Narrative Skills

Parental Support

Children with difficulties in understanding spoken language and in producing complex sentences are at greater risk of long-term difficulties throughout the curriculum. Language difficulties often go unrecognised as children can try and hide what they do not know. 

For many children, an early focus on broader oral language skills can be a crucial element to preventing reading failure. Research has highlighted the vital role that oral language skills such as vocabulary and story production play in literacy development. 

A variety of children may benefit from work on social communication skills.  Studies evaluating the effectiveness of different social communication interventions have typically involved participants with autism spectrum conditions (ASC).

Needs in other areas can lead to and compound communication and interaction needs, for example a hearing loss or difficulties with attachment, and can also be the result of unmet C&I needs, for example learning needs, social and emotional needs. At YES@ Areté Learning Trust we aim to look at each child/ young person's unique profile to make sure that support is tailored appropriately.

Children who have difficulties with word order or sentence structure can often be difficult to understand or easily misunderstood as the words in the sentence are jumbled up or don’t flow. Rules of word order and sentence structure are referred to as syntax.

Difficulties with syntax can impact a child’s expressive language skills and can cause:

  • Poor narrative skills.
  • Incorrect word order causing misinterpretation.
  • Omission of words in sentences.
  • Limited number of complex sentences.
  • May speak in short simple sentences.
  • May talk in single words.
  • Difficulties with literacy skills.


Students with word finding difficulties have difficulties soring and/or retrieving words  from their semantic (vocabulary) system. Word finding difficulties may be frustrating and distressing for students and can impact on day-to-day communication, self-esteem, social skills and academic success

Signs of Word Finding Difficulties

  • Overuse of fillers during speech (e.g. “um”)
  • Repetitions in speech (e.g. “I went, I went, I went to the shop”)
  • Circumlocutions (talking around the word, e.g. [soap] “you wash with it”)
  • Use of vague/non-specific words (e.g. “stuff”, “thing”)
  • Substitutions for words in the same/similar category (e.g. [hammer] “tool”)
  • Delays/hesitations in responding (due to increased time required to find the word)

YES@ Areté Learning Trust can offer advice and support semantic development and word retrieval.