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How many children have language impairment

How many children have language impairment? New information has been released...

A new report has been released giving us important information about how many children have language impairment in primary school. The findings are based on the Surrey Communication and Language in Education Study (SCALES) project, led by University College London, and tells us that:

-Language impairment is seven times more common than other developmental conditions such as autism.
-This means that approximately two children - 7.58% - in every Year 1 class will have a significant language impairment that impacts learning.
-These children with language impairment have higher social, emotional and behavioural problems, with 88% failing to achieve early curriculum targets

The researchers also found that children with lower non-verbal IQ did not have more severe language, learning or behavioural difficulties than those with good non-verbal IQ. This is important because a difference between non verbal IQ and verbal IQ is often used to diagnose language impairment. This study showed that children have the same types of difficulties whether or not their non verbal IQ was low.

Children with low non verbal IQ and language difficulties often struggle to access the services they need. This study provides evidence to say they will benefit from specialist language intervention.

You can download the report here and read about language impairment here.

Anyone concerned about a child’s language skills can talk to a speech and language therapist for free at I CAN’s Enquiry Service.