organs (oral dyspraxia) or other actions e.g. eating, dressing or writing.

Expressive Difficulties 

Children with expressive difficulties find it problematic to convey their thoughts through the use of language. For example a child might use the word 'table' instead of 'chair' while fully understanding the difference between the two, or use incorrect grammar such as 'I can't want play'. 

Glue Ear 

Glue ear or 'otitis media with effusion', produces thick glue like fluid in the middle ear cavity. This may result in a fluctuating or chronic conductive hearing loss which can have an impact on speech and language development. 

Phonological Difficulties

A child with phonological difficulties finds it problematic to select and use the correct sounds necessary for speech. 

Pragmatic Difficulties

Difficulties in using language. A child with pragmatic difficulties may have difficulty understanding other people's language and behaviour, and may have problems using appropriate language for the setting. 

Receptive Difficulties

A child with receptive difficulties has problems understanding spoken language.

Specific Language Impairment

Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is a term used to describe language difficulties that are not caused by any known neurological, sensory, intellectual, or emotional deficit. It can affect the development of any aspect of language: e.g. vocabulary, grammar, and discourse skills. SLI is a disorder with long-term impact it's not just a matter of late language acquisition or something that children can grow out of. Children with SLI are considered to have SLCN as their main or primary difficulty. Click here for more information on SLI.

Speech and Language Delay

A child with a speech and language delay develops speech and language following the normal pattern, but at a slower rate or later than usual. He or she uses language in the way that a younger child would.

Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties

Speech, language and communication difficulties (SLCD) is a term used to refer to the specific problems some children and young people experience when acquiring language. See also Speech and Language disorder.

Speech and Language Disorder

Any disorder which affects a child's development of speech or language skills in relation to the age appropriate developmental pattern. For a child with speech and language disorder, progress of speech and language does not follow the normal patterns of development. Also referred to by a number of terms including:
  • specific language disorder;
  • specific language impairment (SLI);
  • developmental dysphasia (less commonly used).
Was this information useful?: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)