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Communication Support Needs

A person who has Communication Support Needs (CSN) has some degree of difficulty with one or more areas of communication. They therefore need support to communicate.

This difficulty may be in one or more of the following areas of communication:

  • understanding the written, verbal or non-verbal communication of others
  • expressing themselves in writing, verbally or non-verbally to others
  • expressing certain types of messages, for example, complaints
  • interacting appropriately with others

The term applies to both children and adults, and alternative terms sometimes used are Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) or communication difficulty/disability.

Technology can be used to help people to communicate more effectively, but it is important to understand the needs and impact of having a communication difficulty, before choosing what and how to implement it.