Say Hello to the National Year of Communication

Hello is the national year of communication – a campaign to make communication for all children a priority in homes, settings and schools across the UK so they can live life to the fullest. The campaign is run by The Communication Trust, a coalition of 40 leading voluntary sector organisations; in partnership with Jean Gross, the Government’s Communication Champion. The campaign is backed by the Department for Education and the Department of Health.

Speech, language and communication underpin everything we do, though these skills are often taken for granted. Good communication skills can help your child make friends, learn and enjoy life to its fullest. Children don't learn to talk by accident! They need adults to nurture and support their language and communication development. The more adults who know and understand about language and how it develops, the easier it is to help. An explosion of language development happens between the ages 0-5.

In the UK today, over 1 million children and young people have some form of speech, language and communication need. This can affect them severely and for life. In areas of poverty, over 50% of children start school with delayed language skills. This puts them at a huge disadvantage to their peers as they struggle to learn and make friends.

Hello seeks to support you by providing information and guidance on typical communication development, how to spot if a child is struggling, and where to go for help and support. We have produced a number of FREE resources that you can order and download at http://www.hello.org.uk/resources. Coming soon is our booklet Small Talk – a simple guide on how your child learns to talk and simple activities that you can do at home.

You can also visit out Talking Point website www.talkingpoint.org.uk to find out lots of fun and easy ways to help your child develop speech, language and communication skills. This also includes a ‘progress checker’ should you be concerned about your child.

Visit www.hello.org.uk to get involved and sign up for regular updates.