Key Message Two

Problems with speech and language imprison the individual, and severely limit their participation in family life, the community, education and the world of work

Human dignity and the ability to lead a rewarding life can be unlocked or denied by the presence or absence of speech and language therapy services.

People with serious cancers and neurological conditions are among those who need speech and language therapy as a core part of their care.

In every classroom there are children who need expert help with speaking and understanding. When their speech, language and communication difficulties are resolved, children are enabled to develop good reading and spelling skills. They become more receptive to learning and social situations and develop emotional maturity and better behaviour.

Undetected and / or untreated speech language and communication problems can lead to low levels of literacy, poor educational attainment and difficulties finding employment. In turn, this can lead to a perpetuation of the poverty trap and a vicious cycle of health problems, including mental health and health inequalities.

Speech and language therapy will improve the effectiveness of public health initiatives to reduce health inequalities, such as the smoking cessation and managing mental health campaigns, amongst people with communication difficulties.

Though not everyone with a communication difficulty has a communication disability, many do. The quality of life of people with this lifelong condition can be improved through speech and language therapy.

Families from disadvantaged groups need particular support in developing the language and communication skills that will help them escape poverty.

There is a link between communication problems and offending by young people.