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Speech Problems

Volume 116: debated on Thursday 14 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what provision is available for the needs of languages disordered children in Scotland; how this compares with England; and if he will make a statement.

Where a child in Scotland has a language disorder which constitutes a learning difficulty giving rise to special educational needs of a pronounced, specific or continuing nature, the education authority in whose area the child resides is required to assess those needs and thereafter provide fully for them. The decision on precisely what provision to make is a matter for the education authority. The procedure for opening Records of Special Education Needs under Section 60 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 is similar to the process of statementing provided for in England by Section 7 of the Education Act 1981.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the numbers of (a) preschool age children, (b) primary schoolchildren and (c) secondary schoolchildren, with a specific language disorder in (i) Scotland, (ii) the Strathclyde region and (iii) Glasgow district.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what provision there is for the rehabilitation of speech problems in road traffic accident victims in (a) Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland.

The provision of speech therapy services is a matter for individual health boards, but the Scottish Home and Health Department funds a Scottish centre of technology for the communication impaired, based at the Victoria infirmary, Glasgow, which has been officially opened today by the chairman of the Greater Glasgow health board. This centre reinforces local effort by providing a Scotland-wide specialist service involving assessment and provision of aids for people with speech problems, and advising professional staff and disseminating information about advances in this important field. There are now 339ยท4 (whole-time equivalent) speech therapists employed in the Scottish Health Service.