The Trust was set up in 2007 by Afasic, BT, Council for Disabled Children and I CAN.

Importance of communication


Communication is key to many of the things we want for ourselves and our children. It underpins everything we do and helps us live life to the full.

It's fundamental to children's development; children need to be able to understand and be understood; it's the foundation of relationships and is essential for learning, play and social interaction.

Children with speech, language communication needs (SLCN) are at high risk of difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. If children can't say words, they will be more likely to have difficulties in 'sounding out' words for reading and spelling, or writing them down. If they can't understand the words they hear, they will struggle to understand what they have read.

Children with communication difficulties are more likely to have behaviour difficulties. Many children with identified behaviour needs have previously unidentified SLCN. Imagine the frustration of not getting your message across.

This is why it's so important to support not only children who have communication difficulties but all children's communication development.

Some facts and stats

  • In the UK, over 1 million children and young people - that's 2 - 3 in every UK classroom - have some form of long term and persistent speech, language and communication difficulty. This can affect them early, severely and for life.
  • In areas of poverty, over 50% of children are starting school with delayed communication skills. Their speech may be unclear, vocabulary is smaller, sentences are shorter and they are able to understand only simple instructions.
    Many of these children can catch up with the right support.
  • 50-90% of children with persistent speech, language and communication difficulties go on to have reading difficulties
  • At least 60% of young people in young offender institutions have communication difficulties

Please click here to view more facts and stats.