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Did You Know?

By the first grade roughly 5% of children have

noticeable speech disorders.
Between 6 & 8 million individuals in the U.S.
have some form of language impairment.

Under the IDEA
definition, a speech or
language impairment is a
communication disorder
such as stuttering,
impaired articulation, a
language impairment, or
a voice impairment that
adversely affects a childs
educational performance.
What is a
Speech or
What is Speech?
Ideas, feelings, and thoughts
expressed orally through a
series of complex muscle
movements in the head,
neck, chest, and abdomen
that produce decodable
What is Language?
The expression of human
communication through
which knowledge and
behavior can be experienced,
explained, and shared.
Based on systematic,
conventionally used signs,
sounds, or gestures that
convey understood meanings
within a group or community.
Speech Disorder
Children who have trouble
producing speech sounds
Children who hesitate or
stutter when talking
Children who have difficulty
putting sounds and syllables
together in the correct order
to form words (Apraxia)
Language Disorder
Children who have trouble
understanding what others
say (receptive language)
Children who have difficulty
sharing their thoughts
(expressive language)
Children who have a specific
language impairment (SLI)
Childhood Apraxia of
Speech Sound
Disorders: Articulation
and Phonological
Learning Disabilities
Preschool Language
Selective Mutism
Medical &
Cleft Lip & Palate
Right Hemisphere
Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury
Frequently do not perform
at grade level and have
difficulty with tests
Struggle with reading
Have difficulty
understanding and
expressing language
Misunderstand social cues
Avoid attending school
Show poor judgment
Difficulty in learning to
listen, speak, read, or write
Have difficulty using
language to communicate,
think, and learn
Exhibit problems in the
production, comprehension,
and awareness of language
sounds, syllables, words,
sentences, and
IDEA Definition:

Quick Review of Speech and Language

Whats the Difference? Types of disorders
Characteristics Learning Strategies

Consult a speech language pathologist before planning assignments and activities.
Anticipate areas of difficulty and involve the student in problem-solving.
Provide assistance and positive reinforcement when the student shows the ability
to do something unaided.
Use a peer-buddy system when appropriate.
Focus on interactive communication & use tactile and visual cues.
Have a speech therapist present language units to the entire class.
Be aware of the students functioning level in auditory skills, semantics, word
recall, syntax, phonology and pragmatics.
Work at the students pace.
Academics &
Reduce unnecessary classroom noise.
Allow more time for the student to complete assignments and tests.
Have routines that the student can follow.
Use augmentative communication systems to ensure that nonverbal students and
students with severe physical disabilities have effective ways to communicate.
Ensure that the student has access to their communication system across all
contexts, all the time.
Types of Disorders:
Speech Disorders
Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems
saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move
the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has
difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words.

Dysarthria: Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder. The muscles of the mouth, face, and respiratory system may become weak, move
slowly, or not move at all after a stroke or other brain injury. The type and severity of dysarthria depend on which area of the
nervous system is affected.
Some causes of dysarthria include stroke, head injury, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy. Both children and adults can have

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders: With OMD, the tongue moves forward in an exaggerated way during speech and/or swallowing.
The tongue may lie too far forward during rest or may protrude between the upper and lower teeth during speech and swallowing,
and at rest.

Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation and Phonological Processes: Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new
words. A speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age. Every sound has a different range of ages when
the child should make the sound correctly. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (making sounds) and
phonological processes (sound patterns).

Stuttering: Stuttering affects the fluency of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life. The disorder
is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds, also called "disfluencies." Most people produce brief disfluencies
from time to time. For instance, some words are repeated and others are preceded by "um" or "uh." Disfluencies are not necessarily
a problem; however, they can impede communication when a person produces too many of them.
Voice: We have all experienced problems with our voices, times when the voice is hoarse or when sound will not come out at all!
Colds, allergies, bronchitis, exposure to irritants such as ammonia, or cheering for your favorite sports team can result in a loss of
voice. Learn more about different types of voice disorders.
Language Disorders
Language-based Learning Disabilities: Language-based learning disabilities are problems with age-appropriate reading, spelling,
and/or writing. This disorder is not about how smart a person is. Most people diagnosed with learning disabilities have average to
superior intelligence.

Preschool Language Disorders: Preschool children (3 to 5 years old) with language disorders may have trouble understanding and

Selective Mutism: Selective mutism (formerly known as elective mutism) usually happens during childhood. A child with selective
mutism does not speak in certain situations, like at school, but speaks at other times, like at home or with friends. Selective mutism
often starts before a child is 5 years old. It is usually first noticed when the child starts school.

Medical and Developmental Conditions
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Specific speech and language patterns vary from child to child with ADHD. For example,
some children with ADHD also have learning disabilities that affect their speech and language. Evaluation of each child's individual
speech and language ability is critical to developing an appropriate treatment plan.

Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorders): Problems with social uses of language may be a social communication disorder, sometimes
called a pragmatic language disorder. All children with autism have social communication problems. Children with other disorders
also may have social communication problems. Sometimes a child just has a social communication disorder. Children with social
communication problems also may have other language disorders. These may include problems with vocabulary, grammar, reading,
or writing.

Cleft Lip and Palate: A cleft lip is an opening in the lip. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. The palate is made up of
two parts-the hard palate and the soft palate. The hard palate is made of bone and is towards the front of your mouth. The soft
palate is made up of muscle and tissue and is towards the back of your mouth. Most people have a piece of tissue hanging down
from the back of their soft palate that can be seen when you open your mouth. This is called the uvula.
Many children with cleft palate need the help of a speech-language pathologist, or SLP for short. Some may need another operation
to help their speech get better. This may happen if your child's soft palate doesn't move well enough to let sounds come from his
mouth. The goal is to help your child develop normal speech.

Right Hemisphere Brain Injury: Right hemisphere brain damage is damage to the right side of the brain. The brain is made up of
two sides, or hemispheres. Each hemisphere is responsible for different body functions and skills. In most people, the left side of the
brain contains the person's language centers. The right side controls cognitive functioning (thinking skills).
Damage to the right hemisphere of the brain leads to cognitive-communication problems, such as impaired memory, attention
problems and poor reasoning. In many cases, the person with right brain damage is not aware of the problems that he or she is
experiencing (anosognosia).

Traumatic Brain Injury: People with a brain injury often have cognitive (thinking) and communication problems that significantly
impair their ability to live independently. These problems vary depending on how widespread brain damage is and the location of
the injury.
Brain injury survivors may have trouble finding the words they need to express an idea or explain themselves through speaking
and/or writing. It may be an effort for them to understand both written and spoken messages, as if they were trying to comprehend
a foreign language. They may have difficulty with spelling, writing, and reading, as well.

Additional Resources

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Activities to encourage speech and language development:
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Directory of Organizations:
Learning Strategies:

Diversity & Learning Disability Presentation
Michelle McCowan