Berkshire

Slough parents targeted to improve children's speech

A council has begun a campaign to improve the speech of children aged five and under after research found 40% could not speak well enough.

Slough Borough Council said it wanted to encourage better interaction with parents in the town.

Children aged up to five have been targeted during Slough Talks Week, which runs until Friday.

Councillor Natasa Pantelic said poor communication skills could have "lasting, long-term" effects.

The research was complied though the Every Child A Talker Programme, an initiative under the former Labour government which supported early-years learning.

Nationally it found 50% of children in areas of social deprivation are starting school with delayed language.

'Early identification'

Speech therapist Wendy Lee, director of the Communication Trust, said there was a difference between children with a speech impairment and children who have a language delay.

"Nationally there are around 10% of the whole children's population that have a speech, language and communication need.

"That means they have got an impairment, something which isn't working right in terms of their communication.

"Those children will develop those difficulties no mater what their parents do but the big thing is that they are identified early.

"Communication is almost taken for granted; we expect our children to talk and there's a very huge lack of understanding around language development, what to expect at different ages and stages."

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