Speech and Language Impairments
Resources for Teachers and Parents
Definition and Description
Speech or Language impairment, a communication disorder, such as:
- impaired articulation,
- a language impairment,
- or a voice impairment,
- poor voice quality
- poor resonance
Prevalence: These students make up the largest category of 3-5 year olds (46%) and the second-largest category (behind learning disabilities) for the school age population (19%). Prevalence estimates ranging from 2% to 25% of children ages 5 to 7 years.
Includes accurate prevalence rate related to population as a whole (Law, Boyle, Harris, Harkness, & Nye; 2000)
- Expressive language disorder-difficulty conveying thoughts, feelings, or information
- Receptive language disorder-difficulty understanding information that is received
- Pragmatics-difficulty with social language competence or the use of language in a social context
- Create a Language-sensitive/rich Environment-Classrooms where teachers identify and prevent potential communication breakdowns, where language development is fostered, and where student's language needs are supported. One strategy that helps to create a language rich environment is to put materials in sight, but out of reach so that the student has to communicate to get access to the desired material.
- Explicit Instruction-Directly teaching (as opposed to exposing or implicitly sharing) content or providing specific information about what is expected by the student
- Content Enhancement Strategies-Use of these tools help students organize their learning and remember complex content. Graphic organizers (see image below) is one example of how information can be organized to help with comprehension and retaining learned content
- Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR)-Improves vocabulary and reading comprehension skills by using reciprocal teaching strategies and cooperative learning. See link for more information.
Data-based Instrcuctional Strategies and Accommodations-- links to additional information
HOME STRATEGIES TO HELP WITH GENERALIZATION
Home-based strategies to help young children with early communication impairments
- Create a language-rich home environment: provide many opportunities for your young child to explore novel toys and objects. Engage your child by getting on the floor and following their lead/interests in play. Use language facilitation strategies (recasts, self-talk and parallel talk, and modeling) during play and daily routines to encourage language and provide a variety of models.
- Use daily routines to teach language: You and your child spend most of your day engaged in daily routines (e.g., feeding, dressing, bathing, etc.), think about how to make them predictable and model the same language each time. For additional information on making the most of daily routines, follow this link.
- Put toys or desired objects in sight, but out of reach: Often, parents know their children so well that they do not create opportunities in which they need to communicate. However, when learning to communicate, children need many opportunities to communicate either verbally or nonverbally. For example, if your child loves the rubber ducky at bath time, instead of having it floating in the water when he gets in the tub, why don't you put it up on the ledge so that he has to reach for it and then you can say, "Duck" and then hand him the rubber ducky after he has communicated for it.
American Speech-Language and Hearing Association
Language Builder App
Falk-Ross, F.C. (2002). Classroom-based language and literacy intervention: A programs and case studies approach. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Law, J., Boyle, J., Harris, A., Harkness, A., & Nye, C. (2000). Prevalence and natural history of primary speech and language delay. Findings from a systematic review of the literature. International Journal Language and Communication Disorders, 35, 165-188.
Manolson, A., Ward, B. & Dodington, N. (1995). You Make the Difference. Toronto: Hanen Centre.
Paul, R., & Roth, F.P. (2011). Characterizing and predicting outcomes of communication delays in infants and toddlers: Implications for clinical practice. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42, 331-340.
Smith, D. D. & Tyler, N. C. (2014). Introduction to contemporary special education. Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. (ISBN-13:978-0-13-294461-8)